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Why Does My Skin Feel Slimy After a Shower?

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One of life’s greatest simple luxuries is taking a long, hot shower. Feeling the tension and tiredness melt away from your muscles, letting the waves of warmth wash over you and fill your head with gentle, dizzying relaxation – it’s the kind of feeling you wish could last forever.

However, the feeling immediately after a hot shower leaves a lot to be desired. Your hands buzz, the air is freezing cold, the warm relaxation converges and congeals in your head turning your thoughts fuzzy – and your skin feels sticky. Most of these sensations are natural reactions to the sudden shift in temperature, but the stickiness is something else entirely. 

As your internal temperature normalises and the hypersensitivity of your skin goes away, your awareness of this sticky sensation may fade, but you’ll still have to put up with your clothes catching and dragging on your body as if someone had sprayed a rubber film along the inside of your shirt.

Sticky or itchy skin immediately after a hot shower are likely caused by one of two things: chlorine or hard water. Depending on the quality and contents of tap water in your area, the effects may even be from a combination of the two.

Chlorine is a chemical disinfectant added to municipal water supplies to protect people on the water grid from dangerous waterborne pathogens and bacteria. Treatment chemicals are a vital part of keeping our water safe, but rubbing chlorinated water into our skin does have certain drawbacks.

Bleaching chemicals like chlorine are great for dealing with bacteria, but they can also cause irritations in your skin, eyes, and lungs. Redness and itches that persist beyond the few minutes of heat rash after a hot shower can often be attributed to a chlorine reaction, and hot showers with steam that carries chlorine into your eyes and lungs can lead to further discomfort.

Chlorinated water can also exacerbate skin conditions, causing painful flare-ups for people living with eczema or psoriasis. Other people may have specific chlorine sensitivities or allergies, experiencing unpleasant and distracting irritations from even low levels of exposure.

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“Hard water” is water that has high levels of dissolved minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These particles don’t typically cause itches or irritations themselves – apart from leaving limescale all over your shower screens and through your appliances, which can be very irritating to scrub away. Instead, hard water is indirectly responsible for irritations and stickiness caused by other chemicals.

In addition to leaving limescale deposits around your home, hard water reacts with fatty acids in soap, shampoo, and various skin/hair care products to reduce lathering. This means that you have to use larger amounts of each of these products when you’re washing your hair or body, rubbing more chemicals into your skin.

Reducing their ability to lather also impacts how well these products rinse off after you’ve finished using them, making it more likely that a film of soap residue or conditioner foam will be left on your skin when you get out of the shower. These chemicals can leave your skin with that signature slimy, itchy feeling, and leaving them there over the course of the day can cause irritations just like prolonged chlorine exposure. The drying chemicals pull natural oils out of your skin and hair, leaving them dehydrated and more vulnerable to damage.

Fortunately, whether the sliminess is caused by chlorine or hard water, there is a simple solution that solves both problems at once: Complete Home Filtration! Our multi-stage filtration system has dedicated cartridges for both hard water and chlorine, filtering out anything that might take away from that glorious hot shower feeling. When you have filtered, softened water flowing through your home, you’ll enjoy enhanced benefits both during and after your shower.

To find out more, fill out our quick contact form or give us a call on 1300 693 458.