Why Sweaty People Should Rinse More and Shower Less

Why Sweaty People Should Rinse More and Shower Less
Photo: Maridav, Shutterstock

Where most people need to dab their foreheads, my sweat glands unleash an unrelenting flood when it’s hot outside. The technical term to describe my plight is “sweaty bastard,” and perhaps you’re familiar with our breed.

My body regularly becomes as slick as an oil rig during the summer, so I’ve long been an advocate of showering as much as necessary. Whereas showering infrequently is totally cool under the right circumstances, people like me have to do the exact opposite during the more torrid months to maintain any semblance of being a normal person.

But showering multiple times a day can feel unnecessary at best, and a flippant waste of water at worst, not to mention an assault on your skin. To that end, if you’re sweaty like me, I recommend rinsing over showering — and yes, there is quite the difference.

How is rinsing different from a shower?

Showering is part leisure, at least in some respects; with showering, you might revel in the hot water and sturdy water pressure. Rinsing is purely pragmatic though and meant to rid your body of the excess bacteria that’s probably burrowing into your skin after the latest bodily downpour.

Rinsing isn’t a pleasurable activity, really. You’re not rinsing because you want to — you’re rinsing because you need to. To that end, rinsing should be short and to the point. There’s no daydreaming, you’re not exploring new soaps and exfoliation methods, because rinsing is little more than damage control. You may rinse with either hot or cold water, but your rinse should be no longer than two to three minutes.

The beauty of rinsing is that you can do it as many times as you need, given that you’re not abusing the system. You really shouldn’t need to rinse more than twice in a given day; the impetus behind rinsing is to conserve water, so the cumulative effect of your rinsing regimen should equal that of a thorough, but not overly-indulgent, shower.

How do you rinse to keep from being too sweaty?

As mentioned earlier, rinsing is a pragmatic ritual. You’re rinsing to clean yourself and nothing else. (This is technically true of showers, in theory, but people do all sorts of things in the shower that don’t involve actual bathing). To rinse, get in the shower and scrub yourself with soap — or maybe don’t even use soap, if you’re concerned about irritating your skin and you don’t have body odor. You probably don’t need to shampoo your hair, unless it’s littered with sand from the beach or you haven’t washed it in a while. A nice cool rinse is a great way to lower the body’s temperature as well.

Rinsing is a seasonal practice and should only be used out of an abundance of caution — with the environment and your sweat glands in mind. Showering too often can be bad for your skin, and layering too much soap on your skin can kill off bacteria that’s actually good for you. Same goes for shampooing, which you should still only do if you need it.

For all of my immensely sweaty brethren out there, I implore you all to try rinsing twice a day over the summer. Showering, after all, might be too much for the Earth — not to mention your delicate skin — to handle.

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