There’s no remedy for a long grueling day at work like a warm shower or bath in which to unwind. All rooms in the house have their purpose, but the bathroom is the place where the real relaxing happens.
When most people were younger, they probably thought of them as chores, but now, things like washing and conditioning hair and exfoliating and moisturizing skin have become tasks of self-care. And in modern ladies' busy lives, whenever they can take a few minutes to think about themselves instead of everyone around them, it’s a good feeling.
The bathroom may be a sanctuary, but there are a lot of mistakes that people make in the comfort of the shower or the bath that can end up hurting their hair and skin in the long run. The soaps people thought were so good for them, for instance, could actually be getting rid of essential bacteria living on their skin. Simple shaving can open anyone up to infection and other irritations. And shampoo might even be making their dandruff worse, not better.
Who would have thought that there were so many mistakes a girl could make in the bathroom? Keep reading to find out what to stop doing in the bathroom, and start doing instead!
20 Using Harsh Soaps That Strip Away Natural Bacteria
It’s tempting to use soaps that are loaded with artificial things to make them smell amazing, but if they’re too harsh, they can actually strip away the natural bacteria from your skin.
Both good and bad bacteria live on the skin, and the good bacteria actually protects the skin and keeps the bad bacteria in check.
So you don’t want to be stripping the good stuff away with harsh products. Opt for a mild or natural soap to keep your skin healthy. You can find these in health stores and most drugstores nowadays. There should be quite a range to choose from!
19 Incorrectly Distributing Conditioner
How much conditioner is just right, and where should you put it? When people put too much conditioner and apply it mainly to the scalp, they end up with super greasy roots. On the flip side, when you put too much on the ends of your hair and neglect the rest, it can end up being really dry. Trying to work out where exactly to put it can be confusing!
A shower comb will allow you to distribute conditioner from scalp to tip, which will leave you with hair that’s not too oily and not too dry.
18 Shaving With The Wrong Razor
Not all razors were created equal! If you use a razor that’s dull or soiled, you’re opening yourself up to ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
You might even get an infection from using a gross razor, especially if you cut yourself.
When the razor is too dull, you might also get a burning sensation on the skin, because it can’t glide across the way it’s supposed to as it’s clogged with dead cells and oil. It’s better to replace your disposable razors, change the blades, or invest in a long-term razor with a sharpener to protect your skin.
17 Using A Standard Conditioner On Colored Hair
Colored hair looks great, but it’s a lot more work than hair that isn’t colored. Trust those of us who have been coloring since high school! And there are certain colors that are notoriously hard to maintain, like reds and cool-toned blondes. A big mistake is to use a standard conditioner on hair that’s been color treated because it will do nothing to help you keep up that color you’ve paid for.
It’s a good idea to look for hair masks and conditioners that are designed specifically for maintaining and protecting colored hair, so you don’t waste it all.
16 Using The Same Towel Over And Over Again
A lot of us are probably guilty of this, so don’t feel bad! After a while, bacteria builds up on your towel, and if you don’t wash it often enough, you end up rubbing that all over your body. We know—it’s gross.
So if you have any open cuts or scrapes on your skin, you could get an infection just by drying yourself after a shower.
Aim to wash your bathroom towels once a week at the very least. Routinely replacing them is a good idea when you just can’t get out stains from tans and other products.
15 Using A Loofah (That’s A Breeding Ground For Fungus)
Loofahs and similar sponges seem like miracle shower products until you realize that they’re actually a breeding ground for fungi, mold, and bacteria. They trap dirt and skin cells in their mesh netting, and that combined with the warm, wet climate of your bathroom is just a disaster waiting to happen. It’s definitely not a good idea to put that on your skin.
The synthetic material that a lot of loofahs are made of could also be tearing your skin. When it comes time to exfoliate, you could use a simple scrub instead.
14 Cleaning Ears With Q-Tips
For years, people have used Q-tips to clean out their ears and have thought nothing of it. But as it turns out, studies have shown that this practice could actually be doing you more harm than good.
Remember that episode of Girls where Hannah got hers stuck all the way in her ear?
“You could end up pushing more wax deeper into the ear canal,” Dr. Roshini Raj told Today. “More importantly, you could injure yourself.” No thank you! A better option is to clean your ears using a warm wash cloth around your finger.
13 Using Shampoo With Sulphates
While some people have more sensitive scalps than others, shampoos packed with sulfates can be harsh on anybody’s skin, and can ruin color. Imagine spending money on a new hair color just to have it leeched out by your shampoo! Nowadays, shampoos that are sulfate and paraben free are widely available. You can go for expensive options or cheaper ones, or you can even make your own following online tutorials.
These are a good option if you notice that your scalp is constantly itchy after washing your hair, as they’re much gentler on the skin and don’t typically cause the same reactions.
12 Drying Hair With The Wrong Towel
Most women don’t have a specific towel for drying their hair with, and in the long-term, that causes damage, breakage and excessive frizz to their hair.
A regular bath towel, even if it’s soft cotton, is just too heavy and course for our hair and can cause a plethora of issues.
Instead, there are a number of towels on the market now which have been designed especially for wet hair. They are usually lightweight and microfiber, so they soak up water faster and prevent frizz and damage. Plus, they usually are much better at staying on!
