9 Reasons To Take Fewer Showers That Are Totally Valid
Although taking a shower is one of the few things in life you hardly ever regret doing after it's all said and done, showering every single day might not actually be the best decision — on multiple levels. As Dr. Ranella Hirsch, a dermatologist in Boston, flat-out told Buzzfeed Life, "We overbathe in this country." Showering daily is nothing more than a societal norm that was passed down to us at a young age, kind of like wearing a bra.
You may think you're doing a good deed by lathering up every morning before you head out the door, but dermatologists are saying that it could actually do you some harm. You might be scrubbing off bacteria your body needs, you could be ruining your gorgeous locks, and you're probably wasting water. Besides, let's get real: showering can be a real pain, and it takes up valuable time we could otherwise use to make ourselves a decadent breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes before we hit the office. So, thank you, science.
Here are nine totally valid reasons to take fewer showers.
1. You Actually Don't Need To Shower As Often As You Think
Consider for a moment the reason you take showers. It's all about cleaning body parts, right? That means your body parts have to actually be dirty in order for a shower to be worth it, and, quite frankly, you're probably not nearly as filthy as you might think.
If you're one of those incredible athletes who sweats their bum off every single day, or someone who lives in a particularly humid climate and works outdoors, that's a different story. But most of us gym-averse, city-living people don't come home covered in dirt and perspiration every day, so running a daily hot shower is a bit silly. Monika G. Kiripolsky, M.D., a dermatologist, told Men's Health that we can get away with taking a shower every two or three days if we so choose.
2. Showering Too Much Is Bad For Your Skin
Your skin is your largest organ, so you better treat it right. All the things we love in a shower — the hot water, the mango body wash, the loofah sponge — strip your epidermis of its natural oils and break apart the lipids that retain moisture. You could potentially be dealing with dry, flaky skin as a result.
If you're an especially active person who needs their shower fix every day, consider giving up the frequent, hard scrubbing. That's what really robs you of moisture and makes it hard for your skin to reach the equilibrium it needs to be soft and supple.
3. Showering Could Be Wrecking Your Hair
You do everything you can protect the precious hairs on your head, but you could be canceling all that good out by showering too often. Shampoo has a bad habit of locking in oils instead of letting them naturally come out, and this will eventually dry out your hair and give you frizzy locks. Not only is this unpleasant to see in the mirror, but it can also lead to breakage that could be damaging in the long run. It may sound crazy, but having slightly greasy hair every now and then is actually quite good for you.
Furthermore, applying shampoo willy nilly to dyed hair can compromise the quality of your color, no matter how expensive that product may have been at the hair salon. Andrea L. Hayden, director of the International Association of Trichologists and owner of The Hair Management Group in Texas, told the Huffington Post that coarse, curly, fine, or colored hair doesn't need to be washed more than a couple times a week.
4. You're Killing Your Good Bacteria When You Shower
Let's come back to the skin for a second. There are loads of perfectly friendly bacterial colonies that live on your skin and protect you from the bacteria that could surprise you with a nasty infection. However, when these friendly bacteria get washed away too often, they actually get replaced with smelly microbes — which means showering a whole bunch can mess with your body odor in a bad way.
All the products we use on a daily basis on our skin, from perfume to body lotion, contain some kind of chemicals or toxins, even if we're no aware of it. We need those neighborly bacteria to guard us against these artificial ingredients, which could slowly seep into our bloodstream and wreak havoc on our system. It's all about generating healthy microbes on your skin, and that comes with fewer showers (and more natural products).
5. Showering Less Might Reduce Your Acne
Dermatologists have been trying to tell us since our first zit arrived: Washing your face too much makes your acne worse. If you're opting in for a shower once or twice a day, you're applying far too many cleaning products on your face and thus robbing your skin of the natural oils it needs to be happily balanced. Without happy balance, expect those pimples to keep coming back with a vengeance. Reduce your number of weekly showers and be sure to wash your face with a gentle cleanser, rather than harsh exfoliants.
6. You Could Save Money On Beauty Products
When you squirt some body wash into your washcloth or put a dollop of conditioner in your palm, I doubt you're thinking about how much each portion is costing you. But it all adds up pretty quickly, especially if you have long hair that needs a lot of product to do the job. Lessen your weekly amount of showers from seven to three, and your wallet will thank you for it. You could potentially make those expensive fruity products last you double the amount of time.
7. It's A Waste Of Time, Really
It can take a lot of time and effort to get yourself ready to get out the door sometimes, and in the mornings, every little second counts. If you could shave off 15 minutes of your morning routine (maybe more, if you consider how long it takes to completely blow dry soaking wet hair), wouldn't you do it in a heartbeat? That's the luxury you could be giving yourself a few mornings every week. It's an amount of time you could spend working out, drinking coffee, or, better yet, sleeping.
8. You're Wasting Water
We use a whole lot of water in the bathroom, whether it's for brushing our teeth or taking a bath. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a normal showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute, as well as extra electricity to get your H2O nice and hot. All in all, an American family will use about 400 gallons of water per day, much of which is used in the bathroom. Show the earth how much you love it by taking a break from showering so much (and considering going vegan — since one hamburger equals two months of showering!). You could save a boatload of water, while also saving yourself money on unnecessarily high electricity bills.
9. It's A Societal Norm That Doesn't Need To Be Followed
Our culture became weirdly obsessed with showers starting in the 1920s and '30s, when more women were entering the workforce for the first time and Americans were spending less time on farms. There were various advertisements for soaps, encouraging people everywhere to start showering more often. We started to think that this level of cleanliness was necessary to be out and about in fast-paced society. Fast forward to today, and you've got people insisting that, despite what dermatologists say, it's gross if you don't shower at least once a day.
Don't fall prey to such nonsense! If you find showers to be tedious and annoying, by all means, take charge of your life and take as few showers as your little heart desires. I doubt any of your friends or co-workers will even notice.
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