How long should you spend in the shower? Optimal length of time for your health – doctor

Showering: Dermatologist recommends ways to keep skin healthy

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Showering brings both physical and psychological benefits, as anyone can attest to after a long hard day at work. However, you can have too much of a good thing. Spending too long in the shower can cause health problems.

Doctor Gary Goldenberg, a dermatologist in New York and a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, recommended a maximum of five to 10-minute showers in lukewarm water for most people.

Speaking to The New York Times, he said: “Very hot showers tend to take the oil off your skin, and tend to irritate your skin.

“The longer you are in the water, the higher the chance it is going to dry your skin.”

This advice extends to bath time too, he added.

There is also an optimal time of the day to shower, experts suggest, although it may depend on your personal circumstances.

“It’s believed that showering in the evening is better for your skin health for a number of reasons,” explained cosmetic doctor Doctor Rekha Tailor.

Speaking to, Doctor Tailor said one of the primary benefits is that it cleans the skin before you go to sleep.

“In doing this it removes the dirt from the air which includes germs, pollution and dust which can gather during the day, as well as sweat which accumulates.”

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Doctor Tailor added: “By showering at night you are cleansing your skin of these before you go to sleep, thus enabling it to properly regenerate overnight.”

What’s more, because the period when we are sleeping is crucial for skin regeneration, ensuring you have clean skin will help to make sure that pores don’t become clogged, noted the doc.

This should hopefully prevent whiteheads and blackheads from developing, as well as acne breakouts.

Evidence attests to the benefits of showering in the evening.

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews found that a warm shower or bath before bedtime improved self-rated sleep quality and efficiency.

This effect was achieved when showering for as little as 10 minutes one to two hours before bedtime.

The frequency of your showers also has a bearing on your health.

According to Harvard Health, “daily showers do not improve your health, could cause skin problems or other health issues — and, importantly, they waste a lot of water”.

While there is no ideal frequency, experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people.

As Harvard Health points out, exceptions to this rule include being particularly grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often.

“Short showers (lasting three or four minutes) with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice,” says the health body.

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