11 Washing Hair Too Frequently
It’s tempting to wash your hair frequently, especially if you have a naturally oily scalp and a busy social calendar to think about. But washing your hair too often can actually have the reverse effect, because it strips your scalp of the natural oils. As a result, your body feels like it has to produce more oil, and then you end up with permanently greasy hair. That’s why shampooing every day can actually make your hair appear oilier.
Everyone is different, but experts recommend washing it every other day or less if you can get away with it.
10 Drying Out Your Hair And Skin With Heat
Sometimes, a toasty shower or bath is all you have to look forward to on a busy day. But even though the bathroom can be a refuge, it’s not a good idea to spend time under water that’s excessively toasty.
All that heated water can really damage your hair and your skin by drying them out.
Especially if you suffer from dry skin conditions such as keratosis pilaris, try to keep the temperature lukewarm. We know—we’d also rather relax with a supremely toasty shower. But our skin and hair just don’t like it! The cooler temperatures do less damage.
9 Using Harsh Products To Treat Dandruff
There are various causes of dandruff, and other super itchy skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. The symptoms are irritating, and it’s natural to want to tackle the problem with a harsh shampoo that you think will wipe out the cause straight away.
But sometimes this kind of product can actually aggravate the condition and prolong it, so you never get real relief. Instead, an organic shampoo that uses natural ingredients might do a better job of soothing your scalp and treating your skin issues, which may be a reaction to the harsh products you’ve been using.
8 Taking Super Long Showers And Baths
First we told you to lower the temperature of your showers. And now, sadly, we’re going to tell you to lower the time you spend in the bath or the shower. But hear us out!
The truth is spending too much time in the water, even if it’s not super warm, can damage your skin.
While a gal just needs a long shower every now and then, try not to make it a daily habit. Limit your showers during the week to a few minutes at the most, and keep the long ones for the weekend.
7 Rubbing Your Skin Dry Instead Of Patting It
When you scrub yourself dry with a towel after you get out of the shower, you could be irritating your skin. This is especially true if the towel isn’t clean! You could also be rubbing away too much water from your shower, which in turn leaves your skin dry and dehydrated. Instead, it could be an idea to pat your skin dry with the towel without applying too much pressure.
This will absorb the excess moisture without completely stripping your skin of the hydration it needs. It’s more time consuming, but it’s worth it.
6 Moisturizing Your Skin After It’s Dried
A lot of people wait until their skin is totally dry before applying moisturizer, but that’s a mistake that’s going to leave you with dehydrated skin.
Your skin will be better able to absorb the moisturizer you’re putting on if it’s still damp from your shower.
This means it’s a good idea to apply moisturizer as soon as possible after getting out of the shower, unless you do the job while you’re still in the shower. The extra moisture on the skin lasts for a few minutes at the most after you get out of the shower before it evaporates.
Pick Up These 5 New Habits:
5 Start Rubbing Your Scalp
One thing you should start doing in the shower is treating yourself to a relaxing scalp massage. Not only is this really good for releasing tension, but it also stimulates blood flow. Hair care really does start at the scalp, and your hair follicles are all affected by the health of your skin on the top of your head. Some say that this can encourage hair to grow more quickly.
You can do it with your hands, or you can purchase a shampoo scalp massage brush to give yourself a proper massage. It’s time to relax and treat yourself!
4 Moisturize With An Oil-Based Scrub
There are a ton of moisturizers out there, so how do you choose which one is the best for you and won’t do any damage to your skin?
We’d recommend trying an oil or oil-based product, as this is one of the best ways to lock in all of that good moisture your skin took in during the shower.
A lot of people like to go with coconut oil for moisturizer, which they apply while they’re still in the shower, but there are lots of oils to use. Those with acne-prone skin might like to try grape seed oil.
3 Treat The Hair To Masks
Every head of hair deserves a rejuvenating hair mask every once in a while. Conditioner is great, but eventually, you’ll need something with even greater hydration powers. You can buy high-end options or you can even make your own using natural products at home. Coconut oil is often used as a natural mask all on its own, as is Argan oil that leaves the hair feeling super soft.
While some people like to apply a mask before they get into the shower, others like to keep the mask on their hair for the duration of their shower.
2 Comb The Hair Before Getting Into The Shower
This will change your life if you have fine hair that knots way too easily, or if you’ve bleached your hair and find that it’s suddenly tangling all the time.
By combing the knots out of your hair before you get into the shower and wash it, you’re saving yourself a lot of time and effort after.
It might still get a little knotty during the washing process, but not nearly as bad as if you hadn’t combed it. This is the best way to avoid painful tangles and huge clumps of hair that end up clogging the drain.
1 Treat The Skin Post Shave
Shaving is a necessity for a lot of women, but it can be harsh on the skin. So it’s always a good idea to treat it when you’re finished and make sure it’s not too irritated from the razor. You can buy products to treat your skin online or from the drugstore, or you can use simple ingredients that can be found around the house, like aloe vera.
When you treat the skin, you reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs, inflammation and bumps, or razor burn. This is especially important when you’re shaving more sensitive areas like armpits.
Sources: Hello Giggles, Bustle