The Art Of Showering

By Minji

  • There’s a worse and better way to take showers when it comes to skincare
  • Prep with dry brushing and end with cream based moisturizer
  • Also, make sure your face doesn't face the shower head directly - read on for more tips!  

If you’ve read my previous article on the art of face washing, you already know that I take the steps and process of face washing very seriously.  There’s clearly a worse and better way to do it for skin health.  I feel similarly when it comes to showering too.  Most of us have probably already taken thousands of showers in our lifetime already, so this might sound a bit over the top, but let me explain.

First, pre-shower preparation matters.  Before jumping in, I recommend at least 3-4 times a week, you engage in a 3-5 minute dry brushing session.  You can find more details on exactly how I do it here, but the point is to gently exfoliate the skin on your body before you wash and moisturize.  This will help stimulate circulation and also prep your skin for an effective cleansing.  Some experts say this can help control cellulite too!

Once you get in the shower, make sure the water is not too hot.  I know hot water can feel amazing especially during cold weather, but it’s drying for the skin so keep it just warm enough but never hot. 

To the extent possible, have your face facing away from the shower head and water stream.  In particular, if you live in a hard water region and the strength of you shower stream is strong, it can subtly damage your delicate face skin.  I’ve heard dermatologists in Seoul discourage the in-shower face wash for this exact same reason.  Unless it’s a super simple water wash, a sink-based wash or cotton rounds with micellar water are better options. 

Another reason I recommend you not face your shower head directly is because of shampoo – most shampoos contain harsher chemicals and ingredients in general as compared to skincare products and if you can avoid it, you don’t want shampoo streaking down your face. 

I always make sure to have my back to the shower and when I’m rinsing off shampoo, I’ll tilt my head back so it’s washing away from my scalp, down my hair and to the floor, instead of down my face.  I’ve had a few guy friends tell me they actually use shampoo as a face wash and it makes me cringe every time.       

After a quick shampoo, I move onto conditioner or a hair mask.  Everyone’s hair is different, but mine is long and tangly, so I like to give it some time to recover.  With hair product on, I’ll gently scrub my body with a body cleanser and loofah, starting from my feet working my way up, similar to how I dry brush. 

I like to spend some extra time on parts of the body that are dimpled – like the back of your knees, collar bones, or inside of your elbows.  These are areas where lymph fluid can easily get congested so it’s good to focus on those areas.  Then I’ll wash out the conditioner, again making sure it doesn’t streak my face, and step out, of course, after the ice-cold finish

I try to keep my showers under 10 minutes max, but the shorter the better.  Shower like you’re in a gym shower and there are people in line waiting.  This will help retain maximum moisture in your body.  As soon as you step out, you should immediately start your multi-step skincare routine, starting with a toner, and also make sure to moisturize your entire body.  Just pat your body lightly with a towel so that you’re still lightly damp and apply moisturizer in the form of cream to your entire body. Lotions are typically not as hydrating and oils only seal in moisture, but can’t lock in moisture that isn’t there.

The last thing I’ll add is, feel free to skip the daily shower once in a while – especially if you haven’t been active and are in a relatively pollution free environment.  Over washing your body is not a good thing – I try to keep showers to 4-5 times a week these days, especially since there's no where to go!  Skipping showers was also on Lauren Hutton’s best skincare tips list too – and she’s a skincare model at age 76!