SLIDESHOW: 7 Simple mistakes that affect your health during shower

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While showering every day keeps us smelling fresh, it actually disturbs the natural bacteria on our skin and strips it of the oils that keep it supple.
Experts reveal the ways you are showering all wrong – and what to do instead.

  • Professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen Hugh Pennington said, ‘cleansing is mainly to clear away dirt, which makes you look cleaner — but as far as bacteria go, it could be a bad thing because it makes it more likely that harmful bugs will take their place’. Both good and bad bacteria have an equal chance of recolonising the skin, added Dr Bowater, but antibacterial face washes may tip the balance in favour of the bad. This is because they contain harsh chemicals that dry out the skin if used regularly, so could make it less friendly to good bacteria that like moisture, and give more chances for bad bugs to survive. Swabs from various areas of the face have revealed 18 different kinds of bacteria that live exclusively on the side of our nose (in the crease between the nostril and our cheek), and 15 different species that live behind our ears, said Dr Bowater. It is thought our relationship with these bugs is mutually beneficial.
  • Washing with soap every day could affect our immunity, warns Dr Robyn Chutkan, of the Digestive Center for Women, Maryland. A mild soap made from organic ingredients is the only one she recommends. Most anti-bacterial soaps are filled with harsh chemicals that upset the balance of bacteria on the skin, she said. Washing with anything other than water is largely unnecessary, she said, as the only places that need daily soaping are the armpits and the groin. The rest of the body can simply be rinsed – even after a sweaty workout, she added. ‘Dirt doesn’t cause disease but repeatedly killing off the good bacteria on our skin may actually harm our immunity,’ During cold and flu season, people should be more cautious, washing their hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, she said. Washing in this way dislodges viruses and bacteria. But hand santitisers are also unnecessary, she added. ‘Unless you’ve been hanging out on an Ebola ward, the vast majority of microbes on your skin and hands are not virulent germs that cause serious infection; they’re harmless bacteria that won’t hurt you.’
  • To say water is 'hard' means it has high levels of calcium. This can irritate the skin of people with conditions like eczema. Dr Laura Ishmail, an aesthetic doctor said sufferers might want to think about installing water filters in their shower. 'Water filters might softer against the skin for eczema. But I would also advocate not having a shower as often,' she added.
  • On a reusable razor, stubble and mould can collect in the space where the blade cartridge attaches to the handle. If that mould gets in contact with the skin it can cause irritation. And a moist blade kept in the shower, harbouring old hair and dead skin, can lead to ingrown hairs and irritation when shaving because the blade becomes blunt. To combat this, every two weeks, soak your razor for five to ten minutes in bleach or vinegar diluted in water and scrub it with a toothbrush. Clean blades rubbing surgical spirit on a cotton pad, then towel dry. And always keep your razor on a dry surface. ‘Change a blade at the first sign that it starts to drag against the skin,’ said Dr Bunting. ‘If used every day, ten days is a good rule of thumb. Rinse it in hot water after every use and air-dry.
  • Because poufs take time to dry and may well retain dead skin cells, it’s a potential source of infection,’ said dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting. ‘Over-exfoliating can damage the skin’s vital barrier function, making it more susceptible to invasion by bugs harboured in the loofah.’ Plastic poufs should be replaced at least every two months. To keep it clean, wet your pouf and put it on a medium heat in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds. Keep the pouf in a dry place, by an open window, rather than in the shower. Natural loofahs can be prone to mould, but don’t clean them in the microwave. Wash them thoroughly with soap and then leave them to soak in a litre of water with four tablespoons of vinegar for two hours, and dry them on a windowsill.
  • Extreme care should be taken when washing the hair and while people may think scrubbing hard will thoroughly cleanse it, that couldn't be further from the truth. Putting too much pressure on the scalp can actually result in greasier hair. As Mr Barton a hairdresser explained: 'Don’t rub your scalp too vigorously. This will encourage oil secretion from the sebaceous gland'. Stylists also say it's imperative to rinse your hair for twice the amount of time as lathering on product and never use hot water. 'Women often wash their hair with water which is too hot, thinking it will make hair cleaner,' said Mr Barton. Washing the hair in tepid water is better for the follicles with the added bonus of saving money on your bills. 'The hot water activates the sebaceous gland which secretes oil and can leave hair greasy soon after washing. Use warm, tepid water for ultra clean hair and to extend the life of your blow dry.'
  • simple mistakes that affect your health during shower
    While many of us would assume that tilting our face upwards beneath refreshing running water is the key to getting squeaky clean skin, the heat and pressure of the water is in fact causing damage, said skincare expert Kaye Scott 'The best way to keep your skin looking its flawless best is to cleanse and rinse at the bathroom sink, always ensuring the tap water is tepid, no hotter,' Scott said. Because you're not directly facing in to the stream of water to rinse off your cleanser, you save your skin from damage. When you wash your face at the sink you're cupping the water, which means you're using less and you are also making it cooler on your skin. Plus, such a cleansing technique also gives you the option to turn on the cold tap and splash your face at the end of your routine, which can help to close your pores and stimulate circulation.

Read more Revealed 10 ways you are showering wrong – Daily Mail

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