Posted on Dec 28, 2023, 9 p.m.
In this article, dermatologist Dr. Alia Ahmed reveals how most people’s showering habits aren’t scrubbing up to par, from using too much product to missing body parts, this skin expert says most people have developed the wrong kind of showering techniques and she recommends some skin-friendly habits.
Her concern and advice follow the results from research conducted by OnePoll of 2,000 adults that found 56% of the participants preferred either hot or boiling showers, with 70% taking even hotter showers in the colder months. Dr. Ahmed suggests that while it can be tempting to turn up the temperature of the water when it’s cold, but this should be resisted as it can be irritating and exacerbate already dry and itchy skin.
Recently Dr. Ahmed partnered with Dove for the launch of their new collection of body washes, and she explains that “Using hot water causes dilation of blood vessels, as the skin wants to cool down, which promotes inflammation and itch.”
“Shorter showers are better, as the skin pays for the indulgence of a longer shower, especially in hard water areas - I recommend five minutes where possible. Repeated exposure to hard water can cause build up on the skin, which can lead to dryness and irritation through skin barrier dysfunction.”
The findings also revealed that adults are spending nearly twice as long in the shower than they should be, averaging 10 minutes, and 41% admitted that they would stay in the shower for longer if they could. One in ten washes twice using body wash, with 85% of those preferring the extra clean feeling when they get out of the shower. To ensure that they get that squeaky clean feeling 52% make sure to lather well, and 35% use a sponge or washcloth to get those hard-to-reach areas.
“There is no definite need to double-cleanse after a shower. The squeaky-clean feeling, although desired by many because it feels more ‘hygienic’, is not necessary for your skin to be clean and actually could be a sign the products you’re using are actually drying your skin. Lather doesn’t mean cleaner skin and hands are more effective than flannels, as they can pick up a lot of germs if not washed regularly,” explains Dr. Ahmed.
56% of the participants reported that they experience dry skin after showering, and surprisingly, 35% of those are unlikely to moisturize their dry skin. If you fit into this category Dr. Ahmed suggests tailoring your product choices to your skin and hair type, investing in a moisturizing body wash that should give your skin a boost, and adding a quick cool blast of water at the end of your shower will help to smooth hair cuticles. Try to use warm water rather than hot, and avoid using products that contain irritating ingredients like alcohol.
Dr. Ahmed’s Top 10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Shower Habits:
- Use your hands to wash instead of a flannel
- Always wash extremities like ears, toes, and legs
- Aim to shower once a day
- Make sure you wash your products off properly
- Don’t turn up the heat too much
- …but similarly, don’t force yourself to have a freezing shower
- No need to double cleanse if you’re using a suitably moisturizing body wash
- Use a 50p (27.5 mm) size dollop of product
- Wash your face at the sink after your shower with lukewarm water as it’s easier on the skin
- Pick products that nourish the skin, rather than strip it
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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