It’s humbling to find out we’ve been doing a very simple thing wrong our entire lives. Still, it’s better late than never when realizing the error of our ways.

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The proper way to shower is simple, but it’s not necessarily intuitive. Here are six mistakes you could make if you’re not paying close attention.

1. Not exfoliating your skin.

Simply rubbing body wash on your skin or using a wash rag does not provide the exfoliation your skin needs to thrive. You should be using a rough loofah or grainy exfoliant to remove dead skin cells.

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Just be sure not to scrub too roughly on your skin. Removing dead skin cells is the goal, but you don’t want to be too abrasive to your skin.

2. Using water that’s too hot.

This is one of the biggest causes of dry, flaky skin. It’s particularly tempting in the winter to soak yourself under a piping hot shower, but it’s best to avoid it. 

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Exposing your skin to hot water makes it dry and red. Plus, washing your hair in hot water can make it frizzy. Try to make your shower as lukewarm as you can stand it. However, if you absolutely cannot give up hot showers, try to limit the time you spend in it.

3. Using soap that doesn’t contain moisturizer.

Cheap bar soaps can do a great job of cleaning your skin. Unfortunately, they can also strip away your natural oils.

Using soap with an added moisturizer helps your skin stay vibrant and youthful. If you don’t want to give up your harsh bar soap, make sure you apply a moisturizing lotion immediately after the shower.

4. Washing your hair every day.

Many experts recommend taking a shower only every other day. Doing so keeps increases the moisture in your skin as well as keeping your hair shiny. 

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Try washing your hair every other day if you absolutely can’t stop showering every day. You can even rinse your hair on the days you don’t wash it—just don’t use shampoo. 

5. You don’t rinse off well enough.

After you use shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and other products, make sure you thoroughly rinse any excess product off your body; it’s best to use cool water to retain your skin’s moisture. 

Leaving product on your skin can cause a variety of problems. One of the biggest concerns is increased acne due to clogged pores. 

6. Drying off too roughly.

The best way to dry off is to wait a few moments for the water to drip off of you. Then gently pat your skin and hair dry.

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Rubbing too vigorously with a towel can damage your skin and cause breakage in your hair. Leaving your skin slightly wet when you apply moisturizer can help your skin retain even more moisture.

So how do your showers stack up? Are you doing everything you can to keep your skin moist and hair healthy? If not, try adjusting your showers to minimize the negative impacts. You might be surprised at how big of a difference it makes.