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Why you should never wash your face in the shower

Charlotte Hilton Andersen is the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and runs the popular health and fitness website of the same name, where she tries out a new workout every month, specializing...

The secret to glowing skin may be about where you wash your face

If your shower routine is anything like mine, it involves a whole lot of soap — shampoo, shaving gel, body wash and, of course, a facial cleanser. All different types of soap, sure, but still a lot of soap. But while soaping up in the shower may be the most natural thing, it may not be the best thing, especially when it comes to your face.

Skin care is a complicated subject. When you’re young, you can splash some water on your face and go on with your day, but once most of us are past 18, we start needing a little more help to look awake (or sometimes just alive, ahem).

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But there’s one thing most of us never change, and that’s washing our faces. Whether you’re scrubbing off layers of makeup, workout sweat or just the grime from the day, we all want to put our best face forward. And most times, the most convenient place to do that is in the shower. (There’s a reason all the new face-scrubbing tools are waterproof!).

Face scrubbing in the shower might be a mistake, however, said Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, a co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, D.C., in an interview with The Gloss.

“I recommend that my patients wash their faces at the sink [instead of the shower],” she said. “You should use lukewarm to cold water, which is better for delicate faces.”

The real benefit of the sink (and downfall of the shower) is that you can better control the temperature. Apparently our thin facial skin prefers cool water, but I have yet to meet the woman who truly loves a cold shower.

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Plus, the sink means you can quickly change temperatures, allowing you to finish with an ice-cold splash. “A cold finish stimulates circulation and can be hugely beneficial to the overall glow of your skin,” she added.

Now, if you’re lazy like I am, you’re probably thinking that this is the reason makeup wipes were invented. They’re probably already cold(ish) and almost as convenient as the shower! But while they’re fine for the occasional wipe down, the experts say to avoid this shortcut, as wipes are harsh on your skin.

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When it comes to a glowing, healthy complexion, apparently nothing beats an old-fashioned face wash with mild cleanser in the bathroom sink. Either that, or learn to love icy showers. But when it comes to your face, it’s worth it! (It is worth it, right?)

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