I consider myself a pretty good skin care practitioner. If skincare were a college course, I would be a solid B student. I exfoliate a few times weekly, use gentle soaps, and don’t go to bed with a full face of makeup. But it turns out I keep committing one mistake that’s kind of ruining my skin, and all of that other dermatological work. Boo!

And the mistake has nothing to do with bad hygiene; if anything, it’s caused by an overabundance of cleanliness: the long, hot shower. Why are the nicest things so often so bad for us? Like chocolate or whiskey, hot showers are an indulgence best enjoyed in moderation.

Now, long showers are an old vice of mine. For whatever reason, I turn on that hot water tap and turn off my mind, much to the annoyance of any person who’s had the misfortune of sharing a bathroom with me. But this is bad. It’s not only a crappy thing to do to the environment, but also a terrible habit that’s screwing up my skin. Fortunately, I discovered a few tricks to get clean quickly so your skin can rest easy. Who else wants to take the quick, cool shower challenge?

Why Are Hot Showers Bad For Skin?

According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, hot showers can irritate the skin and cause it to become dry and itchy. Furthermore, these super-hot showers can disrupt your skin’s natural moisture, destroying all of the oils that keep your skin soft. The Baylor College of Medicine adds that the very dry skin that results from over-showering may, in time get inflamed, or even cause eczema.

Yikes! So how can a former hot shower junkie adapt to gentler cleaning methods?

Colder, Faster, Better Shower

Today recommends taking a lukewarm shower and moisturizing liberally as soon as you hop out to ward off dry skin. And if you really want to speed things up, try a super-efficient Navy shower, as outlined in The Huffington Post. You can even skip the daily shower, unless you worked up a seirous sweat at the gym. By following these tips, your well-moisturized skin will look and feel great.

Images: rocketclips/Fotolia; Keith Williamson, chiaralily/Flickr