We all do it. But according to the Daily Mail, there's more skill to showering than you may think.

Whether you're jumping under the water for a quick blitz, or enjoying a lengthy bathe, there are some cardinal rules to keep in mind to protect your skin and hair.

Should we shower daily? What about washing our hair? And are those expensive shower gels really worth the money?

Dr Derek V Chan, a New York-based cosmetic and medical dermatologist, answered some key questions:


How often should we shower?

I recommend patients shower once a day.

If you have eczema, definitely moisturize within five minutes of exiting the shower. This can help the skin retain moisture.

How hot should the shower be?

Hot showers may feel good, but in general, warm showers are better than hot showers.

Using very hot water can reduce moisture in the skin and strip away many of the skin's natural lubricants.

People with conditions such as eczema risk making their eczema worse when taking hot showers.

Plus, at water temperatures above 120 degrees F (49 C), just a five-minute shower can result in a third degree burn, so it's important to control the water temperature.

3 Sep, 2016 8:00am
4 minutes to read

A temperature of 110 degrees F (43 C) or lower is generally recommended.

How should we wash our hair?

For most shampoos and conditioners, massage the shampoo or conditioner into your scalp and leave it on for about two to three minutes.

For medicated shampoos (such as those used for dandruff), I usually tell my patients to leave the shampoo on their scalp for three to five minutes.

One mistake I currently see a lot of patients doing is that they often massage their shampoos into their hair but miss the scalp.

It's especially important for medicated shampoos that the shampoo contact the scalp long enough to work its magic!

What about bath soaps and shower gels?

This is somewhat of a personal choice, unless you have sensitive skin.

Some people may prefer the scent of lavender or eucalyptus and be willing to pay a price premium over regular bar soap.

However, if you have sensitive skin, it's important to stick with blander and gentler soaps such as Dove White Beauty Bar, Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash, or Vanicream Cleansing Bar.

What is the deal with exfoliating?

The skin naturally exfoliates as part of its maintenance routine.

However, sometimes, exfoliation can help with acne and clogged pores.

Gentle exfoliation on the face 1-2 times a week can be helpful.

Clarisonic makes a nice line of physical exfoliators, for the face only, and the SMART Profile for general use on the body.

For acne, your dermatologist may also prescribe chemicals or administer peels that can exfoliate the skin.

Over agressive exfoliation can strip away a lot of the natural moisture and protectants of the skin and leave the skin ragged, dry, and prone to eczema flares or even infection.

How do you dry your body?

I recommend gently patting your body dry after showering.

... and an extra skin tip:

Don't squeeze your zits!

Squeezing your zits can cause scarring and colour changes, and then you're looking at more expensive procedures to try to mitigate the damage.