Cleanliness has come a long way in contemporary times. With indoor plumbing and luxury hygiene products, it is easier than ever to just hop in the shower and wash up. If you are like most people, you probably shower at least once a day. Whether in the morning or at night, we’ve gotten used to showering at the beginning or end of the day, sometimes more depending on our daily activities.
But how often should you shower? There’s no one right answer to that question. However, showering too little or too much may be detrimental, so keep reading to find out why it’s important to find the right balance.
How Often Should You Shower?
There is no universal rule as to how often one should shower. People have different cleanliness needs and everyone’s body is different.
In addition, some participate in activities that may require showering more often than others. So due to unique lifestyles and skin, the frequency of showering varies from person to person.
As a general rule, you may be able to get away with showering every other day. Modern hygiene products may keep most of the offensive body odors at bay, so waiting to shower on every second or third day may be okay.
However, some people simply need to shower daily. Humid environments, jobs where you get dirty or sweaty, and personal body odor may necessitate a shower a day.
What Happens When You Don’t Shower Enough?
Some people don’t feel the need to shower often, or they’re in a situation wherein they can’t take a shower. For example, people who hike into remote areas may not have access to fresh water to bathe in. Alternatively, an illness like the flu may make it difficult to get out of bed to take a shower.
Generally, going without a shower for days at a time won’t cause lasting damage. But, of course, you may start giving off an unpleasant scent after a few days. Sweat glands are all over your body, and when you’re stressed, hormonal, overheated, or physically active, they’ll produce sweat.
Furthermore, infrequent showering may also cause a buildup on the skin. Dirt, dead skin cells, and sweat may trigger acne all over your body, not just on the face. It can make other conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis worse, too.
Not showering enough may also eventually cause an imbalance on the skin. The skin on your body is host to a myriad of bacteria, both good and bad. However, too much of the bad bacteria may increase your risk of skin infections.
In addition, you may eventually develop dermatitis neglecta. This is a skin condition that usually appears as a result of not cleansing the skin regularly or properly. When it occurs, patches of plaque or scales develop on the skin.
Showering removes dead skin cells, but not doing it enough causes those cells to stick to your skin. If you don’t bathe enough, hyperpigmentation may develop over time as a result. Luckily, the condition is reversible when you start practicing good hygiene habits again.
What Happens When You Shower Too Much?
When it comes to showering, doing it too often may be too much of a good thing. You may experience uncomfortable symptoms like:
- dry, brittle hair
- dry, flaky skin
- skin condition flare-ups like psoriasis and eczema
If you absolutely can’t skip a shower, try to limit it to one a day. Taking more may strip natural oils from your skin. This may cause your skin to feel itchy and lead to cracking, flaking, and redness. Additionally, removing essential oils from your skin may also cause dryness that can lead to inflammation or eczema.
Washing too often could also remove good bacteria from your skin. This, in turn, may put you at higher risk for infections. If you have skin conditions, more than one shower daily can also trigger a flare-up.
Skin health isn’t the only thing to worry about. Showers use up a lot of water, approximately 17.2 gallons for the average 8-minute shower. As such, frequent showering may raise your utility bill.
Healthy Bathing Tips
So how do you keep your skin healthy and your water bills down? Take a look at these helpful tips:
Don’t Take Hot Showers
It may be tempting to dive into a hot shower, but they are very drying for your skin and hair. Instead, try to stick with warm showers.
Limit Your Showers to One Per Day
If at all possible, try to limit your showers to one a day. Even better, try to go a day without bathing and take a sponge bath with a washcloth instead.
Make sure to wash areas like your groin, armpits, and face daily even if you don’t bathe the rest of your body.
Use a Gentle Cleanser
Don’t disrupt the delicate balance of your skin’s oils. Try to choose gentle soaps and cleansers for your daily showers. Also, make sure that the cleanser is rinsed off completely before leaving the shower.
Time Your Showers
Next, keep that water bill down. Think about timing your showers. Limit them to only 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
Lastly, it is important to replenish your skin after a shower, especially if you tend to take them hot. Apply a moisturizer to your skin after each shower.
How often should you shower? The correct answer depends on your own individual needs. At most, you should shower once a day. But depending on the circumstances, you can go 2 to 3 days between shower days.
Showering guidelines don’t apply to how often you should wash your hands and face, though. You should still wash your hands frequently throughout the day. Washing your face is also a must to remove makeup, dirt, and oil for the day.
Finally, regardless of how often you shower, don’t forget the healthy bathing guidelines. Hot showers can strip the skin of important moisture and so can harsh cleansers. So what you use to take your showers may be as important as how often you take one.