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So you probably think how you’ve been showering for the last 20 years was on point. Like really, how wrong can you go in the shower – as long as you get your body clean, goal achieved, right? Well yes, but it’s like your skincare routine – you can get WAAAY better results just by layering your products in the right order – and showering is the same. By doing different steps at the optimum time, it’ll result in cleaner and softer skin. Intrigued? Here’s what you’re doing wrong, and how to shower the right way:

1. Blasting the heat to high

We know, we know, it feels great, but soaking your skin in hot water is actually drying your skin out. Super hot showers strip your skin of their natural oils and dehydrate it, making it feel dry and itchy; it can even lead to rashes. You should also cut back on how long you spend showering, 5 to 10 minutes is ideal – if you’re washing your hair, aim for 15 minutes max, to avoid stripping the skin of its natural moisture levels. The drier your skin, the more likely you are to get rashes, as it’s easier for bacteria to penetrate the cracks in your skin.

2. Not washing in the right order

If you’re in a rush, you most likely take advantage of those few minutes when you let your conditioner do its thang, and wash your body. But doing this could be the reason you get pimples on your chest, body or back, as when you wash out the conditioner, it leaves a film on your skin that can block your pores. We love using the Bioderma Atoderm Shower Gel; it’s hypoallergenic, soap and paraben-free, moisturizes dry skin and is also amazing for getting rid of body acne. Another tip is to use your shower gel only in the places where your skin is oily, your lady parts (look for fragrance-free), underarms, and feet – unless you’ve been exercising and sweating excessively. Because your arms and legs have much less oil to spare, using soap here regularly can make your skin drier.

3. Not masking in the shower

This is juicy news to us, but it makes so much sense! The experts say the best time to do your face mask is in the shower, when your pores are open from the warmth of the water. This means that hydrating and nourishing masks will be able to deliver all their vitamins and minerals as they can soak into your pores more easily. Similarly, ‘extracting’ masks like clay, mud, and charcoal can pull more toxins from your open pores, without running the risk of dehydrating your skin as the mask won’t completely dry out. For a quick nourishing and moisturizing DIY, you can apply a thin sticky layer of organic honey over your skin for 5 minutes while you shower.

 4. Shaving at the beginning of your shower

Shaving is an eternal pain in our butts – no matter how much you do it, it keeps coming back. If you want to maximize on your silky soft skin for as long as possible, the key is to wait until the end of your shower, about ten minutes in (or while you have your conditioner in). By this time, your hairs will have softened and your pores will have opened, making it much easier to get a closer, smoother shave. Another hack, don’t keep your razor in the shower, as the steam will gradually rust the blade and speed up blunting. Instead, leave it to soak in baby oil, which keeps the metal from oxidizing, so it’ll stay sharper for longer.

5. Using old sponges and loofahs

We know it’s painful to throw something away that seems like it still has at least another six months of effective use, but sometimes it’s what you can’t see that you need to be cautious of. Loofahs and sponges collect bacteria and mold due to the damp conditions they’re stored in, which can lead to rashes or dry patches. Ideally you shouldn’t use either for longer than a month. To keep your loofah or sponge in the best condition, ring it out as much as possible after using it, and allow it to dry completely before you next use it, storing it in a dry place, not directly in your steamy shower.

6. Not moisturizing immediately after showering

First things first, instead of vigorously rubbing your skin dry with a towel, try gently patting it instead. The aim is not to be completely dry, but to use any leftover moisture on your skin to your advantage when you moisturize. Experts agree that within three to five minutes after you shower is the best time to rehydrate your skin, so that you can trap any excess water on the surface of your skin without it evaporating. Moisturizer and body oils act as a barrier to lock in moisture; we love using body oils (Cindy Crawford’s fav is the Neutrogena Body Oil, $10) as these contain natural vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to help restore your skin. Otherwise rich moisturizers like shea butter or cocoa butter are amazing natural moisturizers.

Which of these showering mistakes are you guilty of?