November 23, 2015 / Leah Boles
There are varying opinions out there about how often you should really shower. Some articles have claimed that you should not shower every day in order to prevent from over-drying your skin and hair, but is that really a problem? Are there other hygienic issues that may arise if you don’t shower daily?
According to most dermatologists, social norms in the United States have led us to believe we need to shower every day. However, showering every day, especially while using hot water, can dry out and irritate skin, wash away good bacteria that naturally exist on your skin, and introduce small cracks that can put you at higher risk of infection. It is important to find a good balance that will keep your skin clean while allowing it to remain healthy.
How often you should shower really comes down to you and your daily habits and activities. Here are some factors to keep in mind when determining a routine:
Some people are recommended to shower daily. These people include: those who commute in a crowded space (i.e. subway, bus), those who go to the gym daily, and/or those who are in contact with potentially sick people (i.e. educators, nurses, caretakers, etc.).
During flu season, it’s a good practice to shower daily.
You should shower daily if your job is physically demanding.
If the above factors do not apply to you, then you only really need to shower about every other day.
Some benefits of less frequent showering include softer skin due to not stripping off your body’s natural beneficial oils. Health professionals suggest that to solve dry skin irritation, it is better to shower less frequently than to choose a moisturizer to solve the problem. Another benefit is that is preserves helpful bacteria. Dr. Richard Gallo, the dermatology chief at the University of California, pointed out in a recent New York Times article that:
Good bacterium in the skin cell helps these cells learn how to produce their own antibiotics that can help protect us from bad bacteria. Body lotion and most soaps don’t provide this benefit; only showering less frequently does. (Med-Health.net, How Often Should You Shower)