It’s one of those daily habits that we don’t really think about all that often. I mean, obviously showering is good, not sharing is bad – that stands without reasoning (especially if you’re around teenage boys who have yet to discover the power of deodorant), however, did you know that there are actually right and wrong ways to shower?
Some of the smallest choices and habits that you do every day may actually be preventing you from being as clean and healthy as you would like to think!
Be Shower Smart by Avoiding These 19 Bad Shower Habits:
#1 – Using Scented Soaps
Think twice before reaching for your favorite lavender or wild berry soap. The chemicals used to include that scent can disrupt the balance of oils in your skin, causing itchiness and irritation. Stick with a scent free soap, your skin will thank you.
#2 – Washing Your Face in the Shower
Do you speed up your morning routine by washing your face in the shower? While it may seem as though you are helping yourself, you may actually be harming your skin. The water most people use to shower is hotter than you should be using on your face, which can cause serious irritation, acne or rosacea. Take the few extra minutes to care for your skin.
#3 – Over-Exfoliating
While there are undeniable benefits to exfoliating the skin, beauty experts warn that there is such thing as over-exfoliating which can cause irritation and inflammation. Limit your exfoliating to no more than 2-3 times each week.
#4 – Daily Hair Washing
This is a mistake that MANY people make. Washing your hair too often can be damaging to the hair itself, stripping it of the natural oils and drying it out. The solution isn’t to overly condition either, as too much conditioner can weigh your hair down.
#5 – Wrapping Your Hair in a Towel
It’s a mistake that many of us with longer hair make, but experts warn that wrapping your hair up in a towel may actually be damaging your head. Avoid the risk by patting your hair dry rather than rubbing it, gently squeezing the water out of your hair with the dry towel.
#6 – Rough Towel Drying
Did you know there’s a right and a wrong way to towel dry? If you don’t have the luxury of air drying, gently pat the towel on your skin. Rubbing it roughly can cause dry skin, or wrinkles from pulling at the skin over time.
#7 – Using a Soap Dish
This sounds like crazy talk, after all, why else were soap dishes created, right? While they may look great aesthetically in your shower, soap dishes are the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria, which you then transfer to your skin each time you use that bar of soap.
#8 – Failing to Wash Your Feet
While you are taking the time to carefully wash your face, hair, and more, don’t forget to focus some attention on your feet. This is the part of the body that is constantly in touch with the dirty ground, plus the dirty soap run off of every other part of your body washes over them. Don’t overlook this bacteria breeding ground.
#9 – Avoiding Cold Showers
Most people see cold showers as a negative thing, something you only endure if you absolutely must (like if there is a problem with the water heater). However, taking a cold shower has been found to have a lot of great health benefits. It can improve circulation, boost weight loss, increase alertness, and more.
#10 – Forgetting to Moisturize
Using a moisturizer after each shower is key. Hot showers and soaps will strip your skin of its natural oils, causing it to dry out. Using a high-quality moisturizer after you are done showering will rehydrate the skin keeping it healthy.
#11 – Taking Long Showers
While a hot shower may be incredibly relaxing, be careful not to relax for too long. The steam and high water temperatures that you are exposed to in the shower can damage your skin, drying it out or causing irritation. In fact, experts say you should limit your shower time to 5-10 minutes.
#12 – Showering in Hard Water
There are a lot of annoying aspects to having hard water, such as the impact that it has on your appliances, but did you know it can also cause a problem for your own health when showering? Hard water is high in minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can lead to acne.
#13 – Reusing Towels
Have you ever heard someone claim that your bath towel never gets dirty because it only touches your skin when it’s clean following a shower? They couldn’t be more wrong. Your towel collects the dead skin cells and bacteria that your shower has removed from your body. You should only use the towel 3 times before washing it each time.
#14 – Not Showering Post-Workout
We all have busy schedules, which can lead to cutting corners in an effort to find time wherever possible. Experts warn, however, that skipping your shower after a workout isn’t the best option. Bacteria can collect on your skin, and if it isn’t washed off it may lead to rashes or acne.
#15 – Storing Your Loofah in the Shower
If, after use, you simply hanging your loofah up in the shower you are asking for trouble. The dead skin cells that collect in your loofah combined with the fact that they are usually left wet hanging on the shower wall, makes for a bacteria heaven. Thoroughly ring your loofah out and store in a dry place.
#16 – Not Replacing Your Loofah
If you prefer to use a loofah in the shower, this one’s for you. Your loofah actually collects the bacteria, dirt and dead skin cells that it removes from your body. There is a reason that they cost so little, because loofahs are meant to be replaced regularly – every 3 to 4 weeks to be exact.
#17 – Leaving Your Razor in the Shower
While it may seem practical to leave your razor in the shower, after all that’s where you use it, however, doing so may be causing you trouble. The steam and condensation that builds up in the shower can make your blades rusty, while also allowing bacteria to grow between the blades.
#18 – Using an Old Razor
Replacing your razor head (or your razor if you are using disposables) often enough is key to avoiding the bacteria that they harbor. Check the package, each brand has it’s own recommendations ranging anywhere from 10 uses to as few as 3.
#19 – Failing to Clean the Shower or Tub
Do you regularly clean your shower or tub? I don’t mean the ‘cleaning’ that you may think happens while you are using it. With the steam, soap residue, mold, mildew, etc. that adds up, it’s imperative that you clean your bathroom thoroughly at least once every week.