The Jakarta Post
If soap and hair products are not completely rinsed off your skin can be irritated, and clogged pores can cause acne. (Shutterstock/stockfour)
Is showering making you clean and healthy? Dermatologists share eight common mistakes to avoid when taking a shower as compiled by Reader´s Digest.
1. Scrubbing your scalp with your fingernails
What might feel refreshing is causing more harm than good because scrubbing your scalp with your fingernails can cause flaking.
Sandy Johnson, MD, of Johnson Dermatology in Fort Smith, Arkansas, recommends using your fingertips instead. Working up a lather is gentler and does not scratch your scalp. Also, do not rub strands of hair between your hands as hair damage and split ends could be the consequence.
2. Using soap without moisturizer
According to Mona Gohara, MD, of Advanced Dermcare in Danbury, Connecticut, many antibacterial deodorant soaps can dry out your skin.
Instead of using bar soap without any moisturizer get one with stearic acid in the ingredient list or “moisturizing” advertised below the name.
3. Taking a too-hot shower too long
Of course, you do not have to take an ice-cold shower, but taking a scalding hot one is not good for your skin either.
Gohara knows that people, especially in winter, tend to take long hot showers. “This strips your skin of natural oils and lipids that help trap water to keep it moist,” she says.
4. Not conditioning your scalp
Since conditioner hydrates your scalp, Johnson recommends conditioning the entire length of your hair, from root to tip. Therefore, if you want to prevent itchiness and flaking do not spread conditioner throughout your hair.
5. Scrubbing your body during washing
Gohara warns about being too aggressive with loofahs and washcloths. When being used too roughly they can remove the skin´s natural protective barrier. A cotton baby washcloth can be used instead to gently glide it over your skin with minimal rubbing.
According to Johnson using your own hands when taking a shower is enough. If you still want to use a loofah or cloth do not forget to switch it out for a clean one regularly otherwise bacteria might build up.
6. Using a razor with too many blades
When buying a razor, we tend to get a four- or five-blade one for the perfect shave, which is actually damages our skin.
“You actually cut into your skin when you shave, so the more blades you use, the worse off you are,” explains Gohara.
A simple one- or two-blade one would be ideal, but also technique matters: Always move the razor down and away from you, not up. Otherwise you go against the grain which inflames the hair follicle, causes razor bumps and makes you likelier to cut yourself. Also, do not forget to use silky soap or shaving cream for a smooth and safe shave.
7. Not rinsing well enough
If soap and hair products are not completely rinsed off your skin can be irritated, and clogged pores can cause acne.
To avoid “bacne” (pimples on your back) Johnson recommends holding your head tilted to the side when rinsing your hair. This way, shampoo and conditioner can run right into the drain and not down your back.
8. Waiting too long to apply lotion
Moisturizing after taking a shower is a must. The best time to apply some lotion is as soon as you pat yourself dry and the skin is still damp. Thanks to the humidity and ambient heat from the shower you can apply moisturizer within minutes.
“Lotion soaks into skin best when it´s a little damp,” says Gohara. (sop/kes)