Showering Everyday: Are You Doing It Right?
Showering is part of the daily routine for most of us. But, have you ever wondered if you’re doing it right? There are three common practices when it comes to cleaning yourself — showering, bathing, and a bucket bath.
a. Showering refers to spraying water on yourself by means of an overhead or hand shower. In other words, when water is poured on you in the form of sprinkles or narrow streams of water, it is known as showering.
b. Bathing is soaking or immersing yourself in water in a bathtub.
c. For a bucket bath, you use a tumbler to take water from a bucket to pour it on yourself
Should you shower everyday?
It is not mandatory for you to take a shower every day. Few times a week would suffice if you don’t go out much or don’t sweat a lot. But generally speaking, it’s advisable to take a shower daily, especially in a hot and humid climate. You can even take a shower twice a day — it depends on your activity level and personal preference.
Bathing and showering, apart from contributing to general cleanliness, have a psychological effect and contribute to your well-being. There is scientific evidence to show that people who have a habit of bathing in hot water have lower levels of stress and get adequate, restful sleep. This may be attributed to better blood circulation, calming effect of hot water, and stimulation of metabolism as a direct effect of raised body temperature caused by the hot water.
Steps to follow while taking a shower
1. Turn the shower on and check if the water is at an ideal (lukewarm) temperature — it shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. If the water is too hot, it can remove essential oils from your skin and make it dry and itchy.
2. Wet your skin properly before you apply soap.
3. Now, apply soap or body wash on your skin. This may be done with your hands or a loofah. The soap must be applied from top to bottom, starting from your neck and shoulders and going down the length of your body. Make sure you wash your legs and areas between your toes thoroughly with soap and water.
4. Scrub your body and rinse with water. Soapy remnants may cause itching or drying of the skin.
5. If it is a hair-wash day, take as much shampoo as would cover a coin on your palm. Rub it between your palms and apply it on your scalp and at the nape of your neck. Lather through the length of your hair.
6. Now, rinse your hair with lukewarm water. Ensure you remove all the foam properly.
7. Use a conditioner to smoothen your hair. This is optional but recommended if you have dry hair. Apply just enough conditioner required for your hair length. Do not apply to the scalp.
8. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water thoroughly to wash off the conditioner.
9. Dry your hair with a clean and preferably cotton towel. Never rub your hair against the towel. Drying must be in the direction of your hair length.
10. Dry your entire body gently after a shower.
How long should a shower last?
While there is no specified time for a shower, the ideal time would be between 5 and 15 minutes. It would be sufficient for you to cleanse your entire body (excluding hair wash).
Showering is essential to keep dirt and bacteria at bay and therefore, deserves your attention. It’s an indispensable part of personal hygiene and will go a long way to keep you healthy.
1. Watson K. Step-by-Step Guide to Showering and Bathing Properly. Healthline. 2020; published online Jun 4. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-shower#shower-routine-steps (accessed Feb 11, 2021).
2. Roehrich R. Difference Between a Shower and a Bath. DifferenceBetween.net. http://www.differencebetween.net/language/words-language/difference-between-a-shower-and-a-bath/ (accessed Feb 11, 2021).
3. Goto Y, Hayasaka S, Kurihara S, et al. Physical and Mental Effects of Bathing: A Randomized Intervention Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2018, 2018: 9521086.
4. Nobuoka S, Aono J, Nagashima J, et al. Influence of Hot Bathing on Blood Flow Velocity Pattern of Peripheral Artery. The journal of Japanese Society of Balneology, Climatology and Physical Medicine 2000; 63: 187–92.