15 SHOWER MISTAKES YOU SHOULD AVOID FOR AN HEALTHIER SKIN

You are definitely making one of these mistakes…Let’s check!

A lady taking a shower

Most of our skin issues might have been a result of our shower habits. If I guess right you’ve been showering for almost your entire life, but have you ever put a thought on the things you could be doing wrong. Well, “what’s there to taking a shower?” Just to hop in, turn on the dial, lather up and enjoy the hot steaming water, isn’t that what you are thinking? Yeah, that’s it and that’s not it. There’s more to showering than just hopping in and hopping out. According to dermatologists, millions of us are making these common shower mistakes every day and these faux pas keep wreaking havoc on our skin. Based on research with experts, here are 15 common shower mistakes we make, why it is detrimental and how to rectify them.

1. Using the wrong soap

Never put bar soap on your face

Before picking bathing soap, you should consider your skin type. If you have normal to dry skin, harsh soaps (like bar soaps) can dry out your skin, stick to gentle cleansers or shower gels with added moisturizer. 

For sensitive or eczematous skin, use fragrance-free soaps as scented soaps may irritate your skin. If you have oily skin, you could use bar soap, but also make sure that the soap is perfect for your skin type.

2. Using hot water

Washing your face in hot showers might sound like something you enjoy but it’s totally wrong. Avoid washing your face with hot water as it can damage your skin. It causes face dryness and reduces skin elasticity, resulting in wrinkles. Next time you are taking a shower, tune the temperature down to 37­°C and at most 41°C.

3. Not washing your towel often

A common shower mistake we make is not washing our towels regularly. Wet towels are a breeding ground for bacteria. Harmful bacteria such as E.coli, Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus can grow on damp towels and persist for up to 13 days. 

A survey by love2laundry found that 46% of those surveyed use the same towel for a week before washing and 9% will use it for a whole month before it gets cleaned. According to dermatologists, it’s best to wash your towel after 3 uses. But if you can’t afford that, make sure you wash your towel at least once a week.

Pro Tip: Have a separate towel for your face.

4. Not rinsing hair and body properly

Maybe due to rush or just not being conscious of it, sometimes we don’t properly rinse our body. After taking your shower, you might still be seeing specs of soap on your body. This is not really good because when you leave soap on after showering, you basically didn’t get really clean. Apart from that, leaving soap on your body can cause skin dryness and trigger skin conditions like eczema. So, the next time you are taking a shower, don’t just stand under the water, use your hand to aid the washing of your body. Pay attention to areas that are usually forgotten like your armpits, neck, hair and buttocks.

5. Rubbing your skin dry with a towel

Do not rub the skin with a towel as this can cause irritation and also strip the skin of its natural oil. Instead, gently pat the skin dry. Apply your moisturizer immediately to lock in moisture.

6. Don’t scrub your skin aggressively

Scrubbing the skin during shower

Although you might want to exfoliate your skin while bathing, don’t scrub too hard. Scrubbing your body aggressively (a common exfoliation mistake) can irritate your skin and you’re likely to take off healthy cells. You don’t have to scrub too hard to take off dead cells. Scrub very well but not too hard. 

Also, avoid exfoliating every day. It can irritate your skin and make it more sensitive. Talk with your dermatologist for the safe number of times you can exfoliate.

7. Using soap on intimate areas

Washing your vagina with soap will not remove vaginal infections, as a matter of fact, it can worsen your case. Thankfully, our vagina is a self-cleaning organ that does not require special cleaning products. Washing your vagina with soap may lead to a disease known as bacterial vaginosis. It can also cause yeast infections and increase risk to STIs. Next time you are taking your shower, spare that part please, it can take care of itself. You may wash around your vulva and legs (do it gently) but don’t use soap on your vagina.

8. Shaving your leg on the day of a pedicure

First of all, pedicurists don’t care if you have hair on your legs or not. So, why the stress! Shaving your legs before getting a pedicure makes you more prone to infections as newly shaved legs have open pores that are liable to infectious diseases.

9. Wrapping wet hair in a towel

A lady with a clean and well-hydrated skin with towel-wrapped hair

To be sincere, so many of us do this. In fact, I do this as well. But when I learned about its havoc, I stopped. Wrapping your hair in a towel after a shower can damage your hair. The weight of the towel is pulling your root hair and can cause breakage. Well, it might be annoying to see water drip all over your face and neck, you can use a cotton shirt instead.

10. Not cleaning your loofahs

You love your loofah because they exfoliate your skin gently without disrupting the young and healthy skin cells underneath. Since it does this for you, you should keep it clean. Not for your loofah’s sake, but yours. Don’t just hang your loofah up to dry in the shower area, it’s still gonna be moist and can harbor bacteria. Instead, use a dry towel to thoroughly wring out moisture and hang in a cool dry place (outside your bathroom). Also, replace your loofahs often like every 3 to 4 weeks.

11. Not cleaning your showerheads

Sometimes your showerhead can harbor deadly bacteria like the legionella bacteria. Although some of these bacteria are harmless, some of them can still cause serious lung infections. Play safe by keeping your showerhead clean. Disinfect at least every three months.

12. Not cleaning your shower curtain

A bathroom with a shower curtain

A study says that your shower curtain probably has the most germs of anything in your bathroom. Though these bacteria sometimes do not pass serious health threats to most people, there’s no harm in keeping your shower curtain clean.

13. Not taking a shower after a workout

When you work out, sweat and dirt accumulate on your skin. If you don’t clean your face afterward, it can increase your risk of acne. It is ideal to take a shower after an immense workout. But if you are unable to get a quick shower, then opt for a face wash. So, the next time you are going to the gym, pack your face wash in your bag.

14. Not installing a grab bar

If there is anything overlooked while setting up a personal bathroom, it is a grab bar. Grab bars should be installed in every bathroom. Bathrooms are very slippery and I’m sure you have had a close call rushing out of the bathroom one time or the other. Installing grab bars in your bathroom can help prevent falls as you can easily hold on to them whenever you slip on the slippery bathroom floor. Be sure to locate your grab bars in strategic places like the back wall and the sidewall closest to the toilet.

15. Rinse your bathtub after taking a bath

It’s a great thing to rinse your bathtub after use. Not only are you keeping your bathtub in a good shape but also protecting yourself from bacteria. If you don’t rinse your bathtub after using, the soap can build up scum and slime. Asides from that, bacteria and dirt from your body will be deposited in the bathtub. If you rinse it, you get to rinse them away but if not you are at risk of taking a bath with those bacteria the next day. Better to be safe than sorry, it cost you nothing to rinse your bathtub after use (maybe a few seconds though). Make sure you thoroughly wash your bathtub at least once a week.

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