This Dermatologist Has Bad News For Those Of Us Who Love Hot Showers

Whoops - your shower habits could be seriously messing with your skin.
Woman washing her legs with gel in the shower
Antonio Hugo Photo via Getty Images
Woman washing her legs with gel in the shower

Hot showers are just the *best* after a long, stressful day and while we might think that they’d be good for skin, opening the pores and steaming out all the dirt, they can actually have the opposite effect. And if you already have dry, dehydrated skin, you could actually be exacerbating the issue, which could lead to further skin problems.

Why does this happen?

There are a few reasons why your skin can dry out post-shower, including showering too often, using too hot water, having an allergic reaction to soap or other cleaning products, moisturisers or other after-shower products, or maybe even having a reaction to the laundry detergent used to clean your towels.

So, how to keep skin feeling nourished and moisturised? Follow these steps from physician assistant specialising in dermatology, Nick Woltjen.

Keep showers short and use warm, but not too warm, water

Frequent hot showers and baths can lead to dry, itchy skin or even rashes. Cooler or lukewarm showers even just a few times a week can keep skin hydrated and help hair stay strong and shiny. If your skin appears red following your bath or shower, your water is too hot. Cool showers are also said to make your hair shinier, so it’s a win-win!

Bin the fragranced shower gels and soaps and opt for hypoallergenic products

As gorgeous as designer perfume shower gels are, soap is drying to the skin, stripping away the natural oil barrier, and many are filled with chemicals. Instead, try a mild, fragrance-free, non-soap cleanser (you won’t see lots of lather as with soaps) or moisturising shower gel.

Moisturise with skin barrier-protecting creams and lotions

After your shower, pat yourself dry and apply an unscented lotion, cream, or oil to your still-damp skin, which will help lock in moisture. For most people, a light, water-based moisturiser is adequate. Noncomedogenic products won’t clog your pores; while ingredients such as aloe, oatmeal, and chamomile can offer soothing qualities. Also, consider a product that contains ceramides, like Cerave’s Moisturising Lotion, as ceramides help protect and retain the needed moisture for your skin.

So there you have it. Hydrated, glowing skin is just a (lukewarm) shower away.

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