8 things you should STOP doing while showering

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Think twice before lathering up.By Amanda Hawkins for Cosmopolitan

 Thought you can do it? Showering on a daily basis? Read these instructions by Amanda: You’ll be surprised.

1. Using the same washcloths or loofah.

Unfortunately, both are breeding grounds for bacteria. You should only use a washcloth three or four times before throwing them in the laundry. And to make sure they’re really clean, wash them in hot water. That will also eliminate any leftover musty smells that are caused from body oil and soap buildup. You should also toss your loofah or poufs every three to four weeks.

2. Exfoliating every day.

You might think that daily exfoliation is the best way to remove dirt buildup and oil. But it’s not. Over-scrubbing can actually cause your skin to become oiler, and therefore trap more dirt and bacteria. Instead, use a gentle scrub just a few days a week, or even better, once a week and at night.

3. Washing your hair without combing it first.

To avoid breakage, give your hair a quick comb through before showering. This helps you avoid tangles and damage later. And if your hair is prone to tangles, use a wide-tooth comb after you add conditioner to keep things smooth. Then rinse thoroughly.

4. Brushing your teeth while showering.

Since you’re multitasking, you’re probably not giving your teeth the attention they need. Timothy Chase, D.M.D., recommends at least two full minutes of brushing with an electric toothbrush if possible.

5. Shaving your legs first.

We know how it is: You’re in a rush so you pull out the razor right away. Well, if you don’t have time, it might be better if you didn’t shave at all. To get really smooth legs, you should wait at least 15 minutes so the heat from the water softens the hair and opens up the follicles.

6. Washing your hair every day.

Who knew? The more you wash it, the oiler it will become because your scalp starts to overproduce oils to overcompensate. Instead, shampoo your hair every other day or every third day — that way, your natural oils can penetrate down to the ends, leaving your hair shinier and healthier.

No ready to ditch your daily shampoo routine? Try dry shampoo or even washing with conditioner.

7. Showering in really hot water

It’s cold outside and we get it — a long hot shower sounds like the best thing in the world. But too hot water can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema and dry, itchy skin. So stick with warm water.

8. Being too rough with the towel.

Intense towel drying can ruin your hair follicles, which can lead to damage and breakage. And, it can also worsen skin conditions like dryness and itchiness. Pat dry whenever possible and avoid wrapping your hair up in a towel.