Photo by Steven Depolo via Flickr
When dealing with a hard day of school, one of my favorite things to do is to hop in the shower. While this might not be an activity most people see as a highlight, I certainly do! The nice warm water hits my face, trickles down my body, and, for an instant, makes me forget about all of my problems. But, recently, I have found out some problems with my own personal showering habits. We all love a hot shower at the beginning or end of the day, but they can be bad for the skin.
According to Reader’s Digest, “showers, especially in the winter, are way too hot and long.” It is pretty interesting that hot showers are not, necessarily, healthy for the skin. They are so relaxing and an escape from the plight of a college education, yet their length may be something to be mindful of. Longer, hot, showers “strip your skin of natural oils and lipids that help trap water to keep it moist”. Who would have thought that the shower, the thing that brings water to the body, would prevent the body from keeping water.
Will this make me change the way I feel about taking a nice hot shower? Probably not! I enjoy taking a hot shower far too much to care about the oils in my skin; however, I feel as though this is something most people do not know. Many people I have talked to here on campus agree with me that a nice hot shower to end or begin the day is amazing. However, some of these people take really long and hot showers.
How someone stays in the shower is beyond me, but I understand the impulse to stay in that long. The shower, unlike many other things in our college life here, is an escape. It does not demand anything of the person in it; it does not care how long or short you are with it; and it does not even care what you look like. All the shower requires is for someone to turn the nozzle, and thus engage.
So, after looking at the shower in a different light, I can see why people feel compelled to stay in longer than what might seem normal and reasonable, especially considering California is in a drought!
Another essential part of the shower is the soap. What kind of soap you use, what kind of properties does it have, and what type of feel does it give you? These are all questions, which I believe, are important to the showering experience. However, one woman, Dr. Robynne Chutkan, says it is better to not use traditional soap at all. She says “normal movement and exercise require soap in your armpits and groin, but the rest of the body is fine with a rinse only.” She goes on further to say that if one must use soap, only use organic, mild brands.
To me, this is a lot to ask from our soap/body wash loving community. For people to just rinse off, it takes all the love and affection a shower brings, and throws it away. But, there is sort of an upside. You are allowed to save money on shower supplies since you are not using them as heavily!
With these two new insights of looking at showers, I dare you to critique the way you shower and see if you fall into either or both categories.