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Why Is My Skin Dry After Showering & How to Prevent It

While you may hop in the shower to clean your body and skin, the result may be dry skin instead.

Why does a shower dry out your skin, and what can you do to avoid getting dry skin from showering?

Learn how to shower without damaging your skin and achieve great glowing skin.

dry skin after shower

Why Do I Get Dry Skin After a Shower?

There are several reasons why a shower can lead to dry skin.

1. Hot Water Removes Essential Skin Oils

When you shower in really hot water, your skin pores open, releasing the natural oils that are stored in the skin. As a result, the skin dries out.

It is best to shower in a lukewarm shower to ensure your skin oils can remain in your skin, where they belong.

Never shower with water warmer than 110°F (43°C) because hotter temperatures dry out your skin and will denature healthy skin bacteria.

2. Soap and Shower Gel Contain Harsh Chemicals

Soap and shower gels are specifically designed to remove oils and sweat from your skin.

Yet, if your shower gel or soap contains too much surfactant or the ingredient that causes bubbly lather, it will bind with your skin oils and remove these too.

This results in dry and cracking skin.

3. You Don’t Rinse Well

The chemicals in soap and shower gel can create a deposit on your skin, which continues to dry out your skin even after you’ve toweled yourself.

Not properly rinsing your skin of any soapy residue will cause skin dryness.

4. Your Toweling Method Is Harsh

When you rub vigorously at your wet skin with a towel, you remove even more skin cells and any natural oils.

It is vital that you simply use your towel as a way to pad or tap your skin dry.

This will ensure your skin stays moist, instead of using friction to remove further skin sebum.

5. Your Post Shower Skin Treatment Is Inefficient

Whether you bathe or shower, your skin will lose natural moisture.

Using a good after-bath or shower moisturizer or oil will help condition your skin and replace the oils your skin lost.

If you don’t follow a moisturizing routine, then the next shower will further dehydrate your skin, causing more dryness. This dryness can be most clearly seen on your face.

Why Is My Face and Forehead Always Dry After a Shower?

Your face has the most delicate skin. This is why you should never use regular soap on your face.

Yet, people easily make this mistake and wash their face with regular soap in the shower. Particularly your face and forehead will dry out during a shower as these areas are the most sensitive.

Your face and forehead are areas where there is the most oil production in your body, and this is necessary to ensure your face’s skin remains moisturized and flexible. In the shower, these areas suffer oil loss the most.

The heat of the shower, constantly being in water and steam, being rubbed vigorously with a towel when you’re done showering, and not moisturizing after the shower all contribute to dry skin.

Can Too Much Showering Cause Dry Skin?

Showering too frequently damages the natural oil balance and bacteria production that healthy skin has.

The result of this imbalance is dry skin and/or acne. While it may sound gross, showering every other day instead of every day can actually be good for your skin.

How to Avoid Dry Skin After a Shower

Here’s how to ensure your skin is never dehydrated after a shower.

  • Use dermatologically approved shower gel

  • Use a loofah or sponge instead of a facecloth

  • Use a large soft towel

  • Use a good quality body lotion or body oil

  • Use good quality face lotion

  • Take a shower that’s set to a cooler temperature setting and with a medium spray of water, not a strong spray

With these selections, you know you will be doing your best to preserve your skin’s natural oil balance, avoid dehydrating your skin, and replace any lost skin moisture with a good quality lotion or body oil.

Precautions to Take In and After the Shower

In the shower:

  • Turn the showerhead away from your body when you are soaping your body

  • Never keep your face under the shower rose’s spray for more than a few seconds at a time

  • Rinse your body under a medium spray at a lukewarm temperature setting while in the shower

  • Be sure to rinse your neck, shoulders, and feet as these are areas where soap tends to resist rinsing

  • Avoid lingering in the spray of your shower’s water

Out of the shower:

  • Use your towel to gently pad or tap at your skin instead of rubbing

  • Take extra care not to rub at your wet face with your towel

  • Apply a good quality face lotion to your face once you have toweled the skin dry to avoid flakey skin on the face after a shower

  • After you have dressed, be sure to apply a nourishing hand cream to your hands as they have been most exposed to water and friction and need the extra moisture

How to Treat and Moisturize Dry Skin After a Shower

Post-shower skin needs moisture, and it also needs its natural barrier repaired. This calls for application of a good quality moisturizing lotion or body oil that bonds with water and forms a healthy barrier on the skin.

If your skin is dry and flakey after a shower, keep these tips in mind to help your skin become hydrated and healthy again:

  • Never rub at the flakes or scratch them as this will damage the layers of skin underneath, making the problem worse

  • Do apply a nourishing body lotion or body oil to help revive the dried-out skin cells

  • Take extra care with dry skin and sun exposure as dry skin will burn much easier, so apply an SPF50+ sun protection lotion

  • Never take another shower to get rid of flakey skin as this will simply leech more moisture from your skin

  • Do try these lotions and moisturizers to help repair, hydrate, and nourish your skin

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula With Vitamin E. This lotion is a thick and rich product that is great for those who shower at night as it can be a little oily on the skin, but it seals in moisture and repairs dry skin beautifully.

Curel Hydra Therapy Body Lotion. Apply this hydrating lotion after your shower before you towel your body as it activates best on just-showered wet skin.

Neutrogena Sheer Oil-Lotion. Have the best of both worlds with this oil and lotion combination, which actively hydrates your skin while sealing it from drying out further.

BONUS: Skin Hydrating Tip

While you don’t want to rub at your dry skin or pull off flakey bits, it is a good idea to have a great in-shower exfoliation session once or twice a week.

A sugar rub is a good way to naturally remove dry skin, boost blood flow to your skin, and stimulate the formation of new skin cells.

Try the Dove Exfoliating Body Polish Scrub for silky smooth shower-hydrated skin.

Chantelle Farrell

Chantelle is a professional cosmetologist who runs her own skin care clinic Amaranthine Aesthetics. She specializes in anti-aging treatment and natural skin care procedures that restore skin beauty and keep it healthy over time.

As a skin care expert, Chantelle enjoys sharing her advice about reliable skin care products, techniques, and aftercare procedures. She believes that everyone should take care of their body and skin and can do that effectively when armed with proper knowledge.

About Loo Academy

At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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