The real reasons why washing your face in the shower is a bad idea
It turns out there is stunning news that has changed what people do in their showers all around the world. If you haven’t yet heard, this may really make your jaw drop. You should not be washing your face in the shower!
I know, it’s hard to believe that this is something we’ve been doing wrong since both showers and soap were invented. But it turns out it’s true. According to dermatologists, we should only be washing our faces in the sink. Not in the shower, or even in the bathtub.
It turns out that most people enjoy showering and bathing in hot, steamy water; much hotter water than we’d naturally use if washing in the sink. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology tells us we should be washing the sensitive skin of our faces in lukewarm water. A hot shower definitely feels good, but hot water is harsh and drying on the skin, and that can have a negative effect on the thin, sensitive skin on the face, even more than the rest of the body. Hot, steamy showers can dilate the tiny blood vessels in our skin and damage fragile tissue.
Hot water also strips the oils from our skin. This effect is worsened when we use soap and face wash. Stripping all the oils from your skin is not something you want, even if you have oily skin. Removing too much oil from the skin actually causes the skin to fight back by producing copious amounts of oil in self-defense. In fact, the best face wash for oily skin is formulated to be used with lukewarm water.
Washing your face in the sink means you will be splashing the water gently onto your skin to wash and rinse. In the shower, you probably rinse soap or face wash off your face by tilting your face into the shower spray. The pressure of the high speed water droplets is too much for delicate facial skin. Skin can be damaged by the stinging water droplets, and the fact that it applies downward pressure on your skin means it is dragging your facial skin downward, which is the opposite of what we want. In fact, dermatologists always recommend washing and applying moisturizer by gently massaging in upward motions to help fight a day’s worth of downward-dragging gravity. Skin experts recommend keeping your face out of the shower spray as much as possible.
Product Migration Situation
Another thing to consider about the shower is the fact that the products you use on your hair such as shampoo and conditioner, run down over your face. Shampoo—meant to strip oils from hair—will also strip oils from your face. Products meant for hair can have negative effects on the pH balance of the face. While clearly we can’t stop taking showers, skincare experts suggest that we rinse products out of our hair by keeping our backs turned to the shower spray and tipping our heads back to rinse, keeping the bulk of hair products away from the face.
Unless you have a much larger shower than I do—and lots of built-in shelves—you probably don’t keep all of the skincare products you use on your face in the shower. This may lead to skipping important steps, such as moisturizing immediately after washing your face, and exfoliating weekly.
Many people save time by washing their faces in the shower, and according to a recent survey, some admit to using the soap or body wash they keep in the shower on their faces in order to save time. According to skin care experts, the sensitive skin on our faces should only be washed with face wash specific to our skin type. If you have dry skin, you should be using a cleanser formulated with hydrating moisturizers. If you have acne, it’s a good idea to use the best face wash for acne-prone skin you can find, and cleanse with warm water only.
If you don’t want to give up your face-washing in the shower habit, experts recommend that you turn the water down to lukewarm while washing and rinsing your face, and keeping your face out of the running water as much as possible.