I was watching my favorite show on YouTube the other day when all of a sudden I saw an ad on the sidebar. "Is Washing Your Face in the Shower Bad for Your Skin??" it asked.
As you can probably guess, this is one question I've been meaning to answer for a while now, and apparently so have some other people.
In just the last few weeks, I've received several emails from people with very different skin types, who have all had the same concern. It's a very personal choice, but I have spent quite a long time learning about the chemicals and additives in soap, shower gels, body wash, and even conditioner. It's all down to personal preference, so I've provided a range of answers so you can make the choice that is right for you.
Is washing your face in the shower bad for your skin?
In terms of skin health, I don't see any studies which have shown that washing your face in the shower is harmful to your skin. so I'd like to take you through the pros and cons of washing your face in the shower.
It leaves skin soft and beautiful:
If there's one thing that can be said about the "in shower" method of cleansing, it's that it leaves skin feeling moisturized and soft. Most people find that their face feels less dry after a shower in which they've washed and exfoliated their skin.
Many claim that their skin looks younger and less wrinkled after exfoliating in the shower. They also admit to a brighter complexion. Cleansing feels relaxing: for some people, cleansing in the shower causes a sense of relaxation as the warm water and steam to relax them.
It doesn't take long:
If you're in a rush, and can't stand the thought of spending hours in front of your sink every morning, then this method will be perfect for you.
It can cause dryness:
Some people have found that while they love the results of washing their face in the shower, they later notice dry patches and red blotches on their skin. For some, this is because they don't moisturize after the shower, but for others, the dryness is because natural oils are being washed away by processed body wash or soap.
Making your skin more susceptible to acne:
For some, this is because soap or body wash can cause dryness and irritation in the pores, which are common causes of acne breakouts. For others, it's because of chemical additives in the products they're using.
Treatments with harsh chemicals:
When you take a product with chemicals like sodium laureth sulfate and glycerine, you're doing yourself more harm than good, as these ingredients can irritate the skin.
Is shower water too hot for your face?
Water that is too hot can indeed damage your skin, but it's a far greater risk if you're spending too much time in the water.
What happens when you spend too long in excessively hot water is that the delicate capillaries (tiny blood vessels) in the skin start to break down, which makes your skin more susceptible to aging, and decreases the elasticity of your skin. This means that wrinkles will appear faster and they will be deeper.
The water in your everyday shower should be lukewarm, and the water pressure should be gentle. You can invest in an in-shower thermometer, which will let you know when the water is too hot.
What type of soap is good for your face?
Most soaps you buy in the store will have a chemical compound called sodium lauryl sulfate, which has been proven to dry out your skin and make it more prone to irritation. This is what makes it a good cleaning agent, but this doesn't help much if you're looking for something to help keep your skin healthy and moisturized.
This entails cleansing the face and body using gentle products that effectively remove sweat and germs without removing the body's natural oils.
The safest option is to use soap that is made from natural ingredients. F&B soap, a popular brand of all-natural soap on the market, contains coconut oil, rice bran oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil. It's soft and gentle on the skin.
How should you wash your face?
There are a few things you need to remember when washing your face in the shower:
Wash your entire face with a gentle cleanser. The most effective cleansers for washing your face are either foaming soaps or creamy cleansers. If you can't find any that tick these boxes, look for a soap that isn't too harsh and is suitable for all skin types.
The most suitable way is to use your fingertips to apply a quarter-size dollop of cleanser to your face and gently massage it in. This leaves your skin clean without drying it out.
When you wash your face make sure that you gently massage your skin in an upward motion, as this will remove make-up and impurities. Don't scrub too hard with a loofah, as this can cause irritation, dryness, and breakouts.
It is possible to gently cleanse your skin in the shower without causing any damage, but it's still important that you use a low foaming or creamy soap. It's also important that you don't scrub too hard with a loofah, as this can cause damage to your skin.
Using your fingers to massage the soap into your skin is more effective, as it won't be as harsh on your skin. If you're looking for something a little more gentle for a baby, then you should use a pure unscented hypoallergenic wash. This will cleanse the skin but it won't be too strong or too powerful.