You’ve got your makeup routine down pat, you know how to layer primer, blend in highlighter, and all the other essentials. You also probably have a go-to hair care and styling routine. But what about showering? Do you have that on lock? While you may be thinking that your mother covered the how to shower basics with you long ago—for beautiful skin, the steps in your shower routine should go far beyond scrubbing behind your ears. Even if you’re convinced that you’re an expert, it might be time for a refresher on the best in-shower practices for beautiful, healthy-looking skin. The truth is, traditional shower habits like steaming water and piles of soapy suds may be doing more harm than good. Take advantage of your time in the shower and make it more than just a routine part of getting clean. Follow these tips to foster softer, more supple skin and make the most of shower time.
Shower Tip #1: Remove Makeup beforehand
Instead of waiting ‘til you’re in the shower, it’s helpful to remove stubborn eye and face makeup before stepping under the faucet. That’s because harsh scrubbing, especially around the eye area, can really irritate your skin. Besides, taking off your makeup separately from when you wash your face ensures an even deeper clean. For tough waterproof makeup, use a gentle micellar water, like the L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types.
Editor’s note: Micellar water is so much more than just a makeup remover. Read up about 5 Benefits of Using Micellar Water and learn how this one awesome product can simplify your skin care routine.
Shower Tip #2: Avoid scalding temperatures
If you're accustomed to showering in steaming streams of hot water, this may be one of the toughest tips to adapt to—but making the switch to a tepid temperature can truly be worthwhile. We know, a hot shower can feel amazing, especially during the cold, winter months. The (not so) funny thing is, that’s actually when you need to be most cautious about drying out your skin in the shower! Hot water can strip your skin of natural oils and result in overall dryness—the last thing you need during winter. When washing your body, opt for lukewarm water that will help to clean skin without drying it out. You can apply the same rules to washing your face, being sure to turn down the temp when using rinse-off facial cleansers.
Shower Tip #3: Apply a cleansing oil
A somewhat unconventional method of removing stubborn makeup residue, if you’re showering at night consider applying a cleansing oil to your skin before stepping in. Don’t rinse it off right away—the oil will work to break down dirt and oil on your skin while you tend to your hair and other parts of your body. Rinse off the oil before washing your face with a clay or foaming cleanser.
Shower Tip #4: Wash your hair first and your face last
Oils and products from your hair can easily drip onto your face while you shower—not a huge deal, but you wouldn’t want to get out of the shower with any sort of shampoo or conditioner left sitting on your skin. That would be practically asking for a breakout! So, be sure to cleanse your face towards the end of your shower, after you’ve finished with your hair; that way, you’ll be able to remove any pore-clogging debris.
Not sure what to wash with? Try a gentle, clay-to-mousse facial cleanser from the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Clay line. Each of the cleansers is formulated with three different pure clays and is perfect for removing that last bit of lingering soap residue from your skin.
Shower Tip #5: don’t forget your scalp
Don’t neglect your scalp, after all, it’s skin too. Once or twice a week, before you shampoo and condition your locks, try using a scalp scrub, like the L'Oréal Paris Everfresh Micro-Exfoliating Scrub. Using a pre-shampoo scalp scrub can help remove impurities, flakes of dry skin, and hair product and oil buildup from your scalp. With the help of a scalp scrub you can truly be clean from head to toe!
Shower Tip #6: Toss loofahs and washcloths
You may love your loofah but chances are it’s a breeding ground for bacteria. Loofahs, washcloths, and bath sponges that reside in moist areas are likely to collect bacteria—so instead of helping you get clean, beautiful skin, they may actually do your skin a disservice. Your hands are most likely clean, now that you’ve already been in the shower and washed your hair, so they’ll be a better cleansing tool. If you’re truly attached to your washcloth, be sure to use a different one every couple of ways and toss them all in the wash at the end of the week.
Shower Tip #7: Exfoliate with a gentle scrub
In lieu of your loofah, use a gentle sugar scrub to exfoliate your skin a few times a week. Your complexion can also benefit from exfoliating with a gentle facial scrub, and the shower is the perfect place to use one. Try one from the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar line. Each of the face scrubs in the line works to exfoliate skin gently, without over-scrubbing. Choose your face scrub based on your skin care concerns and needs. For example, if your skin is super sensitive or dry, use a hydrating scrub, like the L'Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub.
Shower Tip #8: Keep showers short
Another skin tip that can be hard to adjust to is cutting down on how long you shower. Despite being difficult, this is really the best thing for your skin as extended periods of time in water can cause dryness. And who wants dry skin? Not you! Optimal shower length is between five to ten minutes. And hey, shorter showers are also better for the environment. It’s a win-win! Consider making a shower playlist to help keep you on track and aware of the time you spend cleaning your beautiful skin. On the bright side, you’ll be less likely to leave the shower with pruned fingertips.
Shower Tip #9: Shave your legs the right way
Yes, shaving can be a real pain, but we’d be kidding ourselves if we said we didn’t love the feeling and look of super smooth legs. When shaving your legs, keep the following tips in mind: Go slowly, don’t forget (or neglect) to properly prep your skin with plenty of shaving cream, and rinse your razor under running water after every swipe. Also, don’t use one blade for too long—the American Academy of Dermatology recommends changing your razor blade every five to seven shaves to minimize skin irritation.
Editor’s note: Still struggling to shave without ending up with razor bumps and irritated skin? Let us point you towards our article, How to Shave Your Legs Like a Pro.
Shower Tip #10: Moisturize while skin is still damp
When you’ve finished showering, apply body lotion and facial moisturizer while your skin is still damp. When you apply moisturizing products on wet skin, you’re able to trap more moisture. So worth it!