Some people shower every day, some shower twice a day, some don’t shower every day. Ask around, and you’ll end up with tons of differing advice about how often you should shower. So, who’s right? and which advice should you follow?
It may sound unsanitary, but showering every day could be bad for your skin. As a result, dermatologists only recommend showering every other day, or two to three times a week.
Don’t get us wrong, there’s no arguing the importance of bodily hygiene. You may choose to follow experts’ advice, or you may not. But, while essential, it doesn’t have to be a part of your everyday routine. Most people take showers at least once a day. Depending on the day, your schedule, and the weather, you might even take two or three showers.
Still not convinced that you can skip the daily shower and still stay clean? Here’s what you need to know about how often you should shower and the consequences of over/under-showering.
Should You Shower Every Day?
How much is too much? The recommendation stated above from dermatologists doesn’t mean you have to change your shower routine. Your skin is different from other people’s, and each person’s skin changes with the seasons.
For instance, your skin might be more dehydrated in the winter, in which case showering every day might bring on excessive dryness. Yet, on hot summer days, a shower every day may not negatively affect your skin. However, since there are no universal rules on how much is too much, you must get to know your body and determine what your skin can bear.
If You Shower Too Often
If you shower way too much (twice a day or more), it can lead to physical discomfort, and you may experience:
- Dry, flaky skin
- Flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis
- Dry, fragile hair
If you grew up taking a shower every day and it’s been working for you, you may not want to change this good practice. Taking more showers, however, and you can potentially shred your skin of essential oils.
If you have a skin condition such as psoriasis, more than one shower a day might trigger a flare-up. Furthermore, taking too many showers may wash away “healthy” bacteria from your skin, putting you at greater risk for infections.
Besides, skin health isn’t the only reason to shower less. Showers use a lot of water, and most people don’t realize how much. That said, showering less saves water. So, shower wisely!
If You Don’t Shower Enough
If you go too long between showers, you may experience:
- Body odor
- Skin infections
- Flare-ups of skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis)
- Spots of discolored skin
- In severe cases, dermatitis neglecta, thick patches of flaky skin
While showering too much has its consequences, showering too little also brings about adverse outcomes. So, although more scattered showers may improve skin health and conserve water, you should still keep your own sanitation in mind.
Sweat glands cover most of your body, and they give off sweat when you’re stressed, overheated, hormonal, or active. Sweat in itself is scentless — until it merges with bacteria that are usually present in the body.
If you don’t exercise every day, a skipped shower here or there probably won’t trigger body odor. However, the longer you go without a decent shower, it is inevitable, especially in your armpits and groin.
Of course, the risk of smelling bad isn’t the only reason to shower daily. Poor hygiene or showering too little can cause an accumulation of dead skin cells, sweat, and dirt on your skin. This can trigger acne and possibly worsen conditions like psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis.
Not showering enough can also trigger an unevenness of good and bad bacteria on your body. Too many harmful bacteria on your skin also put you at greater risk for skin infections. This may lead to dermatitis neglecta, where plaque spots develop on your skin due to poor hygiene.
Lastly, when you don’t shower enough, dead skin cells can stick to your skin and cause hyperpigmentation.
How To Bathe Correctly?
If you work out, play a sport, have a physically demanding job, or simply grew up with the tradition of taking a shower every day, there are ways to help keep your skin fresh and clean.
Here are a few tips for bathing correctly and preserving your healthy skin.
- Take one shower every other day. On days that you don’t shower, settle for a nice and warm sponge bath. Wash your face, armpits, and groin with a clean washcloth (not your towel).
- Use warm water instead of hot water.
- Limit showers to 5 to 8 minutes.
- Use a gentle soap or body wash, and thoroughly wash off the soap before getting out of the shower.
- Blot skin dry instead of rubbing your skin with a towel. This helps retain moisture.
- Avoid soaps with fragrances. These products contain chemicals that can irritate certain types of skin.
- Apply a quality moisturizer to your skin after the shower or bath.
Although personal cleanliness is essential for your health, it’s possible to shower too often or not enough. Modern humans may have adapted to the one shower-a-day rule, making daily showers a part of most of our routines, but at the end of the day, you listen to your skin. If you’re experiencing dry, crackly skin and looking for a way to end the inflammation and irritation, try taking fewer showers. Or, at the very least, try warm water instead of hellishly hot, and limit your showers to five minutes.