Whether you know it or not, some of your doctors likely have some serious opinions about the things that you do everyday. From before and after sex habits to eating habits, activity, the products you use, social interaction, mental health, and more, doctors think some of what you're doing is great and some of what you're doing should really be given a bit more thought (and maybe be changed). There are some surprising things your OB/GYN wishes you'd stop doing after you get out of the shower, for example, that you might not have ever given a ton of thought to while going through your routine in the past.
There are a lot of different things that you can do before, during, and after your shower that can have a big impact on your health, the appearance of your skin and hair, and more. If you've ever heard that you shouldn't wash your hair as frequently or should incorporate a short blast of cold water to your shower routine, you already know that the choices you make before, during, and after your shower matter. But some of the things that your OB/GYN may want you to stop doing might not be the most obvious to you and knowing what they are may lead you to reconsider some of what you've always done.
1. Staying In The Shower Too Long In The First Place
"It is advisable not to take excessively long showers, as this can lead to dry skin; five to 10 minutes would be the recommended length of duration," Dr. Laurence Orbuch, MD, FACOG, a New York City-based OB/GYN, tells Romper by email. Keeping your shower shorter is better for your skin and can also leave you with plenty of time for the rest of your morning or evening routine. Win-win.
2. Getting Dressed Before You're Completely Dry
It's really important that you make sure that you dry yourself off completely before you get dressed. It can be easy to underestimate how much this really matters, but putting on underwear before you're completely dry can potentially leave you at risk for an infection. Dr. Jason James, MD, a Miami-based OB/GYN, told Glamour that moisture can potentially encourage yeast infections, which you definitely don't want. Taking the time to make sure everything's dry before getting dressed can be worth it, particularly if you know that you're prone to frequent yeast infections.
3. Drying Off Before Applying Moisturizer
If you wait a long time after getting out of the shower before applying moisturizer, you might not be doing yourself as much of a favor as you thought. Moisturizing sooner is a better idea. "One should apply moisturizer on their skin while they are still damp from the shower, not totally towel dry, as this facilitates better absorption of the moisturizer into the skin," Orbuch says. Let some of the water drip off so there's not too much on your skin and then reach for that moisturizer container.
4. Just Using Whatever Towel You Can Find
Softer towels are undoubtedly more comfortable and luxurious than something that's rougher, but Orbuch says they're also better for you to use. "Use a soft, fluffy towel to dry off after a shower, as they are less abrasive and cause less damage to your skin," he notes. That rough old towel might actually be hurting you and, if it's not very absorbent, it's not even really helping.
5. Using A Feminine Hygiene Spray
If you're using a feminine hygiene spray after showering, that's something that OB/GYNs want you to stop doing. Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD, an OB/GYN and the author of V is for Vagina, told Shape that things like sprays, wipes, and cleansers can change your vaginal pH, which isn't what you want. Those kinds of products aren't necessary to make sure that you're all fresh and clean down there.
6. Sweating Without Showering Again
If you shower and then get sweaty again, you're going to at least need a change of clothes. Of course, you might feel a little bit gross or like you smell, but it's less about those things and more about your actual health. OB/GYN Dr. Pari Ghodsi, MD told Glamour in an interview for a different article that hanging around in your tight-fitting sweaty clothes can mean serious irritation, which isn't what you want.
A lot of what you already do after showering is probably generally OK, but knowing, say, that you can't cut corners when it comes to drying yourself off before getting dressed, can help you prevent any unnecessary irritation or infections and make sure what you're already doing right is really being done in a way that allows you to reap all the benefits.