April 04, 2024

The Power Shower: How To Ramp Up Your Shower Routine

shower routine
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We do it everyday—but showering is often an afterthought in one’s beauty routine. Jump in, jump out. Get it done as quickly as possible. That’s generally the consensus when it comes to our shower routines. But what if we told you that there’s an art to showering for maximum comfort, relaxation and skin-loving benefits?

Like brushing your teeth, it’s normal that the mundane activities we do every single day become like muscle memory. We don’t think, we just do. But it pays to put a little more thought into our shower routines. Beyond the fact that the skin is the largest organ in the body (and as such we should be considerate of the products we’re slathering all over it), we should also be more conscious of water temperature and the time spent in the shower to ensure we are taking care of our skin in the best way possible.

Sure, personal preference has a large share in the perfect-shower-equation but there are also some rules of thumb to keep in mind when stepping under the water. Here, we speak to dermatologist Dr Ramya Garlapati about how to optimise your shower experience for healthy skin.

Temperature Check

We hate to break it to you but your scorching hot shower is wreaking havoc on your skin. “The ideal temperature for the skin is lukewarm water which is roughly between 36-41℃,” says Dr Garlapati. “I would say the lower end of that range is most optimal but it also comes down to what is enjoyable for each individual.”

The reason why lower temperatures are better for showering is because of the all important skin barrier.

The first line of defence against external aggressors, the skin barrier is made up of proteins and oils that prevent water from evaporating out of the skin. Searing hot water irritates this balance and can lead to inflammation and a disruption of optimal barrier function. This is often why people who have super hot showers experience dry skin and flare ups in skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Sure, a super hot shower is one of life’s little pleasures but perhaps save this for a day you really need it and keep it to lukewarm temperatures on the regular.

Time Crunch

It’s been drilled into us (basically since birth) that a daily shower is necessary for optimal personal hygiene (and to ensure you don’t stink up the bus on the way into the office). However, from a skin health perspective, limiting how often you shower could be the key to supple limbs. “It’s recommended to limit how often you shower and base it on your activity level,” says Dr Garlapati. “However, if you’re going to shower daily or more often, it’s important to limit the temperature of your shower and spend no more than five to ten minutes in there.”

Not only does limiting the length of your shower mean you won’t be disrupting your skin barrier but it is also much better for the environment. Win, win!

Product Power

Half the fun of jumping in the shower is the luxurious beauty goodies you get to play with! Don’t worry, we aren’t going to tell you to do away with your favourite foaming body wash or your deeply purifying scalp scrub. What we will tell you, though, is to keep your products as minimal and streamlined as possible. Not only does this reduce waste but it also means your skin will keep calm when not being bombarded with 47 different formulas.

“For a daily shower routine, all you really need is a moisturising body cleanser that works to add moisture back into the skin while it cleans,” says Dr Garlapati. “For those with sensitive or dry skin, traditional soaps can sometimes strip the skin of its natural oils so it may be best to avoid them. I always recommend also avoiding products that contain fragrances as these can irritate the skin.”

In short, there is no need for super fancy body care products (especially when they just get washed down the drain). So, we recommend opting for something that has minimal ingredients and will keep the skin barrier healthy like the QV Gentle Wash or the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil.

In terms of exfoliants, it’s just about finding a formula (or tool) that works best for your skin and routine. We love the My Glow 2 Glove for a gentle yet effective exfoliation but also can’t go past the Nécessaire The Body Exfoliator for a truly sensorial shower experience. Just make sure to always patch test a new shower product before fully introducing it.


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