You’ve invested in high-quality skincare products. You stay on top of your skincare routine. And you always remove your makeup before you go to bed. But even with a beauty regime like this, you could still be ruining your skin if you do this one, simple thing – taking hot showers.

Are you showers too hot? Now that winter is in full swing, there’s nothing more appealing than a long, steamy shower to warm up. But this is one skincare mistake you need to stop making ASAP. Here’s why.

Hot water can remove the precious oils from your skin, leaving it dry. And if you’re skin is dry, it’s going to crack, feel itchy and you might even end up with rashes, especially during the cold, dry season.

Combine this with harsh body washes and rough rubbing (instead of a gentle pat down), and your skin will feel damaged rather than pampered.

So, here’s how to tell if your showers are too hot:

  • Does your skin look red after you shower? If so, try a cooler setting.
  • Before you hop in the shower, test the water with your elbow. It’s a sensitive area of your body, and if the water feels too warm, it probably is.

Along with keeping your shower temperatures cooler, you can keep your skin hydrated during and after showers, too.

If you’re planning on shaving in the shower, consider turning the water off while you do so. This way, you won’t be stripping away as many oils from your skin.

While washing, use a moisturizing formula like Glossier’s, Body Hero Daily Oil Wash to add oils to your skin, rather than strip them away.

After your shower, apply a moisturizing cream to your skin. Dandy Engleman, a dermatologist at New York City’s Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, recommends applying Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream All-Over Miracle Oil.

Another creamy moisturizer to use is Josie Maran’s Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter. This will help nourish your skin and prevent post-shower dryness, cracking and even rashes.