Having an extensive skincare regime at the end of a long day can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore. The good news is though, that the shower can be the perfect place to begin your skin care routine. Whilst we might not all feel like slaving away at the bathroom sink with countless products when the evening rolls around, we do feel like a nice warm shower. We’ve investigated the best way to achieve perfect skin from the shower, so you can take the opportunity to enjoy the self-care process while you unwind, and get smooth, soft and glowing skin.
Something that is nearly always overlooked when looking at our skincare is our shower, but more specifically, the temperature of the water. A lot of us have the tendency to turn the temperature right up and have a scorching hot shower, it’s kind of therapeutic, right? But unfortunately, the same isn’t true for our skin…
If you ask any dermatologist where to start when it comes to soft and healthy skin, they’ll always reference shower temperature. New York City dermatologist Dr. Sejal Singhh (MD), says that the ideal shower temperature for our skin should be lukewarm, so not too much warmer than your body temperature; about 38 degrees Celsius. This is because contact with scalding hot water, can inflame our skin, leading to redness, itchiness, and irritation. The reason being, that hot water can disrupt our skin barrier, by stripping our skin of the healthy fats and natural oils, leaving it dry. Despite any preconceived ideas many of us have about oil when it comes to our skin, natural oils are a vital part of our skin barrier as they help preserve our skin, keeping it thick and smooth. Removing these oils with hot water will keep our skin dry and more susceptible to wrinkling. Having a healthy skin barrier is vital, as it helps to lock in moisture, and keep out environmental toxins and pathogens that can be harmful to both our skin, and our bodies.
It Starts in the Shower
There is a myriad of benefits to kicking off your skincare routine in the shower, the most obvious one being convenience. Enjoying a shower at the end of the day is much more appealing that standing hunched over the basin, rushing through our cleansing and such so we can just get into bed ASAP. The convenience of doing all our cleansing in the shower means that we are more likely to take the time to properly remove everything the day has thrown as us. Removing makeup and sunscreen before bed is vital to prevent clogged pores (a microfiber cloth is your best friend here), and the shower is the best place to do this. Additionally, environmental pollutants that our skin encounters throughout the day also need to be cleansed away, as they are associated with premature ageing, acne, and inflammation, due to their ability to weaken the skin barrier. If you’re planning on washing your hair in the shower, it is a good idea to take care of shampooing and conditioning first, and then tend to your skin to ensure that there isn’t a buildup of hair products on our skin that could lead to breakouts.
It is recommended that you use a soap-free wash or gentle cleanser to remove everything to avoid irritation. Using a gentle product such as these, cleanses your skin with the same efficacy as regular soap but have the bonus of not stripping your skin of its essential oils and barrier lipids.
After a shower is the ideal time to hit the moisturizer for both your face and body. Patting your skin with your towel so it is somewhat dry but still damp it the best time to apply a moisturizing lotion, as this is when your skin will be able to seal in the most moisture. Definitely don’t skip this step… if we don’t moisturize directly after a shower, it will actually decrease the water content in our skin, so moisturizing damp skin is key. This is because the moisturizer provides an artificial barrier that will prevent water loss whilst not stripping the moisture that our skin obtains from water.
The shower is the perfect time to enjoy your skincare routine and do it thoroughly. Now you’ll understand why the ideal skincare routine always starts in the shower!