The many ways you’re probably not showering right

The many ways you’re probably not showering right

After a long day, a good workout, a day at the beach or even simply as a way to wake up, a shower is often just the ticket. But, are you doing it correctly?

Yes, there is a right and a wrong way, as the basic shower and your post-shower routine could be damaging your skin.

Dr. Vivek Iyengar, a dermatologist affiliated with Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Ill., offers these tips to get clean and pamper your skin.

Watch both the water temperature and the shower length: A long, hot shower is something many people look forward to, but it’s not best for your skin. Hot water and long showers can drain your skin of natural oils by washing them away. Warm water and short showers – and baths – are better for retaining your skin’s natural hydration.

Clean your loofah and washcloth each time: While you may think bar soap is covered in germs, a study in Epidemiology & Infections finds bar soap does not transfer bacteria to your skin. However, your loofah can trap dead skin cells, and the shower is the perfect humid breeding ground for bacteria to grow. The same goes for a washcloth. Use a fresh washcloth for every shower, or rinse the loofah out after every use and hang it up to dry outside of the shower.

Make sure to thoroughly rinse: Unless you are using a gentle cleanser with additional moisturizers designed to not be rinsed off completely, make sure all the bubbles are gone during the shower to avoid skin irritation and dryness. All the more reason to . . .

Use the right soap or body wash: Choose soap or body wash that does not produce a lot of lather. The more lather the product has, the more harsh the product can be on your skin, stripping it of its natural oils. Keep in mind you don’t have to use soap or body wash during every shower, especially if you shower more than once a day. Unless you are visibly dirty or have been exposed to a lot of environmental pollutants, water is enough to get you clean.

Skip your daily shower: If you suffer from dry skin – especially in the winter, consider showering every other day. If you must shower every day, or even twice a day, consider hopping in for a quick rinse only, concentrating on your armpits, feet and any other particularly dirty spots.

Don’t be aggressive with the towel: Don’t rub your skin dry; instead, pat your skin dry to avoid irritation.

Moisturize at the right time: Don’t wait until your skin is completely dry to apply lotion. If you use body oil, you need to apply that to damp skin, as oil does not absorb well on dry skin. Apply lotion after slightly drying off upon exiting the shower or bath to lock-in moisture.

Shower in the morning. Or, shower in the evening. It’s really a personal preference: If you work out in the morning, there is no reason to shower the night before. However, if you are an evening workout person, have an active job or are exposed to a lot of environmental pollutants, then definitely shower in the evening – even if you take a quick shower in the morning to help you wake up.

One advantage to an evening shower is that antiperspirants work best when you apply at night after your underarms have had a chance to fully dry.

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Comments

6 Comments

  1. No, please DON’T skip your daily shower. If you are over the age of about 9, you need to shower every single day.

  2. Why? I shower as needed, about 3-4 times a week, and only use soap as needed, about once a week. Not every body is the same. What are your credentials?

  3. Why? I shower as needed, about 3-4 times a week, and only use soap as needed, about once a week. Not every body is the same. What are your credentials?

  4. I agree Mona. While my 10y/o daughter must shower daily because of arm odor my 12 y/o son doesn’t seem to have the same odor issue and could go a day in between showers. Also my husband doesn’t shower on days he doesn’t work and he has never smelled. When I was in nursing school 20 years ago we learned this too. If you aren’t visibly soiled or weren’t doing anything to get you sweaty then it’s best for your skin to not shower every day.

  5. Bruce M Gelman April 25, 2019 at 8:38 pm · Reply

    Americans are insane about the slightest odors on our bodies.No one unless you work out and sweat a ton or have a medical condition needs to shower every single day.Its not good for your skin and it wastes billions of gallons of water.Puhleeeese.

  6. Totally agree with not showering every day, unless you are visibly dirty or sweating. I would rather do a weekly gentle body scrub. Daily washing of just underarms and private parts is enough and healthy for most anybody.

About the Author

Kate Eller
Kate Eller

Kate Eller, health enews contributor, is a regional director of public affairs and marketing operations. She came to Chicago and Advocate Health Care in 2014 after living in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. She enjoys road trips, dogs, minimalism, yoga, hiking, and “urban hiking” around Chicago while taking photos for Instagram.