We've all been there, you come home late, exhausted, and ask yourself, "Do I really need to shower?" More often than not, you promise yourself that you'll shower in the morning, knowing good and well that you won't have time. Suddenly, it's been two days since you last showered and you feel fine but start to feel a bit grossed out, wondering how often do you actually have to shower?
If you're as lazy as me, you're actually in luck. "Skip your shower this morning? Good news: For most people, there is absolutely no health risk in skipping that shower," Edison de Mello, MD, Ph.D., tells Bustle. "Sure, if you sweat you could develop a bit of body odor and have a stinky afternoon. Even so, a daily shower is not really necessary."
Personally, if I do any strenuous activity where I'm sweating, I always shower after. But, if I have been pretty stagnant all day and get home tired, I don't mind waiting until the next day to hop in.
While there's no serious health risk to skipping a shower for two days, there are some effects to be aware of, especially if you are predisposed to certain skin reactions. Here's what can happen to your body if you don't shower for two days.
1You Can't Contain Bad Bacteria
Our body has both good and bad bacteria. The good bacteria is helped along through soap and showers. Through strengthening the good bacteria, it's able to remove the bad bacteria from our bodies.
2You Can Catch A Cold
If bad bacteria are left on your body, they can enter your nose, mouth, and eyes, leading to you getting sick. When you shower, it cleans off all these germs that you've encountered throughout the day, including those that can make you sick. However, if you do take a few days between showers, consistently washing your hands can go a long way to prevent sickness.
3You Can Break Out
When you aren't showering as regularly, your skin can become oily and salty — hello, sweat — leading to blemishes and breakouts.
4You Can Release Up To 30 Bad Smells
Little known fact, body odor is not caused by sweat but actually results from the gasses bacteria gives off as it consumes body protein and fatty acids. When you skip showering for a couple days, it can lead to your body releasing up to 30 bad smells.
"For your mental health’s sake, make sure you bathe enough to keep body odor at bay," De Mello says. "According to a 2015 study on Relationship deal breakers by Peter Jonason and colleagues smelliness ranks among the top relationship deal breakers."
5Your Skin Can Dry Out
If you suffer form skin conditions such as eczema, showering regularly can help keep them at bay. Skipping showering for a few days can lead to a flare-up. The National Eczema Organization recommends taking a shower or bath once a day to replace moisture in your skin. But do try to keep the shower on the shorter side and not too hot. Follow the shower with a layer of lotion on your skin.
6Your Hair Can Get Greasy
If your hair is anything like mine, after two days of not being washed, it can start to get pretty greasy. By then, I have to load it with conditioner or it's not a good look. For the same reason you may get break outs after a day or two of not showering, the oil you produce makes your hair greasy.
7You Can Get Brown Spots On Your Skin
A condition known as dermatitis neglecta occurs when dirt accumulates on your skin because of sweat not being washed off. This condition really only happens when your skin is consistently not being washed correctly, so it's not something to stress over, but good to be aware of.
At the end of the day, personal hygiene is an important part of taking care of your body. But, if you skip showering for a day or two, don't stress; we all do it.