We love a restorative shower for its day-starting, head-clearing, muscle-relaxing power. But that long, hot shower that starts your day might not be doing your skin any favors.
Too much hot water can actually be bad for our bodies, according to experts in hair and skin care. We asked several dermatologists to weigh in on the definitive way to take a shower.
1. Don’t Shower Too Often
How often you should shower depends on your activity level — our experts say there’s no hard-and-fast rule. But if you’re not active, you can cut back to a few times a week. Just don’t cut back so much that you smell, or risk letting skin infections take hold.
If you’re working out and taking a shower in the morning and another after the gym, you should be conscious not to take too long. “On occasion, there may be a reason to shower twice a day,” says Dr. Jessica Krant, a board-certified dermatologist with the American Academy of Dermatology, “but those should be extremely short showers.”
Which leads us to…
2. Keep It Short
Water exposure can lead to dry skin and hair. A longer shower also “gives the water a chance to allow any cleansers to be more damaging,” Krant adds.
Krant and Dr. Lauren Ploch, a board-certified dermatologist with the American Academy of Dermatology, both say the shorter the shower, the better.
“For patients with atopic dermatitis and/or very dry skin, I recommend keeping showers to five minutes or less,” Ploch says. “Keep showers active. Don’t stand under water for minutes at a time.”