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9 Hygiene Mistakes You’re Making In The Shower (Yes, You Can Loofah Wrong)

Showering seems like something that you can’t really screw up, right? You hang out under the water and get clean. What’s so hard about that? And while it’s true that there’s really no wrong way to shower, there are some mistakes that you may be making in the shower that aren’t great for your hygiene.

Many people have a shower routine, consisting of rituals that they’ve been doing the same way for as long as they can remember. But you may want to reconsider some of these lifelong habits, as they could actually contribute to your beauty or skincare woes.

Maybe you’ve never thought all that much about how you shower, and that’s perfectly OK. More likely than not, your body goes into autopilot one the warm water hits your head. But there’s no time like the present to update your hygiene routine. Use this an opportunity to put the mantra of “know better, do better” into practice and actually see some results. Making a couple of small tweaks to the way you shower can have big payoffs, for both your looks and your health. And that, like taking a shower itself, is totally refreshing.

1. You Don’t Replace Your Loofah Or Puff

Shower puffs are the perfect place for bacteria to grow because they’re damp and dark. In order to ensure that you’re not bathing yourself in your dead skin cells, Good Housekeeping recommends replacing your loofah every three to four weeks.

2. You Wash Your Hair Every Day

For some hair textures, there's a myth that you need to wash your hair every day. Wrong wrong wrong! Washing your hair daily can actually make your hair oilier, as it strips away the natural oils that your scalp produces, forcing it to make more to compensate. Try washing your hair every other day or every third day. Your hair can still look great when it’s unwashed.

3. You Shave Your Legs First

If the first thing you do upon getting in the shower is start shaving your legs, you might want to reconsider. Waiting at least 15 minutes allows the heat from the water to open your hair follicles and gives you a smoother, closer shave.

4. You Use Scalding Hot Water

Even though nothing feels better than a hot shower on a cold day, the hot water can actually be bad for your skin. It washes the natural oils off your skin and can leave it feeling really dry. Warm (or even cool) water is a much better choice.

5. You Share Your Razor

When you share a razor with someone, you also share bacteria. Some diseases, like Hepatitis C, can even be transferred through shared razors. Ensure that you have your own razor that no one else uses.

6. You Brush Your Teeth In The Shower

If you’re multitasking, you may not be able to give your teeth the care and attention they deserve. Instead, brush your teeth in front of the mirror, where you can really see what you’re doing and ensure that you’re cleaning each and every one of your pearly whites.

7. You Wash Your Whole Body With Soap

Much like using water that’s way too hot, soap strips the skin of its natural oils, causing it to dry out. To prevent dryness, lather only where you need it – generally under your arms, under your breasts, and between your legs.

8. You Don’t Take Your Makeup First

Most soaps and cleansers aren’t designed for makeup removal. So if you use a regular cleanser to wash your face in the shower, there’s a good chance that you’ll be left with makeup residue. This increases your chances of waking up with pimples and blemishes, so you’re better off using a makeup remover before jumping in.

9. You Scrub Your Scalp With Your Fingernails

Even though scalp-scratching can feel great, it can actually damage your scalp. Using your nails can lead to cuts or flaking. Instead, use your fingertips to massage your scalp while you wash. After all, you don’t want to leave a shower feeling worse than when you stepped in.

Images: stevendepolo, desiitaly, betsssssy, dearmax, lovelysparks, a_real_horrorshow_devotchka/Flickr; lorenelise3, gabivdm, ispygod, ohmyitsshelbie/Instagram