We’ve all been taking showers for so long, we just assume we know how to do it. But we may actually be doing it wrong, according to hair and skin care experts. From water temperature to how often to rinse off, dermatologists share tips for a better shower.
- Don’t shower too often - So how often should we be taking one? That all depends on how active you are. If you’re not getting sweaty every day, experts say you can cut back to a few showers a week, just don’t skip so many days that you smell or risk skin issues. And on days when you need to shower twice, dermatologist Dr. Jessica Krant says, “those would be extremely short showers.”
- And in general, keep it short - If you have very dry skin, dermatologist Dr. Lauren Ploch recommends limiting showers to five minutes or less.
- Keep it cooler - Too much hot water can actually be bad for our bodies because it strips away natural oils and that can lead to dry hair and skin, according to Krant.
- Don’t wash your hair too much - How often to wash depends on your hair type and doing it too much can be drying, especially for those with gray or colored hair, which tends to be drier.
- But don’t wash too little either - Dermatologists warn that some people aren’t washing enough, which can cause a scalp buildup of dandruff. “People often neglect scalp washing so that they don’t dry out the hair,” Ploch explains. “This can lead to a buildup of scalp oils that lead to flaking and redness.”
- Focus on the dirtiest parts - Your arms and legs don’t always need soap, but your underarms, groin and feet do.
- Start at the top - That way the soap can work its way down. And if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, Ploch suggests washing your face, chest and back after shampooing and conditioning your hair.
- Pat yourself dry - Rather than rubbing vigorously, gently pat your skin to dry off, but dermatologists say to be sure to really dry areas of skin folds and between toes to reduce risk of rash and infection.
- Moisturize - As soon as you pat dry, put that lotion or cream on within two or three minutes of showering. Dermatologist Dr. Doris Day explains that doing it quickly helps create a barrier to help keep skin plump.