We’ve talked about our faces we’ve battled and bled (hopefully not, but people with sensitive skin may have) and now we will battle it out over the rest of our bodies. As with the skin care battles, this will also be a multi-post series on caring for our bodies. Please come along for the ride, and let’s begin at the beginning.
As with our faces we need to work from a clean surface. We simply have different products, and more skin to work with. And as with the skin on our face, our bodies too may have areas that are sensitive, oily, dry, or a combination. We may also have other ailments that may impact our skin. Climate, sun exposure, genetics, how much we move and sweat. So, we need to ensure we are caring for our skin, as much as our skin takes care of us.
It doesn’t matter if you choose to shower or sit in the bathtub to wash. The important thing is that you do it. There are many arguments for how often you should or should not shower/bathe. From what I have learned is that if you shower daily, you may be at risk for things such as dry skin, allergies, higher water bills, and higher costs for shower products.
But isn’t that the reason people shower is to prevent dry skin and help with other medical issues? Possibly, since I’m not a doctor, you should always follow your doctor’s recommendations for your health and skin care. These are simply options for you to either research fully or speak to a professional about.
If you choose to shower daily that is a choice, but keep in mind this: Normal skin has a layer of natural oils and a balance of “good” bacteria that help protect you. If you clean too often, especially with strong soaps and lots of scrubbing then you risk stripping away this layer leading to dry skin, cracks in the skin which allow germs and thus triggering infections and allergies.
That’s on one end of the spectrum, the other end is not showering enough. What happens then? The first thing that people with notice, and possibly you as well, is your smell. Some people can get a little ripe especially after a hot day, lots of activity or simply neglecting your own hygiene for too long.
Another issue is that you may have other health or skin problems. The build up of the previously mentioned natural oils could cause acne. Clogging your pores with dirt and skin cells that should have been washed away can make your body break out more. You may also have other problems such as dandruff or even eczema.
What is the right amount of bathing? Experts have stated that a shower/bath every 2-3 days is usually sufficient for most people. If you had a day working in the garden and you are a head-to-toe sweaty muddy mess, then jump in the shower and rinse it off. If you are at home in the winter, and the most you do is day to day chores, then rinsing off the buildup is probably okay to do every couple of days instead of everyday. Again, these are suggestions, and you choose what works for your skin and your body.
Time of day that you shower is not relevant to your overall skin care, it’s your choice if you want to wake up early in the morning to shower or do it after a long day and go to bed clean. My preference is to shower at night. Then I am not bringing daily dirt into my bed, and I can have a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning.
When you are in the shower/bath, what is the best option to use to wash your body? Here are again some tips to use:
- Get the shower to a good warm temperature. Do you need it to be sun scorching hot? You are not doing your skin any favors, but I too enjoy that nice hot shower, so keep it short and then turn the temperature down to a more manageable lukewarm temperature.
- Showers are meant to be short. 15 minutes max is all you need to be under the spray for. If you have to shave, consider doing that on the side of the tub instead.
- Shampoo your head at the beginning of the shower. We have all heard the lather, rinse, repeat. But if you don’t have an excessively oily scalp, you can skip the repeat. Put your conditioner on and then rinse it off at the END of your shower.
- Loofahs are breeding grounds for bacteria. Lose the loofah and use a washcloth or even your hands to wash up with. You will appreciate the fact that you aren’t washing off bad bacteria with more bad bacteria.
- Wash where your body needs it, and don’t focus on the rest as much. How much sweat do we have on our calves or on our forearms? Focus on the areas that need your attention more, groin, buttocks, under the breasts, and underarms. Of course, if you were mud wrestling, then be sure to take care of all your areas, but for a quick shower you don’t have to scrub everything with a toothbrush to feel clean.
- The soap/body wash you choose to use, doesn’t have to smell like the French lavender fields, use a gentler cleanser and don’t overdo it.
Since the time in the shower is for you to have a few minutes alone, don’t be afraid to milk the situation for what it is. Brush your teeth, apply lotion, shave your legs, read an article, dance naked, empower yourself. We will be going into all the details of what you can/could/should do to keep your skin looking clean, glowing, soft, and moisturized in the coming weeks.
So, at this time, I encourage you to see if there are areas of your shower routine that are doing more damage than good. Change them if you can and see if you notice any improvements overall for yourself. I will be sharing with you next week more information on how to battle for your body care.
Be strong, be beautiful, be you