There’s nothing like a hot shower to help us get up and at ’em in the mornings. (Well, coffee may have the edge in this department, but a shower is also nice!)
But most people make some big mistakes while getting clean — and are damaging their bodies as a result.
Here are some ways your daily shower is doing more harm than good. (Hint: It shouldn’t be done daily.)
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Too hot to handle
Very hot water strips the skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and itchy. It also damages hair follicles and hurts the scalp. Showering in warm or lukewarm water can help you avoid these problems.
Rub, rub, rub…
Lather, rinse, repeat — or don’t. Washing too harshly can rid the skin of its bacterial balance.
“People are too aggressive with loofahs and washcloths,” dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara told Reader’s Digest. “Loofahs are terrible for scrubbing because they’re rough and can remove the skin’s natural protective barrier.” Instead, she recommends using a cotton baby washcloth.
And while we’re on the subject…
Bacteria loves to gather on loofahs and poofs. This can lead to infections on the skin.
If you can’t bear to part with your poof, stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds to kill the germs. And be sure to change your loofah regularly.
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It rubs the lotion on its skin
While you shouldn’t apply makeup immediately after showering, the same cannot be said for body lotion.
“Lotion soaks into skin best when it’s a little damp,” Dr. Gohara said. “Make use of the ambient heat from the shower and humidity in the bathroom and put on moisturizer within minutes.”
As disgusting as it sounds, you really shouldn’t shower every day. This is another way you’re stripping your skin and hair of necessary oils.
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As long as your hands, face and nether regions are always clean, you’re good to go.