Some people enjoy showering, but for others, it feels like a chore. However, many of us grew up with the ritual of showering everyday, and although it's important to keep good hygiene, there are actually times when you can skip a shower — and it might end up making your skin feel a little bit better. Showering daily can dry out your skin and kill the healthy kind of bacteria that keeps your skin and body healthy, so taking a break here and there can have some surprisingly healthy benefits.
"Skin has many 'good bacteria,' and many of these are protective and help prevent skin infections," says Dr. Jill Waibel, owner of the Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute, over email. "When you shower, you not only wash away dirt, but you also disturb this microbial balance. Using antimicrobial soap can strip these bacteria and upset the flora, leading to possible skin infections. Over-showering may affect this balance."
Now there are still times that you should pretty much always shower, such as sweating after a workout or getting dust or dirt and you, but other times it may not be as necessary, and it could be good to give your skin a break. Here are seven times when you can actually skip showering.
1. When It's Really Cold
"One time a person might skip the shower is in cold climates, since taking long, hot showers may cause dry skin to crack due to loss of oils being stripped by hot water and soaps," says Waibel. If you absolutely have to take a shower, it's recommended to spend10 minute or less in lukewarm to warm water, and moisturize after showering.
2. After Using Self-Tanner
"The other time you may skip that shower would be for beauty reasons to let that self tanner sink set," says Waibel. "Washing too soon after any self tanner may remove the DHA and not lead to melanocyte stimulation."
3. If You're Suffering From Eczema
"It's better for people with atopic dermatitis (eczema) to avoid frequent, long, and hot showers," says dermatologist Shari Lipner MD, PhD over email. "These hot showers will over-dry their sensitive skin and make them more prone to flares, fissures, and infections."
4. After A Surgery
After surgery, the body is tender, hot water can affect healing. "Often, the physician will not want the patient to get the bandage wet right after surgery," says Litner. "It's wise to skip the shower in this situation."
5. If You Didn't Sweat At All
If you didn't get sweaty and you don't smell, there's no need to hop in the shower. "It's definitely fine to skip showers once in a while," says Lipner. As long as you’re washing your hands to get rid of germs, you can wait until tomorrow.
6. Your Skin Is Really Dry
If your skin is feeling extra dry, it could benefit from a day off of hot water and lots of soap. "Taking frequent, long, and hot showers will dry out your skin and disrupt the natural skin barrier," says Lipner.
7. Your Hair Is Really Dry
Sure, you could wear a shower cap, but if you want another excuse to skip showering, it can also dry out your hair. Too much hot water and shampoo can make it dry and brittle, and rubbing the towel against your hair can cause breakage.
There's no perfect rule to determine when you should shower, but pay attention to your body and decide whether or not a shower seems necessary based on how you're feeling in that moment.
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