Long baths may seem like the perfect way to wash away dirt, oil and bacteria, but this age-old practice is a huge skin moisture zapper. Soaking in a tub full of hot water to wash away stress or taking a cold shower to achieve the appearance of tauter skin may be two skin care myths you've heard. They're myths for a reason: Neither does much good for your skin.
Most doctors will advise limiting your bath or shower to five to 10 minutes; others recommend spending even less time in the water [source: AgingSkinNet]. Experts know that after you've been in the water too long, your skin actually loses water between each layer and from its cells. Soaking too long in the bath also depletes natural oils that help protect your skin. Don't be surprised to hear a dermatologist or other skin care expert tell you that a short, warm shower is the best and most direct route to caring for your skin.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- AgingSkinNet."Causes of Aging Skin." 2008. (Sept. 15, 2009). http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/basicfacts.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Turning back the hands of time." Feb. 21, 2005. (Sept. 10, 2009). http://www.aad.org/media/background/news/Releases/Turning_Back_the_Hands_of_Time/
- American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. "Dry Skin." 2009. (Sept. 7, 2009). http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/dry_skin.html
- Crisp, Stuart. "Coping with Dry Dkin." April 1, 2005. (Sept. 10, 2009).http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/health_advice/facts/dryskin.htm
- Fischer, Karen. "The Seven Steps to Perfect Skin: How to Keep the Body's Largest Organ in Peak Condition." Mail Online. Sept. 7, 2009. (Sept. 10, 2009).
- Good Morning America. "Skin Care Excerpt: 'You: Being Beautiful' Get Some Secret Tips for Great Skin Care." Dec. 7, 2008. (Sept. 17, 2009).http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/story?id=6374345&page=1
- Hausen, Rebecca. "Alcohol's Effect on the Skin." Menscience. March 11, 2008. (Sept. 10, 2009).http://www.menscience.com/assets/newsletter/news0308.html
- Indiana Public Media. "Dry Skin: Why Does It Occur?" A Moment of Science. Dec. 14, 2005. (Sept. 12, 2009). http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/dry-skin/
- "Skin Moisture." Argonne National Laboratory Division of Educational Programs. (Sept. 24, 2009). http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen01/gen01057.htm
- University of Iowa, Department of Dermatology. "Winter Dry Skin." Aug. 7, 2006. (Sept. 12, 2009). http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/skinhealth/winterskin.html
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