Most of us believe that taking a shower every day is the only option and look at those who don’t in disgust.
Such a delicate and sensitive topic can be found all over the internet now; however, a lot of recent researchers try to explain that taking a shower every day is not only unnecessary but also bad for our health.
Many scientists say that daily showering is expensive, polluting and unnecessary. The old-school weekly bath or shower – with a brief daily sink-wash – is healthier for the environment, and for us.
Who we choose to believe and what decisions we make is entirely up to us, but here are a few things about taking a shower daily that you may not have known.
New research suggests that taking a shower regularly (especially in hot water) might be doing your skin more harm than good. Dermatologists Dr. Joshua Zeichner and Dr. Ranella Hirsch claim that the notion that we need to take a shower daily was born more of cultural norms rather than any real health benefits.
Overuse of soap removes the skin’s natural protective oils and good bacteria. This can exacerbate or cause complaints such as dermatitis.
The longer one stays in the shower, the more of the skin’s oils are removed.
Both doctors stress that over-bathing can dry out and irritate the skin by washing away the good bacteria and even heightening the risk of infection by causing small cracks in the skin. Over showering can also cause adverse effects to hair such as causing split ends, while excessive use of the product could result in product build-up.
Moreover, Doctor Zeichner advised parents to stop bathing babies and toddlers every day, claiming that early exposure to dirt and bacteria may help make skin less sensitive, even preventing conditions like eczema in the long run.
According to Doctor Ranella Hirsch, showers disrupt natural processes that occur on our skin, hair, and nails and they also waste clean water, which so many people in the world lack access to. The average 10-minute shower uses 60 liters of water.
A power shower uses three times that and a bath about 80 liters. So a family of four each having a daily 10-minute power shower will consume a staggering 0.25m liter of water every year.
The annual average cost of electricity in the UK for four 10-minute showers per day would be up to about £400, or £1,200 if a power shower is involved. Besides, the power-shower family would be emitting a staggering 3.5 tonnes of CO2, which is terrible for the environment…
John Oxford, Professor of Virology at Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry is another professional who supports the idea of showering less frequently.
He argues that as long as people are consistently and constantly washing their hands and staying aware of the situation below the belt, including the use of a bidet, showering once or twice a week would not be problematic.
The smell is not produced by our entire body, but only our armpits, groins, and feet, so as long as we keep all of those clean, we are not going to stink.
Besides, all the natural deodorants and perfumes that we can use will make us smell nice. Evolutionarily, why would we be so disgusting that we need constant cleaning? And constant moisturizing and/or de-oiling?
If we do more to allow our oil glands and bacteria to equilibrate, the theory goes, our skin should stop fluctuating between oily and dry.
Once again, the choice is ours. Personally, I find the idea of not taking a shower or a bath every day rather disturbing, but I might give it some thought.
P.S: If we live to be 100, we will have spent 12,167 hours on washing our bodies. That adds up to nearly two entire years of washing every waking hour!
By Anastasia T.