It’s the ultimate payoff after a long, hard day at work: a long, hot shower to calm your nerves, relieve muscle tension, and (of course) make you smell daisy fresh before bedtime. But you may want to reward yourself with a bit more ice-cream and a lot less hot water because experts say spending more than 10 minutes in the shower can wreak havoc on your skin. Not exactly what you had in mind when you wanted to soak in the lap of luxury, huh?
“Excessive bathing can dry out your skin, but a quick bath will not,” says Dr. David Bank, a dermatologist, author, and the founder of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. “I suggest taking short showers and baths in warm rather than hot water to avoid further dehydrating the skin for approximately 5-10 minutes while washing the skin.”
The problem with hot water is that it can irritate dry or sensitive skin–and can really do a number on eczema or dry, itchy skin, which becomes more of a concern during the winter months. To combat this, Bank suggests using a gentle cleansing bar such as Cetaphil or Aveeno Oatmeal Bath.
“If you do prefer baths over showers, limit the time you soak and keep the water at a reasonable, tepid temperature–not too hot and not too cold,” Bank says. “Shorter baths will avoid skin from being stripped of its natural oils.”
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