How often do you shower? If it’s daily, you’re not alone. In fact, many people shower once or twice a day. But, according to some experts, you may not need to shower that much.
Continue reading to find out eight reasons experts say you can probably get away with showering less.
8. You Aren’t as Dirty as You Think
A 2019 article published by Harvard Health Publishing revealed that approximately two-thirds of Americans shower daily. But, for dermatologist Monika G. Kiripolsky, MD, daily showering might be too much.
According to an article published by TheHealthy.com, Kiripolsky told Men’s Health that the only people who need to shower every day are those with physically demanding jobs, those living in hot, humid climates or those who are prone to sweating. She says that people who don’t sweat often could probably go two or three days without showering.
7. You’re Washing Away the Good Bacteria
Did you know that your body not only contains bad bacteria that causes body odor, sickness and other nasty things, it also contains good bacteria that keep you healthy– inside and out.
Unfortunately, showering washes away this good bacteria and launches them into the air. The good news is; they will repopulate.
The bad news is that when they do repopulate, “the species are out of balance and tend to favor the kinds of microbes that produce odor,” The Atlantic wrote on its website.
6. Showering Can Irritate Your Skin
Showering too frequently can lead to discomforts such as itching, dry and flaky skin, dry and brittle hair, and flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. This is especially true if the water is hot. According to the Cleveland Clinic, dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, says that when showering, the “water should be warm.”
In addition to discomfort from hot water, people also worry about the effect of chemicals such as salts, heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride or pesticides, often found in the water we bathe.
But, it isn’t just the temperature of the water that should cause worry. The oils, perfumes and other additives found in soaps may cause allergic reactions. The fragrances found in them can also pull moisture from your skin.
And, here’s another thing: antibacterial soaps kill off the good bacteria as well as the bad, which “upsets the balance of microorganisms on the skin and encourages the emergence of hardier, less friendly organisms that are more resistant to antibiotics,” Harvard Health Publishing wrote.
It’s also important to note that towel drying can further aggravate your skin. That being said, here are two things you can do: air dry or use a soft towel to pat your skin dry gently.
5. You’ll Save Water
If you shower less, you’ll use less water. That makes sense, right? But, just how much water are you saving?
According to an article published by TheHealthy.com, “showers are typically the third largest water guzzler in the average home (after toilets and clothes washers).”
The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons, lasts for 8.2 minutes, and has an average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute. So, as you can see, reducing the number of showers you take each week can shave a significant amount off your energy bill.
4. You Only Need to Focus on the Smelly Parts
Believe it or not, some experts say you don’t need to use soap on your entire body every time you step into the shower. One such expert is dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD. She told the Cleveland Clinic that the only areas you need to wash are your face, armpits and genitals.
If, however, you are like me and hate the idea of not showering your entire body daily, Men’s Health recommends adding a mini cleanse to your routine. This consists of rubbing your chest, armpits and genitals with a washcloth and mild cleanser.
3. Showering Makes Your Hair Frizzy
Nine times out of ten, when you hop into the shower to wash your body, you also wash your hair. Showering too frequently, then, can strip necessary oils from your hair, leaving it dry and prone to breakage.
Not only that, but it can also make your hair frizzy. According to WebMD, Michael Forrey, creative director of Sassoon Salon in New York City, told Women’s Health that some hair types (e.g., thick, dry, curly, and textured) become more unruly when they’re extra clean.
Now, to the question of how often you should shampoo. It all depends on your hair type — among other things. For example, those with oily hair may need to shampoo more than two or three times a week.
Those with dry hair should shampoo far less than that. Additionally, if you exercise or sweat a lot, or if you live in a very humid climate, you more than likely need to shampoo your hair daily. People with very fine hair should also shampoo daily.
2. You’re Harming Your Scalp’s Health
Did you know that your scalp, like the rest of your skin, contains a delicate ecosystem of microbes? Yep, it’s true. And, when you disturb this fragile ecosystem with frequent washings, you put your scalp at risk of developing both seborrheic dermatitis and contact dermatitis, as well as fungal issues.
How? Dr. Niket Sonpal MD, a New York-based internist and professor at Touro College, explained it all to Bustle: when you shampoo too much, your scalp dries out and flakes. Those flakes are known as dandruff.
If you pick or scrape at those flakes, you end up damaging your hair follicles, which could result in hair loss. Dr. Sonpal believes that shampooing every other day, or less often, is ideal for most people.
1. You’ll Save Time and Money
If you have been looking for a way to save time in the mornings when getting ready for work or school, plus shave a few bucks off your shopping bill at the same time, cutting down on your showering or skipping it entirely can help you do that.
But, just how much can you save off your shopping bill? Well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey, the average annual cost for personal care products and services was $707 or $60 per month.
A table from the BLS website shows an increase in spending in that area over the years. In 2017, Americans spent $762 per year on personal care products and services. In 2018, it went up to $768. And, in 2019, spending on personal care products and services increased again, reaching $786.