You’ve been showering your entire life, so odds are you think you’re pretty good at it by now – so good you’d consider going pro if pro-bathing was a thing.
But before you plan a life of medals and trophy wives and lucrative shower gel endorsement deals, there’s something you need to know.
You’ve been showering wrong this whole time.
Yes gentlemen, though you’ve sunk countless hours into perfecting your bathing technique over the years, it turns out there’s a lot of misinformation about getting clean. Your bathing habits may secretly be hurting your skin (or just plain gross).
These are the showering mistakes to cut from your routine immediately.
Failing To Keep Your Equipment Clean
It’s not rocket science. If your shower or tub isn’t clean, how can it get you clean? All that moisture creates prime conditions for grime to grow, so it’s extra important to scrub the tub regularly. Make sure you do it right: spray the cleaning product of your choice, then walk away for 10 minutes. Have a beer or knock out some pushups while you wait. Once the product has had time to penetrate the scum, you can start the scrubbing. Doing it any earlier is a waste of elbow grease.
Blaming Bar Soap
Bar soap used to be everyone’s go-to – then, somewhere down the line, people started thinking it was covered in germs, and suddenly we were all horrified at the thought of letting a bacteria-riddled block touch our precious skin.
Surprise, science says bar soap is unlikely to transfer bacteria to your body. What you actually need to watch out for is loofahs, which trap dead skin cells in their porous surfaces. If you can’t surrender your favourite exfoliator, replace it or thoroughly clean it between uses.
Getting Too Steamy
Your long, hot showers are not so hot for your skin. Hot water can wash off your skin’s natural oils, which are essential for staying moisturised. Showers and baths that are too long also strip those vital natural hydrators. Instead, dermatologists recommend shorter showers in lukewarm water.
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Shed all your tough guy illusions when it comes to bath time. Your skin is a delicate organ and deserves to be treated with TLC. Buffing too hard with a loofah or other scrubbing tool shreds the skin’s natural protective barrier. Likewise, scrubbing your scalp with your fingernails can scratch the skin and cause flaking. Post-rinse, try to avoid rubbing your skin with your towel. Pat it dry to minimise friction and irritation.
Showering In The Morning
A morning dip can put pep in your sleepy step, but it may not be the best option for your overall health. Doctors advise showering in the evening to remove the dirt, allergens, chemicals, toxins, and other ickies that accumulate on your skin and hair throughout the day. In addition to keeping you clean, an evening shower regimen also prevents you from transferring those contaminants to a partner or your bedding.
Showering Too Often
A daily shower isn’t always necessary, especially in the winter months when your skin is naturally drier and you don’t sweat as much. Showering too often, like showering too long, strips your skin and hair of essential oils that keep them hydrated. Only the dirtiest bits (armpits, feet, etc) need to be cleaned on the daily, and if you find yourself showering more than once in a single day, only soap up during one.
Skimping On The Rinse
Cleanse your skin and hair thoroughly before towelling off. Any lingering products can cause skin irritation and clogged pores, which in turn lead to acne. If ‘bacne’ is a particular problem for you, rinse your hair with your head tilted to the side, so the product runs directly into the drain instead of down your back.