The shower is – and should be – a daily thing most of us do. Everyone has their own routine: some people cannot live without washing their hair every day while others choose to wash them every couple of days, and the differences continue from there. However, did you know that some of the most common showering habits may not be as healthy as you thought? Believe it or not, some of the things you do every day while taking a shower could affect you in a way you never thought of. Check this list to see if the habits you have in the shower are doing you more harm than good.
1. Washing your face
It is undoubtedly easier and less messy to wash your face in the shower. However, despite the convenience, it’s not good for your face. The water with which you shower will usually be much hotter than the one you would use in the sink and the high temperature can dry out your skin very quickly. People with skin conditions such as acne or rosacea may also find that washing their face with warm water can cause redness and excessive irritation – it could even burst a blood vessel if you wash too aggressively.
2. Using a soap dish
Most people do not use soap bars, but for those who do, be aware that leaving a bar of soap in one place could encourage bacteria to grow – bacteria that you will then spread on your entire body the next time you wash. If you don’t want to use a liquid body wash, opt for a soap dish that has holes in the bottom so that all the remaining water can drain out once you stop using it.
3. Using perfumed soaps
Yes, those soaps that make your entire bathroom smell like a tropical forest or a freshly baked cupcake might transport you to a luxurious smelling place when you’re washing but these same perfumes could also damage your skin. These soaps are usually skin irritants. The strong smelling soaps can irritate people with sensitive skin very easily, so it is preferable to use something unperfumed to keep your skin happy. Also, you won’t have to worry about mixing your body wash smell with your daily perfume smell.
4. Taking a shower with a powerful stream
Some people can’t even tell if their water stream is considered powerful or gentle but determining if your stream is powerful and adjusting it so it’s gentler could save your hair and your skin from various damages. “Hard” water is defined by its high concentration of minerals like magnesium and calcium, that can end up irritating your skin or cause an accumulation of minerals on your scalp. People with coloured hair will even find that “hard” water removes colour from their hair or makes the dye leave faster. If you’re unable to change your shower’s stream, try adding a clarifying shampoo in your routine to eliminate the accumulation of minerals caused by the water.
5. Avoiding cold showers
Most people can’t even imagine staying under cold water for more than a second, and could never imagine washing their hair and spending 10 minutes under cold water. However, cold showers can be really beneficial for your skin and hair, and you only have to spend about 30 seconds under cold water to really notice a difference. Quickly going under cold water improves your immune function, increases your metabolism, and increases the level of stress you can tolerate. Besides accelerating your metabolism, a study conducted in 2009 suggests that taking a cold shower regularly could even help you lose weight with time.
6. Using old razors
For most of us. old razors are not something we think of replacing often. Instead of changing them, they stay in the shower until we finally go buy new blades. Razors, whether you buy blades or new razors every time – are quite expensive – so, why throw out an old razor if it still seems to work? Well, just because a razor removes unwanted hair, it doesn’t mean it is doing it properly. If you notice your skin gets red and inflamed after shaving, it’s because the blades are dull and that it’s time to replace it.
7. Leaving your razor in the shower
Remember how leaving your humid soap in your bacteria-filled soap dish is a great way for even more bacteria to form itself? The same goes for your razor. There are many corners and crannies in your razor which makes it ideal for the bacteria to stay there, and the problem will just get worse when you put your razor in a humid and hot place. If you don’t want to store your razor outside your shower, make sure to at least hang it so it can air dry.
8. Using too much exfoliant
Exfoliating your skin from time to time is great for your skin but doing it every day could damage it. For those who don’t know, your skin exfoliates itself and renews itself approximately every 27 days.
People that choose to exfoliate their skin every day will irritate the new skin cells, which can make your face red and blotchy. It is best to accumulate dead skin cells on the surface of the skin before using your favourite exfoliant.
9. Washing your hair every day
If you notice that your hair always seems damaged and dry, whatever you do or use, it is probably because the water in your shower is too hot and that you wash your hair too often. Unless you’re someone who works out intensely every day, you only need to wash your hair a few times a week. If you have curly hair, you should try only washing your hair 1-2 a week. For those who say their hair gets too greasy to not wash them daily, it could be your excessive washing that makes them greasy. Washing your hair will often make your hair dry so your scalp has to compensate and be more productive.
10. Skipping your after-workout shower
Do you like working out early, right before work or late, right before bed? Perhaps, sometimes you feel too tired or too rushed to take a shower. However, sweating can leave bacteria on your body. It is important you don’t skip your shower after you work out. These bacterias could lead to a skin infection, or at least a light irritation or redness. And also you’d be going to work or sleep drenched in sweat. Remember: just because you can’t smell yourself, it doesn’t mean other’s can’t. At the very least take the time to wipe yourself with some moist towels and to change your clothes.
11. Reusing dirty towels
This seems logical: when you only use your towel when your body is clean, how could your towel be dirty? However, this is not actually the case. Yes, it is fine to use a towel 2-3 times before finally washing it but only if you’ve hung it somewhere dry after using it. The dead skin cells can hang on your towel and if you don’t air dry it properly, there is a big risk of bacterial growth. If you use the same towel for a whole week or more, you could risk getting a bacterial infection on your skin. Also, your towel can start smelling bad.
12. Using a dirty bath
It is obviously important to wash your bath. It is a chore most people don’t like doing, but it is essential. If you are sitting down in your bath filled with water for a long period of time, you need to make sure there is no grime. This is especially true if you share the bath with other people. You might love your roommates but you never know what they might have put in the bath before you step in for your bubble bath.
13. Not washing your feet
You might think that since your feet come in contact with a lot of water when you’re showering, you don’t need to actually clean your feet. You are very wrong if you think this. Even if you don’t have stinky feet, your feet sweat all day so they are dirty. Also, if you often walk bare feet in your home or outside, you will accumulate a lot of dirt under your feet. You have no excuses to not scrub all your toes properly in the shower.