Shower time! But wait, should it be? If you think you need to take a shower every day, you might want to think again. When you were a child, your parents might have hammered the practice of daily bathing into your head, but the truth is, by showering or bathing every day, you’re probably doing more harm than good. Of course, for a lot of us, it’s counter-intuitive to forgo a shower, but in doing so, you just might be doing your body a big favor.
Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t shower every day:
1. You’re Drying Out Your Skin
Soaps and hot water siphon moisture from your body. So, all those long, relaxing hot showers and baths in the winter are actually adding to your already dry, flaky winter skin. This in turn creates more cracks in your skin, upping your risk for infections. Opt for shorter showers and lukewarm temperatures, and after you get out of the shower, be sure to replenish lost moisture with a trustworthy lotion or cream.
2. You’re Not as Dirty as You Think
Unless you sweat a lot from exercise or work, you 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, most people use soap where they don’t really need it. Carlos says that the skin actually does a great job at cleaning itself, which means we don’t need to wash from head to toe. Carlos suggests using it in armpits, the groin area, feet — the places that have a bigger potential for smell —and skipping chest, back, legs, and arms.
3. You are Drying Out Your Hair and Nails
Just like the skin, washing your hair every day will strip it of naturally occurring oils, which will leave it dry and frizzy. Trichologists say you shouldn’t wash your hair more than one or two times per week. And showering too often can ruin your nails, too. Hot water results in your nails expanding, which can make them chip and crack.
4. It Washes Away Good Bacteria
While it may seem that daily showering washes away icky germs, showering too often can actually compromise your body’s microbiome, which is the collection of microbes that live in and on the human body. Without them, your immune system, digestion and heart would stop working. Damaging the microbiome could also lead to an acne breakout!
5. You’re Wasting Water
The average family of four uses about 400 gallons of water per day! Not showering every day will help keep this number down, and as water is a precious resource, this is an important goal to consider. Baths use almost three times more water than showers, so as often as you can, opt for a shower. Just be sure you’re using a non-power shower head and keep the duration of your shower under ten minutes.