When it comes to taking a shower, there are two types of women, those that prefer a hop-in-and-out kind of shower, while there are others who take at least 30 minutes even on the busiest of days. But irrespective of which category you fall into, there might be certain shower mistakes you could be making that can wreak havoc on your skin and turn it dry. Using gentle products like shower gel for dry skin, microfiber towels and rinsing well are just some of the many tips and tricks you need to follow to keep your skin soft and clean.
Shower mistakes that cause excessively dry skin: the basics
Apart from severely drying out your skin, these shower mistakes could be the reason why your skincare products like a shower gel for dry skin aren’t giving you the desired results. What’s worse is that it could even make you more susceptible to skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema as well as cause acne on different parts of your body. But before you panic, hear us out. Here are seven more-common-than-you-think shower mistakes that you could be making and how to fix them with ease.
Shower mistakes that cause excessively dry skin
1. Hot water and long showers
Hot water strips away all the natural oils from your skin and can lead to problems such as skin irritation, itchiness, rashes and eczema. However, using cold water is also not very beneficial as it can prevent your pores from opening, which is necessary for proper cleansing.
Take lukewarm and short showers instead
It’s best to use lukewarm or tepid water for the shower. Also, keep your showers short — under 10 minutes preferably — as too much water can further strip your skin of moisture, leaving it dry and damaged.
2. Not using the right bath products
It’s necessary to pick bath products that are free of harmful ingredients as these can damage your skin. Even a shower gel for dry skin can be loaded with harsh chemicals such as sulphate, parabens, fragrances, artificial colour, etc. that can irritate your skin, dry it out and cause damage. So do your skin a favour and make sure to do a label check before choosing a bath product.
Buy safe products
One safe body cleanser that we love is the Love Beauty & Planet Coconut Water & Mimosa Body Wash which is free of all types of harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens, dyes and artificial scents, you name it. Instead, it uses organic coconut water to keep your skin hydrated and clean. To complete the experience, it adds mimosa flowers for a fresh and citrusy smell to your skin.
3. Soaping your whole body
The main function of soap is to dissolve the dirt and oil quickly so that the water can wash it all off. But our arms, thighs and pretty much the rest of the body are usually covered. Additionally, our hands and legs don’t have so many oil glands and therefore, don’t need to be cleaned as often or as vigorously.
Focus on certain areas
In order to avoid excessive dryness and skin damage, on most days, it is advisable to apply soap to areas like the armpits, groin and feet —body parts that get sweaty and dirty or are mostly exposed.
4. Rubbing the skin with a rough towel
Usually, most of us are in a rush to either get ready for work or bed and gently dabbing away the water from our skin is a luxury we reserve for the weekends or when we have more time. However, rubbing your skin with a rough cotton towel increases friction that can actually irritate and damage the delicate post-shower skin. Additionally, this is one of the most common reasons for ingrown hair and rough skin texture on arms and legs.
Go for microfiber towel
So, always dab your body with a soft microfiber towel to prevent your skin from over-drying. You can also pat your body dry with an old cotton tee to keep your skin soft and supple.
5. Not moisturising right after
You’d be surprised to know that it is not just harsh body care products that damage your skin, it is water itself too. When the water evaporates from your skin, it leaves it a little drier. Plus, the minerals found in water cause some damage too. This is why you must use a nourishing moisturiser within three minutes of stepping out of the shower.
Quicken up the moisturising
Make sure your skin is still damp (you can see a couple of droplets too) and slather on a generous amount of lotion like the Dove Body Love Nourished Radiance Body Butter to restore the skin’s lost moisture from the shower. This plant-based moisturiser is also free of harsh chemicals like paraben but uses a Nutri-duo formula that permeates 10 layers deep. This ensures that your skin is soft and moisturised for as long as two whole days, perfect for our dry winters.
6. Scrubbing too hard and not rinsing properly
While you might be thinking that you're doing your skin a favour by thoroughly cleansing it of the day's dirt and impurities, trust us, that is not the case. Aggressive rubbing does nothing but damage your skin and leave it extremely sore. But this also does not mean that you forget to rinse off the soap and water properly – we are talking about the time when you are drying off your skin and realise that you have missed a bit of soap behind your ear or knee. Soap dissolves oils, both on the surface of your skin and from inside the protective deep layers. Simply wiping it away will dissolve the natural oils that are important for protecting your skin. The result: dry, chapped and vulnerable skin.
Good quality shower gel for dry skin and water are all you need to clean your skin, no over-scrubbing is required. And don't be lazy and just wipe off any soapy areas, rinse thoroughly till your body is clean.
7. Your loofah is old
If you have a habit of hanging the loofah in your bathroom after a shower, then the warm, moist environment is the perfect breeding ground for the infestation of yeast, bacteria, and mold.
Dry it out or skip
Instead, take it out of the bathroom and hang it elsewhere to dry. Additionally, limit the use of the loofah and other cleansing tools to twice a week and then replace them every three weeks.
FAQs about shower mistakes that cause excessively dry skin
Q1. Is a 30-minute shower too long?
Experts recommend that your showering time should be between five to 10 minutes. If you stay in too long, you could strip the natural oils of your body.
Q2. Why is it not allowed to shower at night?
While you can shower at night, an extremely hot shower can raise your body temperature. Your body cools down as it prepares to sleep, and a hot body temperature may disturb your sleep cycle.
Q3. What should you wash first in the shower?
You should ideally start from top to bottom that is from your face and neck to your feet. This will let the shower head also thoroughly rinse off all the soap from your body.
Well, no more bad showering habits that dry your skin thanks to these easy tips and tricks. From a moisturising lotion and shower gel for dry skin to switching out loofahs and using microfiber towels, keep your skin clean and soft.