Since birth, we’ve been programmed to shower or bathe daily, but should we really be cleaning ourselves that often? Beauty and health industries spend billions per year trying to sell us products we think we need to stay hygienic and clean, and unfortunately, a lot of their marketing techniques have been successful thus far. We’ve been fooled into thinking that washing ourselves daily will make us cleaner, healthier, and more desirable and appealing to others, but showering or bathing each day can actually harm our skin and overall health.
While showers can help you relax after a long day or feel fresh and clean after an intense gym session, you don’t need more than one or two showers per week, with maybe a quick sink-wash daily just to freshen up. Shocked? Read on to find out exactly why taking daily showers isn’t the best idea, according to science.
Here’s Why You Need To Stop Showering Every Day
According to dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch in an Essence article, showering daily does NOT do a body good. Not only do showers use an enormous amount of clean water, they also strip the skin of healthy bacteria, dry out the skin, nails, and hair, and weaken your immune system.
“We over-bathe in this country,” says Hirsch. “That’s really important to realize. A lot of the reasons we do it is because of societal norms.”
1. You’re Not As Dirty As You Think
If you don’t work out every day or have a physically demanding job where you sweat for hours, you definitely don’t need a daily bath or shower. According to Dr. Casey Carlos, assistant professor of medicine in the division of dermatology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in an article on today.com, many soaps dry out the skin because they strip valuable oils from it. Plus, most people use soap where they don’t need it. Carlos says that the skin does a great job at cleaning itself, which means we don’t need to wash up as much as we thought.
If you think about it, back when we lived in nature, we just washed off in a river or creek, without using any soaps or harsh cleaners. So, why do we think our bodies need these products today?
2. It Washes Away Good Bacteria
In an interview with BuzzFeed, two dermatologists revealed that washing your skin daily washes away good bacteria essential to our health. Plus, frequent showers can create small cracks in the skin, opening up your body to infection (especially with lower amounts of that good bacteria we all need).
3. You’re Drying Out Your Hair
Just like the skin, washing your hair daily will strip it of naturally occurring oils, giving it a dry, damaged, frizzy look. According to Andrea L. Hayden, Director of the International Association of Trichologists, you shouldn’t wash your hair more than once or twice weekly (including just getting it wet). Even if you don’t wash it every day, you can still condition your hair on the days you don’t wash to lock in moisture.
4. You’re Drying Out Your Skin
Taking too frequent hot showers can dry out the skin, leading it to peel or flake. If you haven’t caught on yet, washing our bodies so often, no matter what part, leeches moisture and oils from the skin, dries it out. WebMD recommends taking no longer than 10-minute showers if you do shower each day, and to put the water on cold so you don’t dry your skin out.
5. You Will Ruin Your Nails
Hot water makes your nails expand, making them chip and crack. Once again, the nails will lose moisture and oils, which means dry, flaky nails galore.
6. You Waste Water
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average family of four uses about 400 gallons of water daily! If everyone in the family showers daily, much of that water usage goes toward showers since a ten-minute shower uses a whopping 60 liters of water. According to Stanford University, you might think bathing will conserve more water since you don’t have it constantly running, but baths use almost three times more water than showers.