When talking about hygiene, taking a shower or washing yourself usually comes to mind first. That’s for a good reason: a shower cleans your whole body, all of your skin is washed, as opposed to a subtle hygiene habit having to do with your nails for example. Therefore, I want to start the guide with this subject. You can groom yourself better than anyone has ever done, but if all of your skin is dirty and you smell – it’s not going to help.
Showering vs Bathing
Some people like showers, some people like relaxing baths. But, we definitely recommend showering and not bathing. That is for multiple reasons.
First of all, because it is better for the environment. If you shower less than 10-15 minutes, you will always have used less gallons of water than if you were to take a bath. People also tend to throw all sorts of oils into their bath, which also aren’t very eco-friendly.
Second of all, because it’s just better at cleaning your skin. If you sit in a bath, you can give yourself lots of time to let the water around you pull the dirt from your skin. But, you’ll still be sitting in dirty water for the rest of your bathing session. When showering, the water just runs straight down your body, pushing all dirt into the sink. It is also harder to scrub and clean yourself in a bath, as you can’t see really see yourself or reach certain parts while sitting.
On top of showering regularly, you should also wash your hands and face. Anytime you have done something and move on to some other activity somewhere else, you should wash your hands. This doesn’t mean that you should go crazy and wash them like every 5 minutes. It just means that if you’re for example going inside after having sat outside for a while, you should wash your hands. You may not have done anything, they may not seem dirty, but just wash them just to be sure and keep them clean.
Together with your hands, your face is the part that is used most often during the day, and looked at by other people. Keeping your face clean is therefore very important for your overall appearance. The fact that it gets filthy faster makes it necessary to clean your face at least twice a day.
Best Showering Practices
How often should I shower?
Whenever you’re dirty. Most people have a habit of showering every day, either before they go to bed or just after they’ve woken up. They also take an extra, shorter shower if they’ve done some exercise.
While there’s nothing really wrong with that, there’s still some things to be said and improved.
First of all, showering relaxes your body, but you still need to stand up and be alert. Therefore, taking a shower and then going straight to bed isn’t the best idea – you’ll lie awake for at least an hour. On the other hand, showering after you’ve woken up means you go to bed without a wash, which means your bed becomes dirty faster and you sleep in a mess.
That problem could be solved by showering twice, in the evening and in the morning.
But, there is such a thing as showering too much. Showering removes dirt, but also oils created by your own skin to protect it and keep it smooth. If you shower too often, your skin will become dry, bare and look unhealthy.
Therefore, to conclude this section, you should shower at least once every 2 days, and take an extra shower only if you’ve exercised, had a long working day or need to look good for a date or professional appointment.
How long should I shower?
Really up to you, but just as long as it takes to clean yourself. No staying underneath it for 15 minutes because it just feels good, just put the absolute maximum for yourself at 10 minutes. If it’s your second or third shower of the day, keep it much shorter at a maximum of 2 – 3 minutes.
Anything I should do or pay special attention to?
A few things. Your basic idea of showering is probably just standing under the showerhead, letting the water flow all over your body. That’s good, but you should also do the following things:
- Scrub your armpits, face and ‘intimate area’.
- People usually forget their feet, but those are not going to get clean from just standing there. Also scrub the bottom of your feet.
- Just before you get out of the shower, for 15-30 seconds, turn the water cold. This takes some getting used to, but it has all sorts of positive effects. It energizes you, makes sure you don’t sweat after you’ve stepped out of the shower (which would defeat the whole purpose) and leaves your skin less vulnerable.
- Don’t use the towel too aggressively. Your skin can only withstand a limited amount of pressure or roughness until it gets scratches, small wounds or other unhealthy side-effects.