Some people shower every day while others might only bathe once or twice a week. There are tons of conflicting views about how often someone should shower, but those who don’t shower every day are doing something right.
Many dermatologists recommend showering every other day to help protect the health of your skin. But is it okay to shower once a week only? Or is that also not healthy?
Let’s find out.
Is Showering Once a Week Healthy?
Interestingly, the human body can tolerate both ends of the bathing spectrum in most cases. The skin is oiled and can self-clean up to an extent, so even if you aren’t bathing every single day, the body isn’t getting as dirty as you’d believe. Especially if you’re not doing anything that requires too much effort. It’s really only the feet, armpits, and genitals that begin to smell after a few days without being washed.
So when someone opts to shower only once a week to get into all the nooks and crannies of their body, that’s okay. You can remove any harmful bacteria at this point and freshen up. Throughout the week, a quick rinse of the armpits and groin and general hand washing combats any other issues.
In short, you will know if you’re bathing too infrequently if you are experiencing:
- Increased body odor
- Skin infections
- Dark and discolored skin, also known as hyperpigmentation
- Skin condition flare-ups, such as dermatitis and eczema
If none of this is happening, then yes, showering once a week is healthy for you.
A Case For Showering Less
Why should someone consider showering once a week? As mentioned above, healthy skin has a layer of oil that controls the amount of bacteria and other beneficial microorganisms. When you wash or scrub your skin too often, these organisms are negatively impacted.
People go to the dermatologist complaining of skin issues, like itchiness and dryness, and receive medications; but in reality, they might just be showering too much. Hot water and soap can also make skin crack, which can allow harmful bacteria and allergens to get under the skin, causing reactions and infections.
This is the same reason why you don’t bathe a child every single day. The human immune system requires a certain amount of stimulation from dirt and other parts of the environment to develop antibodies and immune memory. Without this exposure, humans develop allergies. Frequent showers and baths could inhibit the immune system and dramatically reduce its ability to protect you from diseases.
Did you know that taking shorter or fewer showers is healthier for the environment? Well, it’s true. This could be another reason someone opts for a once-a-week shower. Saving money and the environment are important these days.
A 10-minute shower with an outdated shower head could use up to 60 liters of water, which is a lot. Imagine a family of 3 or 4 each taking 10-15 minute showers and how much water that consumes! Even though a 10-minute shower is short by some people’s standards, taking one every day for a year is a significant strain on natural resources. Swapping out to an energy efficient shower head could change how many gallons per minute you use, but you still need to be careful not to make your showers too lengthy.
And imagine if you’re paying for water usage. So the daily shower is terrible for your bank account and for the world.
When You Should Shower More
People choose a daily shower for a number of reasons. They may have concerns about body odor, have a job in construction or around hazardous materials, play a contact sport where health issues can be transmitted (think MRSA with BJJ) or they simply like a cool shower in the morning to help them wake up. Perhaps you plan on getting intimate with someone. Cleanliness habits also vary from culture to culture, meaning that some cultures believe in daily showers or even bathing throughout the day.
In these instances, it is perfectly fine to shower every single day. If you are sweating profusely, have injuries that need to be washed, encountered chemicals or dirt, or something else that compels you to make a beeline for the shower, do it.
Just keep in mind that sometimes showering less is more in terms of health and conservation.
Yes, personal hygiene is very important, and you want to smell and look fresh throughout the week. That said, it is entirely possible to be bathing too often. Some people have been wondering if it is okay to shower once a week, and the answer is yes. It’s fine, as long as your health isn’t impacted.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it is possible to shower too often. Some people who shower once or twice daily are stripping their skin of beneficial bacteria and oils. That is why it is recommended to shower only twice or three times a week in most cases. You protect the health of your skin and hair.
Find a balance between health and hygiene. For some that might mean showering only once a week and washing up any other day.
Shorten your shower. Purchase an energy efficient shower head or install a water flow restrictor. These should help you use less water.
To adequately clean yourself and conserve as much water as possible at the same time, limit your shower to about 10 minutes.
The recommended way to take a shower is to have one every other day. When you don’t shower, give yourself a sponge bath or simply wash your face, groin, and armpits with a washcloth to prevent body odor. Avoid skin irritations by using warm water and a gentle soap. Limit the shower to 10 minutes.