Due to the amount of hand washing and cleaning I’ve been doing over the past few weeks, the skin on my hands is in pretty rough shape! I’m sure a lot of you are experiencing the same thing, and applying lotion and other moisturizers often to try and rectify the damage.
But if dryness and irritation aren’t just limited to your hands, the cause behind your skin concerns may not be so obvious! But today’s post may help shed some light on the problem, because today we’ll be talking about how your shower habits may be wreaking havoc on your skin.
So if you are struggling with dry, itchy skin, try avoiding a few of these practices for a couple of weeks. You might be surprised at just how much big a difference it makes! 🙂
Related: My Top Remedies for Dry, Itchy Skin
9 Shower Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Skin
1. Using A Loofah
Using a loofah to scrub your skin clean can be too rough and exfoliating for certain skin types. It can even disrupt the skin’s natural protective barrier, leading to dryness and irritation.
Instead, swap your loofah for a gentle washcloth. And be sure to clean it regularly—wash your washcloths, loofahs, and other body washing tools in hot water after three uses to keep it free of bacteria.
2. Taking Hot Showers
A hot shower can feel great after a long day or when it’s cold outside, but they aren’t very good for your skin! Your skin maintains moisture by producing natural oils, but showering in hot water can strip away those oils and leave it feeling dry and flaky.
Hot water can also trigger an inflammatory response in your skin, leading not only to dryness, but redness, itching, and general irritation. To avoid these uncomfortable skin conditions, keep the water temperature within the lukewarm-to-warm range.
3. Taking Overly Long Showers
It’s not just hot showers that can dry out your skin—long showers can do it too! Limit yourself to 5-10 minutes in the shower to avoid the skin-drying effects of staying in there too long.
4. Not Rinsing Well Enough
It’s important to take your time while rinsing off at the end of your shower in order to remove all traces of soap and hair product residue. If you rush your end-of-shower rinse and some soap residue remains on your skin, that skin is likely to wind up feeling dry and itchy within a few hours.
5. Waiting Too Long To Moisturize
If you wait 10-15 minutes after showering to apply lotion, you’re waiting too long! The best time to moisturize your skin is right after you hop out of the shower, thanks to the warm and humid conditions in the bathroom and the residual moisture on your skin. These conditions make your skin more absorbent, so it can soak up all those moisturizers in your lotion seal in hydration!
6. Not Showering After A Workout
You should always shower after working out, regardless of how sweaty or smelly you are! The bacteria that live on our skin thrive in the warm and sweaty state that often follows a workout. If you don’t wash the sweat off promptly by taking a shower, the bacteria can multiply rapidly and cause rashes and other skin problems.
7. Storing Your Razor In The Shower
Keeping your razor in the shower may be convenient, but it can have consequences for both the razor and your skin! If your razor doesn’t have a chance to properly dry out between uses, bacteria and rust can quickly take over.
To keep your razor clean and sharp, set it on a clean towel to dry after each use. Once it’s dry, store it alongside a silica gel packet, which will absorb nearby moisture and keep the blades dry.
8. Washing Your Face In The Shower
If you regularly wash your face in the shower instead of at the sink, you may be contributing to skin problems. Washing your face in the shower means you’re spending more time in the shower overall, which can lead to dry skin and hyperpigmentation.
And the water temperature can be problematic too, as the water you shower in is likely quite a bit hotter than what you’d use to wash your face at the sink. Switch to washing your face at the sink for a while, and you’re likely to see improvements in your skin!
9. Getting Hair Products On Your Skin
The order of your shower routine is more important than you’d think! For instance, it’s a good idea to wash and condition your hair before washing your body. That way, you can wash away any residue from your shampoo and conditioner that could be sitting on your skin.
If you wash your body first, those hair product residues can cling to your skin, causing dryness, irritation, and other issues.
What’s your best skincare tip?