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(Am I Doing This Right?!) 8 Mistakes You’re Making in the Shower

shower mistakes include not brushing your hair beforehand, girl with brown hair in a bathrobe

Hi guys!

Thanks for bearing with me with the lack of posting yesterday. (I’m really trying to REALLY focus on my TJ’s hacks e-Book, so I may be posting less until that’s up! ?) BUT IT’S SO CLOSE!! 

In other news–I’m so excited to share two bits of news: 

First, I’m excited to launch a new series that I think you are going to LOVE! 

Second, I actually can’t take credit for it, it was the idea of my FABULOUS new team member, Kendall, who recently came on board to help me with writing, editing, and finally making sense of my editorial calendar. Together we are really going to take the content here on GG to the next level and I could not be more thrilled to have her. YAY KENDALL! (I should have a “Meet Kendall” blog post soon!) Everyone welcome miss Kendall! ??

So, the new series–it’s called, wait for it…

“Am I Doing This Right?!” 

Have you ever had an instance where you realize you never learned something that is generally widely-accepted? You know, like, it’s almost like you were sick the day that was taught in school and it never came up again? When a topic comes up with your friends and you’re like “WAIT–WHAT?!?”

You knowww, things like how to be a bridesmaid, what to do when your friend has a baby, how to know what order to apply your beauty products, how to be an adult with your finances, what IS meditation, even–and so forth. ALL topics that we will be tackling in this series! 

(Because… #ADULTING. ?) 

Anyway, that was the inspiration for this series. And first up, we’re diving into showering.

YEP, showering.

Seems pretty basic, right? It’s something you’ve done your whole life, but as it turns out, there are LOTS of ways you can be sabotaging your showers — especially when it comes to skin and hair care. 

Whether you have a tried-and-true shower routine that can’t be rushed (#SELFCARE) or you prefer to keep things short and sweet, perfecting the ritual of steam, scent, and soap is so much more than just getting clean. 

Showering is the essential foundation of your overall beauty regimen, and below, Kendall and I are sharing eight ways you might be sabotaging your skin and hair in the shower––and how to course correct! By slightly altering your routine, you can enhance your overall beauty game in no time! 

8 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Beauty Routine in the Shower

Temps are too hot

While it’s all too tempting to indulge in a toasty shower after a long day (especially in the winter months!), scorching water temperatures can dry out – and even burn – your skin and scalp, increasing the risk of dry skin, inflammation and rosacea. ?According to the Baylor College of Medicine, showering in lukewarm water is best for protecting skin and hair and to avoid stripping natural oils.

Taking too long

UGHHH this is my weakness (!!) 

The shower is where we get our best ideas, right? AND it’s the best place to sing your favorite songs! (By the way, see this list of best Spotify playlists to sing in the shower!) It’s easy to linger under the water, but unfortunately, doing so dries out the skin and leaves hair more vulnerable to breakage.

Goal: Try to keep your shower time to five minutes or less. Pro tip: set an alarm when you hop in to make sure you don’t get lost in thought… or song!

Forgetting to brush beforehand  

Ever notice that you tend to shed more hair in the shower? It’s not a coincidence. Hair is in its most fragile state when wet, so brush beforehand to avoid clogging your drain and to limit hair loss and breakage. I love Ecotool’s detangling brush — it can be used on wet or dry hair! 

Showering in a ponytail

When you’re not washing your hair, throwing it up in a ponytail might seem like a good way to keep it dry. However, the pressure and pull created by ties make hair extra prone to breakage, especially around shower moisture. Instead of an elastic tie, opt for a clip that loosely keeps hair dry and out of the way or a shower cap (I love my Shhhower Cap and it looks like one of my fave drugstore brands, Ecotools, makes a great one too!) 

Avoiding cold water

While a burst of cold water may be the last thing you want to do in the shower, there is a reason it’s so effective. Warm water opens pores and hair cuticles, and a splash of cold water at the end of your shower seals and locks in moisture. This limits hair frizz and leaves it feeling more moisturized! Take the plunge at the end of your next shower — it’s also a great way to force yourself to get out in time! 

Using the wrong soap 

If you’re experiencing dry skin, the cause of your problems might be lurking in your body wash ingredients. (I figured this out about two years ago after ALWAYS having super dry legs!)

Flip the bottle on over––do you see any ingredients that end in “sulfate”? YUPPP. That’s the same cleaning agent that they put in laundry detergent and dish soap. Would you wash your body with Tide? If not, its time to consider a more gentle formula. Yes, even a lot of the formulas that say “moisturizing” or “sensitive skin” will have sulfates in them. It’s REALLY annoying.

My favorite body wash is Beautycounter’s (it has 730 five-star reviews for good reason!) It is the BEST body wash–it’s basically like washing your body with the loveliest lotion. It cleans and moisturizes at the same time. When I switched to it, I noticed that I needed to apply significantly less lotion! It also has the prettiest light citrus scent.

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the drugstore brand Waleda is known to be super gentle and clean, and they make a Wild Rose body wash for $9.99! I haven’t tried this particular product yet but it looks like it would be lovely! (They sell the brand at Whole Foods!) 

Not moisturizing immediately

New rule: moisturize before reaching for a towel! No matter how much time you’ve spent in the shower, your skin is prone to drying out. (See above point about body wash! ?)

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, moisturizers work by trapping existing moisture in your skin, which needs to be applied within minutes of bathing. Whether you prefer lotion or oil, moisturizing your entire body right away is key. Pro tip: keep lotion in the shower for easy application — I’m obsessed with Beautycounter’s Adaptive Moisture Lotion for dry skin! You can also snag a bottle of Jojoba oil at Trader Joe’s for a few bucks, and that works too! (Or if you want intense moisture, apply lotion followed by oil!) 

Rubbing dry

Don’t undo all of your moisturizing and nourishing efforts by roughly drying skin and hair. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, towel drying improperly can actually remove moisture from the skin, so make sure you are patting dry, not rubbing. 

For hair in a fragile wet state, reach for a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel (I use this one called “Turby Twist“–but this striped hair turban from Sephora is way cuter–I think I may upgrade ?) to keep hair smooth, and simply squeeze excess water out with the turban, then VERY loosely twist it up into the turban to dry. 

Are you making any of these shower mistakes like we once were!? 

Check out more hair and skin blog posts: 

You asked, I answered: My Hair FAQs

Photofacial benefits–my IPL review! 

Ice Roller Benefits–my favorite $12 beauty tool