People shower for different reasons. Some do it out of habit. Others do it because their bodies are covered with sweat and dirt when they get home after a long day’s work. There are even people who shower to relieve symptoms of asthma and to alleviate stress. In most cases, our daily circumstances, and not any set rule, dictate how often we truly need to take a shower. Many people don’t know that showering too often can actually be harmful to our bodies.
Each person’s body and lifestyle are different. There’s no hard and fast rule governing how often an individual needs to shower, but there are several factors to consider. Here’s what you need to know.
Showering Dries Out Your Skin
Natural body oils are good for our skin. Soap, hot water, and scrubbing can strip us of those natural oils. This makes our skin feel dry and itchy, and can lead to rashes and skin conditions like eczema, at worse. To avoid damaging your skin, try showering less frequently. Every two or three days is sufficient for the average individual. Use a sponge or washcloth in between showers to attend to ripe areas such as your underarms in between showers.
Regardless of how often you decide to take a shower, make sure you still wash your hands on a regular basis. Washing your hands is key to banishing germs and viruses that could make you ill. This is especially important during cold and flu season, and whenever you come into contact with someone who might be ill. You should also wash your face once a day even if you’re not taking a shower.
If you would like to take a daily shower due to lifestyle or personal preference, there are a few things you can do to minimize the impact on your body:
- Shower in warm water, not hot
- Limit your shower time to five minutes or less
- Use moisturizing soap
- Apply lotion to your skin as soon as you dry off
- Blot yourself dry with a towel, don’t rub
Showering Also Dries Out Your Hair
Your hair isn’t much different than your skin in that it needs natural oils in order to stay healthy. If you shampoo it too frequently dry, brittle, and frizzy.
The best way to take care of your hair is simply to avoid shampooing it every day, regardless of how often you shower. Most of the time two to three times a week is sufficient.
Showering Washes Away Good Bacteria
Your body is full of bacteria. This might sound bad, but it isn’t. Most of this bacteria serves a helpful function and aids our overall health. Good bacteria actually helps prevent illness.
This is especially true of small children, whose bodies are building up their immune systems. In fact, it’s recommended that your baby bathes no more than three times a week. It is always a good idea to consult with your child’s pediatrician before you decide how often you will shower or bathe them under normal circumstances.
Showering Changes Your Skin’s pH Balance
Your skin has a natural coating called an acid mantle. It serves as a barrier against harmful viruses and bacteria. Showering too often can disrupt our body’s acid mantle and make changes in the pH levels of your skin. This, in turn, leaves us susceptible to harmful viruses and bacteria. In other words, showering too often can potentially make you sick.
Other Factors To Consider
1. Your Bathroom
If your bathroom is prone to mildew or mold, frequent showers are likely to exacerbate the situation. Mildew and mold thrive in humid situations. If your home suffers from this issue, do the following:
- Leave the fan on when you shower.
- Leave a window or door open in order to create as much ventilation as possible.
- Dry the area with a towel immediately after showering.
2. Water Availability
Water is a precious resource and there are areas where it is scarce, especially in drier months. Many communities put their residents on a watering schedule for their lawn to help conserve water during such times. Cutting down on the number of times you shower will help contribute to this effort.
Many municipalities charge big bucks for water usage. The less you shower, the less you have to pay.
Every person should consider their individual situation when deciding how often they need to take a shower. And situations change. You may find you need to shower more one month than another, and that’s okay. The important thing is to make sure your showering routine is as healthy as possible. After reading this, you’re off to a good start.