Some daily tasks we feel as though we have mastered — making just the right cup of coffee, cleaning the car from top to bottom, even separating all the laundry is the most ideal way! But there’s one thing you’ve been doing wrong — taking a shower. That’s right. It seems as though many Americans are skipping some of the most important shower practices after unwinding from a long day!
Let’s start with some of the basics we’ve been getting wrong this whole time.
Although most of us look forward to a nice, hot shower, a study from the Baylor College of Medicine said that lukewarm water can be the most beneficial when it comes to protecting the outermost layer of our skin.
So What? Higher temperatures can often cause your skin to dry out because hot water strips oils from skin faster than warm water. Hot showers are also a common factor in individuals experiencing dry, itchy skin or eczema. Moderating heating can also reduce costs on energy bills.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average shower lasts eight minutes. With a standard shower head, this equals 2.2 gallons of water used per minute.
So What? Showering is one of the biggest ways we waste water, and showers use 1.2 trillion gallons of water in the United States every year. Longer shower times can also strip your body of helpful bacteria needed to maintain skin hydration.
While it is common for most people to bathe daily, it’s only necessary for those that exercise daily or are working in the heat all day. For everyone else, it’s completely fine to shower every other day.
So What? Taking a hot, lengthy shower daily can not only have an effect on your skin, but also can dry out your scalp and leave hair more prone to breakage.
Shower Golden Rules
- Avoid using body wash or soap with harsh fragrances; instead opt for products that are soap free. Try: Dove, Cetaphil, Olay
- When exiting the shower, pat yourself dry instead of roughly toweling off.
- Ignore the “lather, rinse, repeat” method when it comes to shampooing. Unless you have very oily hair, you can skip the “repeat.” Focus mainly on lathering the scalp, roots and nape of neck, and avoid drying out the ends with excess shampoo.
- Moisturize within three minutes of drying off or save time with an in-shower moisturizer. Try: Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion, Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer or Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula
- When using loofahs or washcloths, be sure to remove them from shower and place them in a dry area to avoid bacteria buildup. Don’t forget to replace them every three to four weeks! Try: Salux Cloth, a Japanese washcloth that exfoliates and distributes soap more effectively.
- Clip hair up in a loose bun when conditioning to prevent developing breakouts on the back.
- Rinse with cool water to help tighten your cuticles and pores. Doing so can help “seal” the pores in the skin and scalp and prevent dirt from seeping in.