This Is How Much Time You Should Really Spend In The Shower

For many of us, the time spent steaming in a hot shower is more than just a daily necessity of hygiene. It's a self-care ritual, a time of sanity-restoring calm, a spark of contented joy during what might otherwise be a rushed morning or an exhausting evening. In other words, time in the shower ranks high on the list of daily essentials. But how long should we really spend in there?

If you're someone who loves to luxuriate and looks forward to each shower for a spa-like experience, you won't like the answer. Dermatologists tell us that, for the sake of our skin and the environment, showers should only last between 5 and 15 minutes. Longer than that, and you're likely to dry out your skin. Dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, told Well + Good, "I definitely would cap it at 15 minutes. If your fingers and toes are wrinkly, you've been in for too long."

Apply moisturizer right after showering

For those who struggle with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, it's even more important to not only keep showers short but to keep the temperature down, too. Warm, rather than hot water, is best for keeping skin healthy and happy, and this becomes more important the older we get. According to Dr. Erum Ilyas, a board-certified dermatologist, "Hotter showers will strip our skin of its natural oils leading to a higher risk of itchy dry skin. This is particularly an issue as we get older" (via Insider).

Besides limiting time spent in the shower, and keeping the water temperature to warm, dermatologists also recommend using a gentle soap or cleanser, blotting (instead of rubbing) skin dry, and then using a moisturizer to lock in moisture. This is especially important during the winter months when the outside air is drier. According to the Mayo Clinic, "skin tends to be driest in winter, when temperatures and humidity levels plummet."