In India bathing has always been accorded the status of a sacred activity. In fact, Ayurveda sees bathing as a therapeutic activity. A leisurely shower relaxes tense muscles, irons out a creased brow, opens clogged pores, restores moisture to the tissues, and adds a healing dimension to our day.
But these days we are not fortunate enough to have this kind of leisurely shower in the mornings (thanks to our super passionate affair with the snooze button!!) and end up rushing in and out of the bathroom like an automated robot and committing few shower mistakes that hurt our skin and damage it in the long run.
Taking a shower is such a common activity that we don’t even bother ourselves to find out if there is any right or wrong way to do it. Whatever we do, however we do, it got to be right…because what can probably go wrong with taking a shower?! Guess what!!
Following are the most common shower mistakes that we are guilty of:-
1. Not Replacing your Used Loofahs Regularly : Loofahs are hygienic in the beginning and help you to get rid of all that dead skin from your body. But it is their post usage maintenance that is a cause of concern. When you are done scrubbing, the dead skin from your body is caught in the loofah and chances are you leave the used and wet loofah in the bathroom until its next use. This is when the bacteria grow on it. So the next time you are using it, you’re actually just spreading that gunk all over yourself again!!
What is to be done : Launder loofah at least once in a week and replace it after 4 weeks of usage. Keep the loofah in a dry place where there is some ventilation and sunlight.
2. Not Brushing your Hair Before a Head Bath : Wet hair is very fragile. It is prone to breakage if combed or vigorously dried with a towel. If you start shampooing without combing or untangling the hair first, then you will land up with lots of knots and tangles. This will damage your hair the most and combing your tangled hair will give you some pain too!! On the other hand, tangle free hair is easier to clean.
What is to be done : Comb your hair before hopping in the shower for a head bath. Use a wide toothed comb and begin from the end of your hair. Do not pull your hair while combing as it will make it weak and give you split ends!
3. Not Following the Right Sequence : Yes! there is a sequence to be followed while taking a shower!! Clean your hairs first, then your body and last is your face. The reason is if you are washing your face first and then shampooing your hair, then the water runoff from product in your hair can clog the open pores of your face and can cause breakouts.
What is to be done : Wash your face at the end of your shower. Face wash range from the brand ‘Forest Essentials’ are one of the best that you can apply as they are delicate on skin and leave a very mild fragrance.
I personally use the Mashobra Honey, Lemon and Rose water facial cleanser and absolutely recommend it for all the dry to normal skin types.
4. Temperature of Water : As per Ayurveda, too hot water on head is not good for the eyes, hair and heart. Hot water shower is tempting in the winters or even when you are tired and stressed. But frequent hot showers and baths can make your skin dry, itchy and give you rashes. Also it makes the hair brittle.
On the other hand lukewarm or cold water showers, even just a few times in a week can keep your skin hydrated and help hair stay strong and shiny. If your skin appears to be red after your bath or shower, you are probably keeping the temperature way to high.
What is to be done : Its simple, try to use cooler water or if required lukewarm water for shower.
5. Time spent in the shower : If you are spending anything beyond 10 minutes under the shower, you are spending too much time! It is sometimes soothing to spend 15-20 minutes under the shower, but researchers claim that anything beyond 10 minutes under the shower is harmful as it strips off moisture from your skin.
What is to be done : Do not stay under the shower or in your bath tub beyond 10 minutes.
6. Not Moisturizing Immediately after Shower : If you wait beyond 3 minutes to moisturize your body after shower you are losing the precious moisture to the air. The rule is, after stepping out from the shower, gently pat excess water from your skin, leaving some droplets behind. Then apply a liberal amount of a moisturizer and massage it. Do not rub the towel vigorously over your body.
What is to be done : You can keep your moisturizer in your bathroom itself and use it immediately as your skin pores are still open and that will help in absorbing the moisturizer well also it will lock in the moisture that your body got while bathing. Use the body lotion as per your skin type and season. The lotion which you used in summers will not be sufficient during winters.
7. Shampooing and Conditioning : Shampoos are meant for the roots of your hairs and conditioner is meant for the ends of it! Concentrate your shampoo at the roots—the amount that naturally trickles down is enough for the ends. The opposite goes for conditioner, which should be reserved for mid shaft and tips as they are the oldest and driest hair on your head. This is where you need conditioner the most. There’s no need to put it on the roots as roots have natural oil and applying conditioner at the roots is like an overkill.
What is to be done : Shampoo your hair roots and condition from mid shaft to the tip of your hairs.
So go ahead and soak yourself, but not beyond 10 minutes!!