The One Body Part You Shouldn't Wash in the Shower, Doctors Say

Your head-to-toe cleaning routine may not be in your best interest, according to experts.

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For most of us, the shower is a one-stop-shop for getting everything clean from head to toe. After all, who wouldn't want to get as much of their morning routine taken care of in the shower with a little multi-tasking? But just because you're scrubbing up doesn't mean every single hygiene task should happen in the shower. In fact, experts say there's one body part that you shouldn't actually wash in the shower: your face. Read on to find out why, and for another spot you should avoid entirely, here's The One Body Part You Should Never Clean, According to Doctors.

According to dermatologists, the shower may be great for getting your underarms clean and washing your hair, but it could be wreaking havoc on your face, which is one of the most sensitive skin areas of your body, especially if you're someone who likes their daily rinse nice and hot. The truth is, a hot shower could be inadvertently creating some long-lasting damage to the skin on your face.

"Hot water and temperatures will dilate blood vessels and capillaries," Rachel Nazarian, MD, from Schweiger Dermatology Group, told Marie Claire. "That can leave skin red and aggravate conditions like rosacea, which ultimately leads to broken and permanently dilated vessels."

Black woman using soap on her face in the shower
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Other experts agree, saying that the scalding water can dry out the face by ridding it of protective oils and even promoting wrinkles. "A hot shower can cause and exacerbate fragile capillary networks in the cheeks, leading to unattractive, visible capillary networks and worsened impaired skin conditions," Kaye Scott, a skincare expert, told The Daily Mail.

However, there's some good news if you still want to wash your face in the shower. So long as you limit the length to under 10 minutes and keep the temperature near what you would expect a heated pool to feel like, your skin can manage just fine, Well+Good reports.

"Facial skin, like all skin, can become too dry if there is too much contact with water. Therefore, a general rule of thumb for showering is to make it not too long, not too hot, and not too frequent." Hadley King, MD, clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, told Marie Claire. "If the warmth is limited to lukewarm, then [the] risk of dilating capillaries is minimized."

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As long as you're willing to make these simple tweaks to your shower, there are actually a few potential benefits to washing your face while you're in there. "The hydration and warmth make the skin particularly amenable to gentle exfoliation and thorough cleansing," King told Marie Claire.

Plus, you're also more likely to wash your entire face and rinse thoroughly, meaning you're less likely to have outbreaks in places like your hairline.

And for more on the timing of other grooming habits, find out How Often You Should You Wash Your Hair.

Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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