Don't wash your face in the shower

Don't wash your face in the shower

It seems to make so much sense: You're in the shower, the water's running. Why not save time while you're in there and wash your face?

Silly you. Apparently there are lots of good reasons why you should not wash your face in the shower. From the temperature to all the time you spend in there messing around, the shower is just no place to be cleaning your face.

Here's why.

The water is too hot

Most people use hotter water while showering than they would if they were just washing their face in the sink. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using only lukewarm water when washing your face, and chances are that your shower temperature is much warmer than that. Although that water feels good, it's too drying and hot for washing your face.

"Extreme temperatures, such as hot, steamy showers or hot water, can cause dilation of blood vessels and breakage of delicate tissue," Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, tells Self. "Further, the hot water naturally strips skin of the necessary oil barrier that helps maintain skin integrity."

The solution: If you insist on washing your face when showering, make things a little less steamy. A warm, not hot, shower will make it easier on your face.

There's too much pressure

Don't wash your face in the shower

The high pressure from a shower head can cause damage to your facial skin. (Photo: Osvaldo Maldonado/Shutterstock)

When you wash your face in the sink, you splash water from your hands or use a washcloth. In the shower, you might stick your face under the spray. That blast can be damaging.

"The power of the water can be too harsh on the delicate skin on your face," writes Hannah Nathanson in Elle. "It might seem like a small thing but standing directly under the stream of a pressurized shower head is like using harsh down-dragging motions when applying moisturiser, which in turn can be ageing."

The solution: Keep your face directly out of the spray and use your hands or a gentle washcloth instead.

Showers are too long

The American Academy of Dermatology says the ideal shower should be between five and 10 minutes long. But when you add face-washing to your shower tasks, that adds to the amount of time you're in the water. The more exposure to water, the more it can irritate and harm your skin.

"The longer you're under there the more likely you are to dry out your skin," Dr. Justine Hextall, consultant dermatologist at The Harley Medical Group and spokesperson for Avene, tells Women's Health.

"Natural moisture factors like ceramides, fatty acids and oils help retain moisture levels in the skin. The problem is that they're water soluble — so if you run your face under the shower for ten minutes, you could literally rinse them away."

The solution: Be speedy in the shower and spend very little time in there cleaning your face.

Your products linger

Shampoo or conditioner dripping down your face can irritate your skin. Even residue from soap, shower gel or body washes can cause issues with your face.

"They foam up the oil on your skin and rinse it away, raising the pH and causing dry skin," says Hextall.

The solution: Use natural shampoo with no preservatives. And always rinse well.