It’s not rocket science that you want to feel clean after a shower. That’s literally the sole purpose of the act. Despite “showering” being synonymous with “cleaning yourself,” however, the majority of dermatologists say that that “squeaky clean” feeling is, well, bad.
You tend to feel uber-sanitized after scrubbing away with your go-to soap. But hardcore cleansing actually—most of the time—can strip your skin of natural oils that it needs in order to properly function and be healthy.
“This post-wash dryness is actually harmful to the overall skin health.” —Joshua Zeichner, MD
According to research conducted by Dove, 85 percent of dermatologists say their patients were surprised to hear that “squeaky clean” means your complexion could be stripped of the moisture and nutrients it needs. And a whopping 92 percent of derms note that most ordinary soaps take essential nutrients away from the skin—so this is bad news to those who relish that taut and dry feeling post-cleansing.
“The squeaky-clean feeling is something that consumers have traditionally been used to,” explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, a New York-based dermatologist. “People correlate it with healthy skin. In reality, however, we know that this post-wash dryness is actually harmful to the overall skin health.”
Sorry, scrubbers—best to stick with moisturizing, not-so-harsh cleansers instead (those without sulfates!). Hey, you could even opt to not shower for a while—it’s called beauty biohacking, after all.