Contrary to popular belief and most societal standards, some experts say you don’t have to take a shower every day. Those experts say that you really only need to take a shower twice per week.
“I think showering is mostly for aesthetic reasons,” said Dr. Elaine Larson, who works at Columbia University School of Nursing and specializes in infectious diseases. “People think they’re showering for hygiene or to be cleaner, but bacteriologically, that’s not the case.”
According to Larson, daily showers aren’t needed to keep your skin clean.
n fact, taking too many showers or showers that are too hot can strip your skin of natural oils, causing dry and cracked skin that’s more susceptible to infection. This is especially true for older people, whose skin becomes thinner and less hydrated over time.
Dr. C. Brandon Mitchell, a professor of dermatology at George Washington University, says too many showers can also rid skin of good bacteria that support the body’s immune system.
Both Larson and Mitchell advised avoiding using too much antibacterial cleansers when bathing. According to Mitchell, the areas that people should focus on cleaning during showers include the underarms, groin and buttocks — areas that produce secretions that have strong smells. He said the other parts of the body don’t require too much soaping.
“I think most people overbathe,” Mitchell said. “Your body is naturally a well-oiled machine. A daily shower isn’t necessary.”
Still, showering is a good way to get rid of unpleasant smells and grime for those who work out often or have dirty jobs.