Am I Doing This Wrong? How to Shower the Right Way

Showering: It’s something that you’ve (hopefully) been doing regularly since you were a child, so you’d assume that you know how to do it, right?

Well, as it turns out, showering isn’t a “you-do-you” situation. There’s actually a right way and a wrong way to go about it. We’re not here to send you into a full-on tailspin, wondering what else you’ve done wrong. (Yes, the bangs in high school were a mistake, but you lived and learned.) We are here to walk you through what experts say is the correct way to shower. You might be doing some of these things right already, and some can be simple additions to an already solid shower routine.


Did you know that it’s possible to shower too often?

While your mom most likely told you that showering every day was life-or-death growing up, that might not be the case for your life now. How often you shower is dependent on your activity levels. If you work out every day, you should be showering every day. If not, a shower two or three times a week should suffice.

If you get grimy in the day and feel like you need a second shower in the evening, keep it fast. Or try changing up your routine so you’re showering at night instead of in the morning. Multiple showers in a day should be once in a blue moon, not a regular occurrence. You can always wipe yourself down with a wet rag and some mild soap for sensitive skin to get clean without going through the full shower routine.

Taking showers more frequently than necessary can dry out your skin. If you don’t work out daily and are unsure how often to shower, just remember that when you start to smell, it’s time to shower.


We know you’ve heard it before, but it’s true: hot showers are bad for your skin. Scalding hot water and the steam it produces dries your skin, strips away the good natural oils you have, and can damage your skin. While it can be a hard pill to swallow, it’s best to turn that temperature dial down to lukewarm or cold.


We know, we know…. it’s another punch to the gut: long showers aren’t good for you.

Short showers keep the water from dehydrating your skin and harsh cleansers from sitting on your skin for too long. For people with skin conditions that cause dehydrated skin, a shower under five minutes is best.


Showering from the top of your head to your toes is the best way to shower. Starting from the top down allows soaps and cleansers to drip down and cleanse the whole body. Additionally, chemicals in shampoo and conditioners can clog the pores on your face, back, and shoulders. By starting with your hair and cleansing after, you can clear off the residue of your hair products, preventing breakouts on your face and upper body.

If you shave in the shower, it should be the last thing you do. The water will soften the hair follicles, and shaving after cleansing prevents dirt and bacteria from clogging your pores and causing ingrown hairs and breakouts. In support of cooler, shorter showers, shaving at the end of a long and hot shower can cause inflammation and irritation as the pores swell due to prolonged exposure to heat.


If you have hair on the top of your head, you likely wash it too often. While the frequency with which you need to wash your hair differs from person to person, you don’t typically need to wash your hair every time you shower. When your hair is oily or gearing up to be, that is when you should clean it.

If you suffer from dandruff or flakiness, you may need to wash your hair more often with a nature-based anti-dandruff shampoo. This can give you relief from the itchiness and dryness you feel on your scalp and stop the embarrassing shoulder snow.

While knowing how to wash your hair right is essential, using the right products is just as important. So much of showering is about removing dirt, build-up, and bacteria from yourself while keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated. Proper product choice applies to your scalp and hair, too. Choosing a shampoo for dry skin and a coordinating conditioner can help keep your hair and scalp clean and hydrated.


Unlike your hair, you should wash your body every time you take a shower. While you should focus on particularly dirty areas, namely your armpits, groin area, and feet, you should wash your whole body and not just let the soap drip down your legs and call it a day.

Much like your hair products, it’s essential to use gentle cleansers and soaps that keep your skin hydrated. Natural pine tar soap for dry skin can help. It can also soothe other skin conditions (psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, or eczema) and make you smell like you’re fresh out of a rugged, manly pine forest. A shower should be just as good for the soul as it is for the body, and a good soap can help make that happen.


Your after-shower routine is just as crucial as your shower routine itself. It can help support all the work you’ve put into caring for your skin while in the shower.

Don’t rub your body with a towel when you get out, but rather pat yourself dry. This technique is far more gentle on the skin and doesn’t leave you irritated and red.

If you dry your hair, use a microfiber towel or a T-shirt. These fabrics are gentler on the hair, preventing it from getting damaged and frizzy.

Within three minutes of stepping out of the shower, preferably right after drying off, you should moisturize with a lotion or creme. This protects the moisture barrier on your skin, which is most vulnerable to lost hydration immediately after you shower. Using a skin hydrating product twice daily and always after showering is essential to maintaining your skin health and capping off the perfect shower routine.

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