If you’ve ever thought to yourself, how often should I shower?, you’re definitely not alone. Hell, maybe this sounds gross, but there are days when I shower at night on a Monday after working out, then don’t shower again until Thursday morning. Guys, I’m 34 years old, am I disgusting?
While the answer to that question may inevitably be yes, as it turns out, I might actually be showering just enough, according to a new study that suggests washing yourself every single day may not be necessary. Well, in our minds, it is, but not based off new research thanks to science.
According to a recent article on Maxim.com, although we’re all so vain and think that smelling pretty and cleaning ourselves everyday is the socially acceptable thing to do, it actually isn’t recommended — well, kind of.
Sure, soap washes dirt and nasty sweat from our skin, which is obviously a good thing, but, depending on the intensity of said soap, it can also strip away natural oils, which can lead to dry, itchy and flaky skin. It’s actually one reason why a common cure to an itchy butt is washing it with warm water, rather than douse it with a bunch of soap and ointments that can just continue to dry out your body’s natural oils.
If that info isn’t enough to keep you away from all those showers, maybe the fact that showering too often can actually lead to your immune system taking a hit. That’s according to AskMen, who mentioned how showering on the regular can mess with your microbiome, which is a key component to keeping your immune system top-notch.
We commit microbial genocide daily when we shower, essentially killing them before they can doing their jobs. That job includes extracting vitamins and other nutrients that we need to survive, teaching our immune systems how to recognize dangerous invaders and producing helpful anti-inflammatory compounds and chemicals that fight off other viruses that could make us sick. Essentially when you shower and you destroy the species. Every day just as the healthy microbes begin to repopulate we shower again, repeating the cycle.
The body regulates the bacteria it needs but when you shower, yes you’ll smell great but you also stop your body from building this natural defense system. Don’t shower and you build this pretty awesome microbe-laden colony BUT you’re gonna be known as Mr. BO — title no one wants.
Look, we know you think it’s necessary to shower everyday because we get stinky, dirty and find it kind of gross going two-to-three days between cleaning ourselves, but it’s not really necessary. And, as the info above proves, doing so too much can actually lead to negative results.
While understanding how often to shower is important, if you really feel dirty AF if you’re not doing it everyday, the chief of dermatologic surgery at Yale School of Medicine, David Leffell, says to cut your time in there to just three minutes, use warm water instead of hot and always moisturize afterwards to keep your skin as healthy as possible, per Business Insider.
So, go ahead and stick to your routine if you need to, but make it a little bit quicker so not to do more harm than good.