Some people don’t shower every day. While there’s tons of conflicting advice about how often you should shower, this group might have it right.
It may sound counterproductive, but a shower every day could be bad for your skin. Some dermatologists only recommend a shower every other day, or two to three times a week.
Many people hit the shower at least once a day, either in the morning or at night before bed. Depending on the day and your activity level, you might even take two or three showers.
There’s no arguing the importance of personal hygiene. But while some people take a daily shower, in many cases it doesn’t have to be a part of your daily routine.
Not convinced that you can skip the daily shower and stay clean? Here’s what you need to know about showering too much, as well as not showering enough.
The recommendation above from dermatologists doesn’t mean you have to scale back your shower routine. Everyone’s skin is different, and each person’s skin can change from season to season.
For example, your skin might be drier in the winter, in which case too many showers can bring on extreme dryness. Yet, a shower every day in the summer may not negatively affect your skin.
Since there are no hard or fast rules on how much is too much, it’s important that you get to know your body and determine what your skin can tolerate.
if you bathe too often
If you shower too much it can lead to discomfort, and you may experience:
- dry, flaky skin
- flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis
- dry, brittle hair
Due to personal preference, you may not want to skip a daily shower. If this applies to you, stick with only one shower per day, according to experts.
Any more and you can potentially strip your skin of essential oils. This causes dryness, which can lead to skin inflammation or eczema. Your skin may feel itchy and may crack, flake, and become red.
If you have a skin condition like psoriasis, more than one shower per day might even trigger a flare-up. Also, too many showers may rinse away “good” bacteria from your skin, putting you at risk for infections.
Skin health isn’t the only reason to shower less, though. Showers use a lot of water, but you may not realize how much.
Taking shorter showers or reducing your number of showers can drastically decrease your family’s water consumption. You’ll not only conserve resources, but also lower your utility bill.
The Alliance for Water Efficiency estimates that the average shower lasts about 8.2 minutes and uses roughly 17.2 gallons of water.
Just as you can shower too much, you can also shower too little. So, although fewer showers may improve skin health, you should still keep your personal hygiene in mind.
Sweat glands cover much of your body, and they produce sweat when you’re overheated, stressed, hormonal, or physically active. Sweat in itself is odorless — until it combines with bacteria that’s normally present on the skin.
A skipped shower here or there probably won’t trigger body odor, especially if you haven’t been exercising. However, body odor is inevitable the longer you go without a shower, particularly in your armpits and groin.
Of course, the risk of body odor isn’t the only reason to shower or bathe regularly. Poor hygiene or infrequent showers can cause a buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, and sweat on your skin. This can trigger acne, and possibly exacerbate conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
Showering too little can also trigger an imbalance of good and bad bacteria on your skin. Too much bad bacteria on your skin also puts you at risk for skin infections. This may lead to dermatitis neglecta, where patches of plaque develop on the skin due to inadequate cleansing.
Bathing also removes dead skin cells. When you don’t bathe enough, these cells can stick to your skin and cause hyperpigmentation. Resuming good hygiene can correct this condition.
if you don’t bathe enough
If you go too long between showers you may experience:
- increased body odor
- flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis
- skin infections
- areas of dark or discolored skin
- in extreme cases, dermatitis neglecta, thick patches of scaly skin
If you exercise, play sports, have a messy job, or simply prefer a shower every day, there are ways to help keep your skin healthy.
tips for healthy bathing
Here are a few tips to bathe correctly and protect your skin.
- Only take one shower a day (every other day, if possible). On days that you don’t shower, give yourself a sponge bath. Wash your face, armpits, and groin with a washcloth.
- Don’t shower in hot water. Use warm water, instead.
- Limit showers to 5 to 10 minutes.
- Use a gentle soap or cleanser, and thoroughly rinse off soap before exiting the shower.
- Don’t rub your skin with a towel. Blot skin dry to retain moisture.
- Avoid cleansers and soaps with fragrances or deodorants. These products can irritate your skin.
- Apply moisturizer to your skin after each shower or bath.
Although personal hygiene is important for your health, it’s possible to bathe too often. Daily showers might be part of your schedule, but at the end of the day, you need to do what’s best for your skin.
If you’re plagued by dry skin and looking for a way to stop skin inflammation and irritation, experiment with fewer showers. Or at the very least, limit your showers to five minutes and skip the hot water.