Over the last couple of years, social media and the internet has uncovered the various ways people decide to wash their bodies (some surprising, I must admit, and some not.) There have been numerous debates on whether we should use washcloths, suds up our legs, or even shower on a daily basis. Side note: Did you know that bathing with hot water can be detrimental? (I mean, is it really a shower if the water isn’t scorching? Just me? K.)
Additionally, with hygiene routine videos (think sparkly body washes and exfoliators galore) dominating the YouTube and TikTok airwaves, finding the best way to wash your body seems to be all the rage right now. And while most of us have been bathing ourselves since we can remember, there’s nothing wrong with updating your GRWM (get ready with me) routine.
In the name of #selfcare, medical and cosmetic dermatologist, DiAnne Davis, MD, FAAD, has provided tips and pertinent info that will help combat bacteria, battle B.O. and give our skin a healthy glow. Can I get an amen?
Between washcloths, loofahs, or using your hands, what’s the best way to wash your body?
“I usually recommend a soft cloth or washcloth for showers, especially those areas that harbor, a lot of bacteria, which include the armpits, groin area, and feet,” Dr. Davis explains to xoNecole. “Washcloths can always be laundered and reused versus loofahs that tend to retain a lot of bacteria and are not washable or able to be used after so many uses in the shower. Washcloths should be dry before each use. Reusing a damp washcloth is a no-no because it may accumulate bacteria which can be transferred to your body the next time you use it.”
How often should people shower? Is it bad to shower every day?
“I usually recommend that people take showers at least once daily,” says Dr. Davis. “While some dermatologists may recommend that you can shower less frequently, even three times per week, I will say that I do not recommend that you shower multiple times throughout the day because that can be extremely drying for the skin. It’s also important to remember that showers should be less than 10 minutes and with lukewarm water because extremely hot water can also dry out the skin.”
Is it important to use a separate washcloth for your face?
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“I think this is definitely a personal preference. What I explain to patients is that it is okay to use a washcloth for their body however, I always recommend that whenever washing your face [to] use your hands,” says Dr. Davis.
What should we look for in a good body cleanser?
“There are so many great cleansers on the market,” notes Dr. Davis. "It may come down to if there is a specific concern that the patient has, which can help determine what may be the best cleanser for their body. For example, if someone has oily or acne-prone skin, they might want to look at a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to help exfoliate the pores and treat blackheads. However, if a patient has sensitive or dry skin, they may want to look for a cleanser with ceramides and/or colloidal oatmeal.”
In terms of skincare, could you talk about the importance of moisturizing and how often we should moisturize?
“Moisturizing your skin is just as important as washing it on a daily basis,” elaborates Dr. Davis. “Moisturizers should be applied within the first two to three minutes after showering to not only moisturize the skin but also create a barrier to prevent transepidermal water loss and keep the skin hydrated and plump in appearance. It is wise to moisturize twice daily, especially if you have dry skin and/or during the winter season.”
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