Could Showering actual be harming your skin?
Personally I love showering! It’s an opportunity for solitude and warm steamy goodness. And I love the feeling of being squeaky clean.
But could showering be damaging our skin?
Well, there has actually been quite a bit of research on how our skin reacts to showering. Showering is important for personal hygiene but over-showering, especially in hot water, can harm the skin.
If we work in strenuous physical jobs, live in hot, humid areas, or exercise, we need to shower daily. But it’s not just about the body odour. Perspiration left on our skin provides the breeding ground for bacteria to grow. Excess oil can clog the pores, leading to facial and body acne, or acne-like red bumps and pustules.
However, regular bathing in hot water can dry the skin, which can open gaps for infection-causing germs to slip through. Frequent bathing while our skin is already dry may increase the odds of developing a weaker immune system because it strips the skin of natural oils while disrupting the skin’s immune system-supporting bacteria.
On the outermost layer of your skin, (the epidermis), there is a protective layer called the stratum corneum which provides a wall of protection against bacteria, allergens and chemicals. This layer is made up of dead skin cells which are constantly flaking and washing off, but they act as a shield for the new, healthy skin cells underneath.
Impact on Your Skin When You Shower
Super hot showers, harsh chemically laden soaps & body washes or over vigorous scrubbing can strip important nutrients off the outermost skin layer including your skin’s natural oils, or lipids. When doing this frequently, your skin doesn’t have as much time to produce oil to repair itself. As a result skin could become dry and irritated. As mentioned, when skin is too dry, it can crack making it easier for bacteria and infections to get in.
Exfoliation such as with natural body scrubs or mitts are very beneficial for sloughing off dead skin cells, cleansing pores and revealing healthy, glowing skin. The key is to be careful with the way and frequency with which we’re doing it so we don’t strip away natural oils and possibly damage our skin.
Skin Saving Showering Tips
Take cooler showers -do not taking scalding hot showers. Hot water can sap moisture from your skin. Try reducing the heat bit by bit to a warm or cool (rather than hot) temperature. Plus, a cool shower during hot summer months is refreshing.
Frequency of Showers- consider reducing how often you shower.
Take shorter showers – reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower. The longer you’re in hot water, the more it can dry out your skin. Shorter showers are also great for the environment as you are saving water.
Use gentle, natural, cleansing bars, moisturising body washes and cleansers -these are gentler and hydrating so will restore your skin’s moisture.
Don’t rub dry – drying off by roughly rubbing skin can damage its delicate surface. Ideally, you should allow skin to air dry or gently pat or blot skin dry with a soft towel.
Moisturise– rehydrate your skin by following your shower with a great natural moisturizer (face & body) such as a natural body lotion or body butter. This is an especially important step after hot showers and during winter and summer months when our skin tends to be especially dry and weather beaten.
The community would love to hear your skin saving tips, please share any additional ones you have in the comments below xx
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