Showering is a ritual that most of us enjoyed at least once or twice daily and so taking a proper shower should not be done only out of necessity but something to experience and enjoy. A good post shower feel should leave you feeling clean, healthy and fully pampered. So what does it really mean when we talk about taking a proper shower?
Here are some suggestions that you should and shouldn’t do when taking your shower
(Warning – the following article may contain recommendations that may differ markedly from what your parents and grandparents told you)
Once under the shower keep the temperature of the water slightly above room temperature ie at about 30 – 35C (and please do not carry a thermometer with you for this purpose. It is only a recommended estimation and not an exact science!!!). Using cold water will keep the pores within your skin closed, not allowing adhering grit to be removed readily (improper cleansing). Using too hot water on the other hand damages the skin’s epidermis and reduces its ability to regenerate. The long term consequence is the loss of skin luster and turgidity giving the appearance of aged wrinkle skin.
How many times does a person need to shower daily? Generally twice daily. Anything above that would be an overkill and totally unnecessary. Showering too frequently will remove the protective oil layer (called sebum) that coats our epidermis. A loss of this layer will result in our skin being exposed to adverse environmental factors and infections. Over showering can also exacerbate chronic skin problems like eczema and psoriasis by preventing new skin growth. Generally your first daily shower should be taken about an hour after you wake up in the morning, allowing time for your body to acclimatize to your surroundings after your deep night slumber. Your morning shower should never last for more then 10 minutes with minimal use of body wash and done just to rid the body off sweat and mild household contaminants. The most important daily shower should be in the evening after a long days work and should last 20 – 30 minutes where deep cleansing is recommended. The more contaminated the work environment, the longer your shower should last!
So how long does a person need to stand under the shower before applying their body wash? Seriously, there is no single answer to this. Generally standing under the shower for 5 minutes should get your body wet enough for body wash application. Switch off the your shower before applying your body wash and besides saving your water bill it serves two greater purposes. Firstly, when applying your body wash your intention is to have it stay on your body for a least 5 minutes before washing it off. If your shower is left running, inevitably the body wash will be washed off partially before it fully works. Second, this is mainly psychological. By leaving the shower running while apply your body wash it gives you an urge to wash it off sooner rather then keeping it on your body for a longer duration (still confused, don’t worry, as I had mentioned its psychological!).
Great, now that you have successfully covered your entire body with body wash, what do you do now? Applying the body wash on your entire body does not mean that you have cleansed your body. Cleansing actually starts when you start gently scrubbing your skin using the palms of both hands. Scrubbing is important since it helps exfoliate dead skin and remove grit from plugged pores. This should be done for at least 5 – 10 minutes (depending on body size). Once completed leave the body wash on for another 3 – 5 minutes to help in skin moisturization (only applies for body washes which are SLES / SLS free and have true moisturizing capability). As for how much body wash to use, well this again depends on body size but generally 3 pumps for the upper half of your body (above the pelvic area) and 3 pumps for the pelvic area and below.
How long should you spend removing the applied body wash? Generally the rule of thumb is to make sure all of the body wash is cleared form your skin and so take your time. Advisable to use over head showers that have a low to moderate water pressure. This helps free both hands to clear any residual body wash. Hand held showers are okay but not really recommended. Excessive water pressure had been proven to cause microscopic damage to the epithelial lining of the skin causing loss of skin tightness and early onset of skin wrinkling. The washing off process should last for no longer the 10 minutes. Now its time to turn off that shower and dry yourself.
Seriously! do I really need to teach you this as well? What’s important here is to use a large soft cotton towel. Gently dab your body dry. Avoid wrestling with yourself by exerting too much pressure while using the towel on your damp skin for the following reason. Generally after a gently warm shower, your skin remains in a sensitive state for the next 30 minutes due to increased capillary blood flow within the dermis which helps in skin repair and rejuvenation. By over drying yourself you are preventing this from taking place. Allow some natural drying. It is within this first 30 minutes that body and hand creams need to be applied for it to fully work.
Now that we are fully done, you may leave your shower room and to turn off your shower! (DUHH!)
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