Take Fewer Showers For Healthier Skin

Hot showers and strong soap strip natural oils and beneficial bacteria from your skin. Combat the dry skin and hair by decreasing the number of showers you take.

Photo by Steven Depolo.

The New York Times highlights a growing trend in hygiene: more and more people are decreasing the number of showers they take and the amount of deodorant products they slather on their bodies. While the piece does raise interesting questions — How much is the daily shower part of our obsession with hygiene? How much bathing is really necessary? — it also highlights the practical downside of frequent bathing.

Some people have long complained that showering too much makes their skin drier or more prone to flare-ups of, say, eczema, and Dr. Gallo said that scientists are just beginning to understand why. "It's not just removing the lipids and oils on your skin that's drying it out," he said. It could be "removing some of the good bacteria that help maintain a healthy balance of skin."

Lower humidity levels practically suck moisture right out of your skin. Cut back on the number of showers you take to keep your body moisturised and, according to Dr Gallo, stocked with beneficial bacteria. Check out the full article at the link below to hear from doctors on both sides of the less-is-more showering debate as well as people who have adopted the shower-when-necessary habit.

The Great Unwashed [The New York Times]


    There is a problem with the whole "shower-when-necessary" thing. People's judgement of when it is necessary can vary.

    There are some people I have met in life who I wish would shower more often. They might think they smell okay or don't smell, but others know they stink.

    I vary the amount I shower depending on the time of year. In summer I often shower twice a day due to the amount I sweat. In winter it is once a day or sometimes once every 2 days.

    People tend to smell if they don't shower at least once a day. If you think you don't, then no one has been polite enough to tell you about it yet.

    I wash with a wet rag on a stick.

      OH yeah! Well I wash myself with a sponge on a stick!

    I only ever have cold showers (even in winter). I feel so alive after showering. And it reduces my electricity bill.

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