Improve Your Shower Habits

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Is there anything better than a nice shower? Whether it’s the way you kick off your day, unwind after work, or clean up post-workout, a warm shower feels like a little slice of heaven. Unfortunately, we’ve all been doing it completely wrong! There are several bad behaviors many of us engage in (myself included) that can impact our appearance and even our health! Fortunately, it’s easy to improve your shower habits. Here are several shower habits you’ve got to wash away!

Your Water Temperature is ALL wrong!

Most of us turn on the water, get it nice and hot, and hop in. But that is bad news for our skin. Using water that’s too hot can dry out your skin, especially the more delicate skin on your face. Turn down the temperature just a bit so that your shower water is warm, not hot. Even better, for the last 30 seconds of your shower, turn on a cold blast. As uncomfortable as this sounds, it’s good for your skin and may even boost both your immunity and your metabolism!

Everything You Use in the Shower Gets Dirty

Showers are warm, moist environments by virtue of what they are. Unfortunately, that means they’re an all-access party for bacteria. Fight back by changing your towels and washcloths frequently, at minimum once a week. If you use a loofah, wring it out and leave it to dry OUTSIDE of your shower. One more consideration – your razor. If it doesn’t dry properly, that means bacteria will grow on it, or possibly worse, it can rust! Ouch. Like your loofah, remove it from the shower and leave it somewhere else to dry, and change it frequently.

Also, if you’re the type who faces the showerhead and turns on the water, stop doing that immediately. The showerhead can harbor bacteria that then gets sprayed right on your face. Instead, turn the shower on and let it run for a bit before getting in.

Your In-the-Shower and Post-Shower Habits Aren’t Helping

Do you wash your hair EVERY time you get in the shower? You may be stripping your hair of protective oils. Either don’t shampoo it every single time you wash up, or consider not shampooing it at all. Even if (like me) you feel like you MUST use conditioner, be careful not to apply it too close to your roots, which can cause oil. In the meantime, one body part you should take care to clean are your feet. It seems like they’d get clean easily, with all that soap and water around them, but it’s a good idea to actually, gently, scrub them. 

Consider the length of your shower, too. If you’re showering longer than 10 or 15 minutes, not only are you harming the environment, but you’re also drying out your body too much. No matter how long your shower is, make sure you don’t delay moisturizing. Putting on lotion as soon as you’ve toweled off will help keep your skin soft. Speaking of your towel, be sure that you aren’t rubbing your skin too hard when you dry off, as that can exacerbate skin dryness. Be careful with your hair too, as rubbing too hard with a towel can cause breakage. Try wrapping your hair in a soft t-shirt (something I’ve done for years).

All Clean!

All of these suggestions are simple enough changes to make. Several of them are things I need to implement myself. I feel good knowing that I’m not alone though. It’s comforting to me that our bad shower habits don’t mean we’re all washed up! 

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