How Often Should You Shower? Every Day Is A MYTH

Everyone loves a shower, right? Maybe not in the freezing dark of the winter mornings before work, but at your leisure, with lots of bubbly products and lashings of hot water. What can beat it?

But it sounds like we should be more sparing of our shower time - reducing it to just a few times a week rather than a daily ritual. Because our obsessive cleanliness could actually be bad for our health.

Any excuse to use this stock shot (REX)
Any excuse to use this stock shot (REX)

Experts have regularly weighed in on the subject, with most suggesting that this trend for daily cleansing is really just a modern construct and is far from essential.

In fact, regularly soaping up could be stripping our skin of essential oils and even bacteria that help keep it, and us, healthy.

Dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch from Boston told BuzzFeed: “We overbathe in this country and that’s really important to realise.

“A lot of the reason we do it is because of societal norms.”

Indeed, the regularity of our shower-taking has increased hugely over the last few centuries - partly, of course, related to the availability of lovely hot running water on tap. Of showers, in fact.

Even a few decades ago a weekly bath would have been considered quite adequate. But then if you did have to drag the tin bath into the kitchen and boil water up for it, you probably would think that.

Showers are good. But not every day (Giphy)
Showers are good. But not every day (Giphy)

Modern Washing

Our modern washing obsession began with the advent of 'toilet soap' (body-washing soap) and advertising, which promised us that we could be more beautiful and attractive to the opposite sex.

And since then we've become a bit addicted to that nice clean feel and smell.

But our skin is pretty good at looking after itself, actually, and messing with it could leave it dry and irritated, even encouraging cracks to form and infection to take hold.

"A vigorous daily shower would disturb the natural bug flora of the skin as well as skin oils," said John Oxford, Professor of Virology at Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry.

He told The Times: "As long as people wash their hands often enough and pay attention to the area of the body below the belt, showering or bathing every other day would do no harm.

"Even twice a week would not be a problem if people used a bidet daily as most infectious bugs hang around our lower halves.

"We pay too much attention to the body beautiful and smelling good, with perfumes for men and women," he added.

"We should wash to stop cross-infection, not for grooming reasons."

OK, we're not sure how many people in the UK have easy access to a bidet (the French bum-washing sink), but washing your bits with the help of a wet flannel will probably suffice.

Never Liked Them Anyway

On the other side of the spectrum, this news may be very welcome to the increasing number of shower-dodgers amongst us. Sales of items such as dry shampoo have rocketed in the last two years, suggesting many of us are choosing time in bed over time in shower.

Now we're not advocating you skip the shower after a heavy gym session, but for the good of your skin, why not try washing every other day instead... and see how you feel? With healthier skin and hair, and stronger immunity, you might just find you're more attractive for it.

Plus, save water!

Though, if you're one of the 12 per cent of men who only has a 'proper wash' once a week, you might want to dial it up a notch. It could be why you've not had a date in a while...

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