Nothing relaxes us quite like a good shower. That clean, refreshed feeling we get right out of the shower is almost magical. Just a sprinkling of water and a dose of soap can transform us from anxious, jangled bundles of nerves to calm, rational humans in five minutes. What's not to love?

Well, although most of us have been showering for most of our lives, we might take some of our habits for granted. Let's face it, after you've taken a thousand showers, you think you've got it figured out. But chances are, most of us are doing at least one thing wrong, and our skin is suffering for it.

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1. Washing your face in the shower.

Sure, it seems like a time-saver to just wash your face in the shower while you're washing everything else, but chances are you're showering at a temperature your sensitive facial skin would rather not. You should be washing your face in lukewarm or cold water in the sink.

2. Showering in hot water.

Hot showers are the best. But while they feel soothing, they don't do your skin any good. Hot water strips your skin of its natural defenses and can make some skin conditions worse. You don't have to risk hypothermia, however; even taking the temperature down a notch from steamy to pleasantly warm can make a difference.


3. Taking long showers.

Long showers are also the best, but the longer you spend in the shower, the more opportunity your skin has to dry out. And you're using up about two gallons of water a minute, so both your skin and your water bill will thank you for cutting it short.

4. Leaving your loofah behind.

There's no more inviting place for bacteria than a warm, wet environment — just like the shower-fresh loofah that just rubbed the bacteria off your body. After your shower, wring it out and hang it up in a dry spot.