How often do you shower? For most of us, the answer to this question is daily, however, experts and scientists alike explain why that may be too much.
Showering is how we remove bacteria from our hair and our skin, ensuring that we smell good, and ensuring that we are clean. In fact, according to Harvard Health, two-thirds of Americans shower daily, and over 80% of Australians do as well. In China, it’s much different, where 50% only shower twice a week.
Have you ever noticed after showering, that your skin felt tight and even dry? Most of us who shower daily may believe this is due to us being clean, however, studies show a much different story.
Dry, tight skin is just that, dry. Oftentimes, dry cracked skin can end up being more prone to bacterial infection than skin that isn’t dry in cracked. Studies that focused on handwashing showed that nurses who had skin damage caused by overwashing, before wearing gloves were more likely to become infected by disease and infection.
These studies show that at least when it comes to handwashing, dry and cracked skin is counterproductive. One could say that is a surface-level prediction of what we are doing to our body, and dermatologists agree.
But rather it is based on how often we bathe, much of it has to do with how we are bathing says Dr. Casey Carlos, a professor of medicine in the division of dermatology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
When speaking with Today, Carlos explained, “It’s the hardest thing to get people to use soap only where they need it,” and according to Today and well, obviously, soap is created to remove dirt and oil from the skin, so it’s drying. Carlos asserts that using it for our armpits, the groin area, feet, and the smelly bits is the best place.
Other than that she says that, “the skin does a pretty good job of cleaning itself.”
Additionally, her tips include using warm, not hot water, and keeping showers short.
Other sources, like Healthline and Medical News Today, assert that daily showers likely aren’t necessary, unless you are working in a field in which it’s deemed necessary, or you are constantly working out.
However, if you must shower daily, try to follow the tips Carlos
provided by sticking to the yucky and smelly bits. Above all, use some common sense, and if you don’t necessarily have to shower every day, it won’t hurt to take a day in between.