Are Brits too worried about staying clean?

Have Brits become obsessed with keeping clean, and is there any such thing as ‘too clean’? (Picture: Getty)

For most people, showering and washing regularly is just part of the daily routine.

According to a new poll by Yahoo News UK and YouGov Omnibus, 70% of Brits shower or bath at least four to six times a week, including 49% who do so once a day.

And for every 100 people, six shower more than once a day.

Listen to the full episode of Britain is a Nation of… below

But is that really necessary, or have we become a nation obsessed with keeping clean, and could it actually do more harm than good when it comes to our health?

“Certainly we’re washing our babies a bit too often,” says Dr Daniel Atkinson, clinical director at online consultation and prescription service

Speaking on the latest episode of Yahoo’s podcast Britain Is A Nation Of…, which unpacks statistics around the subject of hygiene, he said: “Babies that get washed every day tend to have more eczema and more dry skin.”

We’re probably washing babies too much, says Dr Daniel Atkinson, from (Picture: Getty)

And they’re not the only ones at risk of the effects of constantly removing our skin’s own natural oils, he said.

“We’re washing away a lot of the oils. Nature has given us a way of protecting ourselves from disease and injection and we’re probably washing some of that away.”

Showering every day is more a result of social norms than actual hygiene, he adds.

“It’s not because you can see dirt near us but we like to smell nice.

“We’ve got this thing in our heads about ‘everything must be clean all the time’ and actually the less of those pathogens – the dirt out there that we expose ourselves to – the less defence we build up and therefore we are perhaps a bit more vulnerable.”

To hear more unpacking of statistics about British people, listen to the full episode above, or download it on Apple Podcasts, Acast, or Spotify to listen while on the go.