Showering or having a bath is part of most people’s daily routine and not something we think about that often. We learn to keep ourselves clean when we’re kids and it just becomes one of those automatic things that we all do, like brushing our teeth.
So it’s hard to imagine that we might actually be doing it wrong, even though there are a few mistakes that almost everyone makes. Here are some examples of the most common bad habits people have when showering:
Washing your hair every day
We all want to have clean, shiny hair. But the truth is that washing your hair every day is a big mistake: cleaning it too often can make the scalp dry and irritated. So if your hair is thin or delicate, you should avoid washing your hair too often — twice a week is enough. If you have curly or thick hair, experts recommend washing it only once a week.
Taking long showers or too many
It may be one of the greatest pleasures in life, but showering for too long can remove the natural moisture from the skin. Showers should really only last between 5 and 10 minutes. Showering more than once a day can also be hard on your skin. If you do feel the need, either because you went to the gym or because it’s very hot, try to make the second shower as quick as possible and don’t use soap.
Not washing your feet or back
Those hard to reach areas are really easy to ignore, but this is a big mistake. All of the skin on our bodies has dead cells that need to be washed off and our feet are particularly susceptible to bacteria and fungi.
Not drying your sponge
If you use a sponge in the shower, the skin cells that you wash off can get caught in the holes and create a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. That’s why it’s very important to dry your sponge thoroughly after every shower. This also applies to face cloths and any other things you use to rub down your body.
Keeping your skin clean is important, but soap can really dry it out. That’s why it’s good to use a moisturizing cream after each shower. But don’t wait until your skin is completely dry — most moisturizers should be applied to damp skin.
Drying your body too hard
Many of us get out of the shower and start rubbing like mad with a towel to get dry, but this is actually really hard on our skin. The best way to dry off is to use a soft towel and dab the water off gently. It takes a bit longer, but it’s worth it.
Not taking a shower right after exercise
Even if you didn’t sweat much during your workout, it’s still a good idea to have a quick shower afterwards. Even small amounts of perspiration can react with germs to create body odor hours later. A quick rinse without soap can make all the difference.
Showering only with hot water
Although showering with cold water is not as comforting as doing it with very hot water, it has numerous advantages: it stimulates circulation, keeps your skin fresh, you feel more energetic and it also it has antidepressant effects. So if you can’t stand a shower with cold water, try doing a cold rinse for 30 seconds at the end.
Conditioning all your hair
Conditioning all your hair seems like the right thing to do, but it can actually leave your hair looking dull and greasy. If you have long hair, try only using conditioner on the ends. Another trick is to apply the conditioner BEFORE using shampoo so the greasy effect of the conditioner is washed away.
Wrapping your long hair in a towel
Wrapping your hair in a towel after your shower can actually damage it. It’s better to squeeze out the excess moisture with a towel instead of rubbing, which can leave it tangled.
Shaving under the water
According to experts, shaving body hair while water is flowing over it can cause severe skin irritation. But if you insist on shaving in the shower, use special shaving gels and warm or cold water.
So, how many of these bad habits do you have? I know I’ll be making some changes to my morning shower routine. Try them out and feel the difference… your skin and hair will thank you!