Washing your face
Washing your face in the shower is quicker and easier than bending over a sink and trying (and failing) to perfect the ‘Neutrogena splash’, but it could be doing damage to your skin.
Instead, you should be washing your face in cold or lukewarm water.
Cold water doesn’t ‘close’ your pores – this is a myth – but it is good for your skin. Beauty expert Amadine Isnard told the Gloss: “A cold finish stimulates circulation and can be hugely beneficial to the overall glow of your skin.”
Being smug about the environment
We’ve been told that having a shower is far better for the environment than having a bath because it uses less hot water.
But this is only the case if your shower is under a certain length of time. Research from Water Wise that suggests showers use less water is based on an average shower time of eight minutes.
Unfortunately for the smug environmentalist, showering for just 11 minutes might already use more water than a bath. If you use a power shower, you risk using much more water than a bath even if you’re only under there for five minutes, and you will use more energy.
The 10 Best Shower products
The 10 Best Shower products
1. La Compagnie de Provence sponge: £14, selfridges.co.uk - A soft natural sponge is a real treat in the shower, and a good alternative for those who dislike man-made fibres or scratchy mitts.
2. Tom Ford soap: £25, 0870 034 2566 - The powdery scent of Neroli Portofino mixes with olive oil, grape seed oil and date seed extract to muster up some of the most opulent lather ever seen.
3. Ren body oil: £34, available nationwide - The next big thing in moisturising, body oils hydrate your skin more intensely than a cream, feel less gloopy and leave you smoother rather than sticky.
4. Aveda strengthening treatment: £17.50, available nationwide - This deep-conditioning treatment can be applied in lieu of conditioner a few times a week for well-behaved and silky hair.
5. Liz Earle exfoliating gloves: £2.65, johnlewis.com - The easiest way to smooth, healthy-looking skin is to apply your body wash with a pair of exfoliating gloves, to prevent clogged pores and dry patches.
6. Cath Kidston shower cap: £10, cathkidston.co.uk - A floral "bath hat" (that's a shower cap to us plebs) may seem a little quaint, but Kidston's are made of sturdy stuff and won't leak.
7. Kiehl's crème de corps: £27 for 250ml, kiehls.co.uk - This unfragranced body emulsion is thick enough to soften even the most elephantine skin, quickly absorbed and not at all greasy.
8. Dr Hauschka cleansing cream: £15, available nationwide - This cleanser is a thick emollient with gentle exfoliating chunks, and leaves a hydrating residue after it is rinsed off.
9. Jo Malone shower gel: £30 for 250ml, Jo Malone, jomalone.co.uk - A showertime classic in lime, basil and mandarin, this citrus scent is sweet but peppery and perfect for men or women.
10. L'Occitane body scrub: £21, uk.loccitane.com - L'Occitane's Ultra Rich Scrub is perfect for sensitive skin. It's fresh and invigorating, and the shea butter formula adds hydration.
People didn’t used to shower every day. So why did we start?
Like a lot of things, we might actually be able to put our daily showering habits down to advertising.
In 1927, the Association of American Soap and Glycerine Producers (the body which represented soapmakers) rebranded itself the ‘Cleanliness Institute’ of America - and promptly started promoting the importance of washign daily.
As Katherine Ashenberg, in ’The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History’, writes: "The trade association wanted Americans to wash quite unwittingly after toilet, to wash without thought before eating, to jump into the tub as automatically as one might awake each new day.
“To modern Westerners, our definition of cleanliness seems inevitable, universal, timeless. It is none of these things, being a complicated cultural creation and a constant work in progress.”
Not showering daily doesn't make you dirty, our entire definition of ‘dirty’ actually comes from soap companies that want us to use their soap in the shower.
A lot of the bacteria that builds up on your skin is good bacteria, and can act as a shield for your skin against the bad stuff. Over-showering, in some instances, can can therefore actually increase your risk of infection, according to dermatologists.
Leave the loofah out of it
Loofahs and the like are so susceptible to bacteria that Dermatologist Dr Rachael Eckels told Stylecaster that we should give them up altogether: “The moist environment of a loofah acts like a fertile petri dish, promoting mould and bacteria growth. Coupling the abrasiveness of the loofah with its unsanitary nature allowed for germs to easily enter the skin.”
This bacteria can cause folliculitis and impetigo.
If you insist on using a loofah or washcloth, make sure you launder them regularly – at least once a week.
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