What Happens If You Stop Showering? This Viral Video Breaks It Down Over Time
A few years ago, a friend of mine dated this guy who didn't shower. Not for medical purposes, or because he didn't have access to adequate bathing facilities, but as a political statement. What statement he was trying to make, I'm still not sure — all I know is that he smelled bad and talked a lot about how we're all being brainwashed by the government. As it turns out, in addition to making him the least popular person at the party, this guy's no-showering policy was doing pretty disgusting things to his body, as this video from Life Noggin explains.
The video breaks down exactly what happens to your body when you stop showering (spoiler alert: it's gross), but also warns against over-showering, because there's just no winning. And while the video concludes that one or two showers a week should be enough to keep you healthy, many viewers were skeptical of such a low number.
"Showering three times a week isn't really practical in tropical countries. Where I'm from, people shower at least once a day. The sun is hot and the air is very humid. You will sweat a lot and will stink at the end of the day. Your skin will also feel sticky," said one YouTuber.
"I am a girl that not only exercises daily but is mixed and has a HUGE head of curly, oily hair. I think me going out in public after having only showered once a week could be considered an act of biomedical warfare," wrote another.
Watch the full video below to see how your bathing habits stack up, and we'll lay out would happen to your body if you decided to stop showering altogether.
Everyone knows that skipping showers can lead to aggressively ripe B.O., but there's actually a chemical reaction behind the funk. When we don't bathe, bacteria and dead skin cells collect on our body. Among those calls are proteins with a sugary coating (which would sound delicious if they weren't crawling around on the surface of my skin.) Bacteria love these sugars, but when they digest them, they emit an unpleasant smell that coats us in stink.
You'd be itchy.
In addition to sugary proteins, if we didn't shower, our skin would accumulate layers of dead skin cells and bacteria, which would make us itchy. And while a little scratching might provide some temporary relief, prolonged scratching could break the skin and lead to scratches and cuts .
Hey, hot tip for everyone, whether you shower or not — try not to scratch yourself until you bleed!
You'd be at a higher risk for infection.
If you do end up itching so hard you scratch yourself (again, don't do that!) or injure yourself some other way, not showering leaves you at a far greater risk for infection. When you don't bathe, bacteria stays on the surface of your skin, and can easily make it's way into an open wound, leading to a surface infection, or possibly something more severe.
You'd be at risk for a lot of skin problems.
Besides infected scratches, all of that dirt and grime on your skin could lead to a number of other unpleasant skin issues, including acne, toe fungus, and intertrigo, a painful, smelly rash that occurs in fold of skin that don't get much ventilation, like the groin, butt, armpits, or stomach rolls.
But don't shower too much!
Although reading about all the gross things that take place when you stop showering may make you want to scrub your body down twice a day, over-showering can also be damaging to your health.
Cleaning your skin too often can make it dry, and more susceptible to infections. And while you don't want too much build-up on your skin, some bacteria are healthy and help support your immune system, so if you wash all of them away, you could be weakening your body's defenses against illnesses like the cold.
So how much should you shower?
Like most health questions, the answer depends on you. If you are regularly active, or live in an especially hot part of the world, it's probably a good idea to shower once a day, and if you live somewhere cold and you haven't sweat in weeks, you can probably skip a few days. And if showering is part of your daily routine, experts recommend not lathering up your whole body, and focusing instead on the smelliest parts like the underarms, groin, and butt.
But please, for the sake of your loved ones and co-workers, at least hop in for a quick rinse after your morning run.