The skin is the largest organ of the body, and we all want to take care of ours properly. Cleaning skin properly is the basis of a good skin care regimen, but the way you clean it – and how often — can make a big difference. Unfortunately, there are some longstanding myths about how to do it that can do you more harm than good.
One of the most common myths is that we need to shower often to keep our skin clean and kill germs, but do you really need a daily shower? It may sound gross, but Dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch says no.
“We overbathe in this country and that’s really important to realize,” she told Buzzfeed. “A lot of the reason we do it is because of societal norms.”
Frequent showering, especially with hot water, can dry and irritate your skin, wash away the good bacteria, and put you at a higher risk of infection. Hirsch says that both children and adults should only bathe every 2-3 days, depending on the climate in their area and their activity level. People who live in warm climates or workout should just wash the odor-causing parts of their bodies — under arms and breasts, genitals, and behind – on non-shower days.
You should, however, make sure that you wear clean undergarments every day. One study shows that our clothing absorbs quite a bit of body oil and dirt – more that we actually wash off in a shower, as a matter of fact.
What about washing your face? From acne “miracle cures” to anti-wrinkle potions, skin care products are big business. But skipping the special cleansers and simply washing your face properly can go a long way toward getting that healthy glow we all want.
Beauty care companies want us to believe that the more expensive cleaning products are the best, but it simply isn’t true. The less expensive products are just as good for your face as the pricey ones. You can do your skin a favor, and save quite a bit of money on your skin care regimen, if you look for products that provide gentle cleansing, and a quick look at the label will reveal that many of them contain the same ingredients as the more expensive name brands. This Inquisitr article recommends using straight coconut oil for skin care — an inexpensive ingredient found in many skin care products.
Another huge myth, propagated by skin care product manufacturers, is that exfoliating your face often will reduce excess oil and make your skin more radiant. According to the Times of India, scrubbing with an exfoliate more than once a week can be more harmful than helpful — bruising and drying the skin, and causing more breakouts if you are prone to acne. Simply washing with a cloth will often provide the exfoliation needed without using harsh products.
Do you believe these myths?
[Image via George Marks/Getty Images]