Most of us see habits like applying moisturiser as part of our skincare regime, but showering as more of a cleanliness routine. The truth is, while taking regular showers is an important part of personal hygiene, the right way to do it can help our skin and hair look better too. Go through this important check-list to see if you’re showering right.
What can go wrong during shower time for our skin and hair?
While the water that we use during a shower helps to take away dirt and grime on our skin and hair, it also touches them while our pores and follicles are open (because of heat), causing our skin and scalp to absorb any harmful material present in the water.
1. Traces of chlorine in the water can harm your skin and hair
The problem with water that comes through our taps is that it carries chlorine, which is added to tap water to kill bacteria in them. Have you ever gone into a chlorinated pool, only to come out with your scalp, hair and skin feeling dry and irritated? Indeed, chlorine has a negative impact on our hair and skin.
The amount of chlorine that you’re exposed to in your shower water, while less in quantity, will similarly stick to your hair and skin. These traces of chlorine dehydrate your hair and skin, and can kill good bacteria that naturally reside on your body. While you may not feel the immediate effect of it as you would after a swim in the pool, regular exposure to it can have as much, if not more, harm to your skin and hair. Just think about how often you shower!
Extended exposure to chlorinated water can cause skin to feel dry or irritated, and can also cause the appearance of signs of ageing. The same chlorinated water also strips natural oils on your scalp, and can cause issues like dandruff, dry scalp, and even hair loss.
And on the health front, chlorine vaporises and gets inhaled all while you’re taking a shower – and if you’ve paid attention in chemistry classes, you’ll know chlorine gas is toxic.
What you can do: Install a shower filter that takes away chlorine from water. You can install a Pure Blue Beauté shower filter (SGD92), which harnesses technology with high-quality durable filter ingredients to remove 99.9% of chlorine from water, and even heavy metals.
This means that the undesirable effects of shower water on your skin and hair are reduced, so dry and sensitive skin and hair can be improved! At the same time, shower water that has gone through Pure Blue’s filters are said to smell better and feel softer. Filtered water also tends to lather better.
2. Hot water dries out your skin and hair
Nothing feels more relaxing than taking a hot shower after a long day at work. Hot water isn’t just important in dissolving unwanted salts and melting sebum from the skin, it also helps improve blood circulation. However, extremely hot and steamy showers also strip off the natural layer of oils that protect your skin and keep moisture from escaping. This is why after a hot shower, you may notice your skin looks redder and even feels itchy – in worse cases, you may see dry and scaly patches of skin.
What you can do: Resist the temptation to shower in extremely hot water. Adjust the water to approximately body temperature for a comfortable but gentle shower. Observe how your skin reacts to the water temperature; if your skin itches or looks red after showering, you know that the temperature is probably too high for you. Alternatively, you can invest in a temperature display for your shower head to keep a closer eye.
3. Long showers strip your skin of moisture
Do you often sing in the shower, take your time to simply stand under the water, or take baths? You may want to stop doing these. Even if you’re using water of optimal temperature, studies have shown that long showers are still generally bad for skin, because it strips your skin of moisture. Long showers may also wash away good bacteria that are naturally present, and that are good for skin.
What you can do: Keep your shower to what is necessary – approximately 10 minutes is just right. If the idea of putting a timer in the shower kills the joy of shower time, consider showering to a playlist of songs that lasts for about 10 minutes to remind yourself not to take too long in the bathroom.