Bathe the right way

When you’re showering, you get in, you clean and you get out – right? Apparently not. It turns out that there may be much more to cleaning yourself than you think. The following will put you on the right track.

 

Having a hot shower
If you jump out of the shower looking like a lobster, you’re not doing yourself any favours. Hot showers dry out your skin and remove important natural oils, so warm showers are a better choice, especially for those with sensitive skin.

Showering too often
This may come as a shock to any germophobes out there but showering daily may be overkill. It can remove too much healthy bacteria and oil from our skin, leaving it open to dryness, cracking and bad bacteria. To save both your immune system and your water bill, you may want to reduce the number of times you shower. Every second day, plus whenever you feel extra grimy, is a good general rule.

Grimy loofah
While your loofah is great at scrubbing germs, dirt and dead skin off your body, these particles tend to remain stuck in its crevasses. You should replace natural loofahs every month and plastic loofahs every two months. Clean your loofah in a heavily diluted bleach mix every week to ensure it isn’t carrying any potentially harmful particles.

Over washing your hair
As we get older our scalps produce fewer natural oils, meaning our hair can become dry if we wash it too frequently. If you have curly, fine or dyed hair try washing it just once or twice a week to prevent it becoming dry or coarse.

Using antibacterial soap
Unfortunately, antibacterial soap cannot distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. These harsh soaps can remove essential good bacteria and leave space for more dangerous, resistant bad bacteria to grow.

Using a dirty towel
There’s no point cleaning yourself in the shower if you’re only going to rub bacteria from a dirty towel all over yourself. According to webmd.com, they can harbour mould, viruses, yeasts and bacteria that may cause warts, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus. Make sure that your towel is hung up to dry and air between each use. Both your towel and your bathroom mat should be washed weekly with an antibacterial agent on a hot setting to kill all germs.

Putting off the grab bar
If you begin to suspect you might benefit from having a grab bar installed in your bath or shower, you probably will. Slipping in the bathroom is a cause of serious injuries that can be easily and affordably prevented. Don’t put off the installation and regret it later.

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Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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