8 Ways Your Shower is Ruining Your Skin

These shower mistakes are hurting your skin, but Dr. Debra Jaliman has the solutions.

And how to fix it.

8 Ways Your Shower is Ruining Your Skin

By Nikki Erlick, Redbook

Nothing feels better than a long, hot shower at the end of a tough day, but your luxurious soak may be doing more harm than good. In fact, it turns out our showers aren't quite as simple as wash, rinse, repeat. So we asked Debra Jaliman, M.D., a dermatologist in New York and the author of Skin Rules, to give us the lowdown on what harmful habits we're making so our skin no longer suffers.

Mistake 1

Your water is hot, hot, hot.

A steamy shower may feel like your own relaxing sauna, but Dr. Jaliman warns that hot water can have a serious drying effect by removing too much oil from your skin. She advises showering in the "lukewarm to warm" temperature range instead, as recent research found that 101-105 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for skin health. Interestingly, the research also showed that most people were able to accurately guess the proper temperature range just by touch, but if you want to be certain you can always invest in a shower head with digital temperature display, like Delta's Temp2O Showerhead.

Pro tip from Dr. Jaliman: If your skin is already as dry as a desert, you should consider setting up a humidifier in your room to keep your skin sufficiently moisturized.

Mistake 2

You're spending too much time in there.

We all love singing in the shower, but you may want to hold off on multiple bathroom encores. Especially when using warmer water, Dr. Jaliman recommends keeping your shower as short as possible—five minutes, if you can—since all that water is taking the moisture out of your skin. And don't think you have to shower every day: A recent study found that daily showers can cause dryness and irritation, and it may wash away the good bacteria that's naturally healthy for your skin.

Mistake 3

Your soap isn't doing you any favors.

Sure, it smells wonderful, but that aromatic pink body wash probably isn't your best bet. "Try to avoid antibacterial soaps or fragrance soaps, as these can be very drying," Dr. Jaliman says. The ingredients to look for? Ceramides, glycerin or hyaluronic acid, as they're more hydrating.

Mistake 4

You're not cleaning or replacing your washcloth with enough frequency.

You should be using a freshly laundered washcloth each time you shower (you can toss yours in the dishwasher if it's not laundry day), and be sure to replace it every four weeks to avoid any bacteria buildup. Oh, and try not to leave your washcloth in a humid bathroom, since you want it to dry out completely between uses.

Mistake 5

You're still using a loofah.

It's time to quit. Bacteria are most likely lurking in it, and Dr. Jaliman says the synthetic mesh of a bath pouf is a more hygienic option.

Mistake 6

You shave your legs first.

There are so many ways that shaving can go wrong. Don't let this be one of them."It's better to shave your legs at the end of a shower when the hair is hydrated, because then it is easier to shave without irritation," Dr. Jaliman notes.

Mistake 7

You're not exfoliating correctly.

Some exfoliating solutions are too harsh for everyday use, but if you feel your skin needs it, Dr. Jaliman says you can use a gentle sonic cleansing system on the reg.

Mistake 8: You're leaving your makeup on. We're probably all guilty of jumping in the shower before removing the day's makeup. Two birds, one stone, right? But Dr. Jaliman suggests that you step into the shower makeup-free so your cosmetics—non-waterproof mascara, especially—don't run into your eyes and irritate them.


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Women's Magazine: 8 Ways Your Shower is Ruining Your Skin
8 Ways Your Shower is Ruining Your Skin
These shower mistakes are hurting your skin, but Dr. Debra Jaliman has the solutions.
Women's Magazine
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