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Your first instinct when you’re feeling cold and dry may be to hop in a steamy shower or hot bath. However, increasing the amount of time you spend in warm water can strip the skin barrier of healthy oils, leaving your skin itchy and dry.
Think about it. When is the last time you scrubbed your hands excessively out of fear of a germ attack?
Let me tell you about my most recent experience. I got hit last month with a double whammy for a germaphobe. Whammy one: Our family got a puppy (cute, but germs). Whammy two: Everyone in my family got the stomach flu (not cute, lots of germs).
In an effort to combat the excessive amount of microbes floating around my house, I washed my hands with an antibacterial soap excessively (practically a million times a day).
The good news is I didn’t get sick. The bad news is my hands were so dry from all the washing, they were cracked and bleeding.
Cracked and bleeding, I say!
You probably won’t shower or bathe to the point that your skin is cracked and bleeding, but this example gives you a small peek into the science at work when you shower too often.
Too much hot water strips the outer layer of skin of the critical healthy and naturally moisturizing oils, leading to overly dry skin.
Interestingly enough, too much washing, especially with harsh antibacterial soaps like the kind I was using, can even kill good bacteria that help build immunity. In fact, The American Academy of Dermatology advises that young children bathe only about once or twice a week to allow their immunity to harmful bacteria to build up.
So, what do you do instead?
Instead of showering every day, try showering every other day or every two to three days. That's right, three! (Read on and I'll let you in on how I can usually make it three days in between showers.)
If you absolutely feel the need to bathe every day, don’t completely submerge yourself in water every day. Instead, wash your especially-stinky parts (pits and privates) with water and a doctor-developed, moisturizing, natural soap. Ahem...wash with Lume Natural Soap for Face & Body.
Even if you limit the number of showers and baths you take in a week, you’re not going to get rid of showering altogether. Thankfully, for the benefit of your social life.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t make some changes in the way you shower.
We’ve already talked about how important it is to select the skincare products you use with care. When you throw out soaps that contain harmful ingredients in favor of natural soaps, you are one step closer to soft, supple, moisturized skin.
It’s also worth mentioning that a little bit of soap goes a long way. That’s right. You don’t have to apply soap to every part of your body to get clean. You really only need soap to wash parts that are noticeably smelly at the end of a long day or after an intense workout.
It’s also critical to avoid damaging the skin. Wash gently with your hands instead of abrasive body washing tools. Stay away from scrub brushes, harsh washcloths, and bath sponges. If you’re set on using one of your favorite body washing tools, then opt for the most gentle tool and apply a light touch while washing.
Finally, let’s say you’re human, and you skipped your daily workout. On these days, consider skipping soap altogether while you’re in the shower. Instead, apply a small amount of hypoallergenic Lume Deodorant to your underarms and private parts post-shower.
This approach ensures you get a quick shower to wash off the grime, provides a way for you to avoid products that may damage your skin, and allows you to apply an effective, skin-safe deodorant that's clinically-proven to control odor for up to 72 hours.
If you'd like a quick refresher in between showers or you're out-and-about, try Lume Deodorant Wipes. They've got all the same effective odor-fighting active ingredients as Lume Deodorant, and they're also safe to swipe away odor anywhere on your whole body.