Taking a shower seems simple enough, right? Beware – there are actually some careless shower mistakes many of us are unknowingly guilty of that are actually doing more harm than good to our skin.
Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd, the co-founder of Specific Beauty skincare, and Dr. Heidi Waldorf, the director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, revealed to the Huffington Post the five most common showering mistakes.
1. Taking long, hot showers
According to Dr. Woolery-Lloyd, long, hot showers strip the skin of its natural oils and can eczema worse. “They can also increase generalized itching even in people who do not have eczema,” she says. On the flip side, there’s no benefit to running cold water in the shower unless your skin turns red under warm water. Lesson learned: Keep your shower time short and the temperature lukewarm.
2. Using bubbly shower gels and body washes
You’re stripping the skin of its natural oils yet again if you use a shower gel or body wash that’s super bubbly. “The ingredient in soap that does this is called a surfactant. Surfactants are chemicals that attract both oil and water,” Dr. Woolery-Lloyd said. “When combined with water, surfactants are able to bind oil and remove these natural oils from our skin.”
So though it may seem like you’re nourishing your skin with a rich lather, cleansers with strong surfactants actually contribute to dry and rough skin.
3. Not rinsing well enough
Take the time to rinse off. Soap that remains on the skin after showering can further contribute to skin irritation and dryness.
4. When you apply a face mask
Masks should always be applied before washing your face to avoid unnecessary drying of the skin. After the skin comes in contact with water, apply a hydrating moisturizer.
5. Take it easy on the towel-drying
Maintaining the skin’s moisture is key after showering. Keep in mind that your skin was in constant contact with water while showering, which quickly evaporates after. Gently pat skin with a towel to resist irritation and apply a moisturizer soon after.