Ah, the age-old question: How often should you take a shower? When it comes to Health fundamentals, everyone wants to know if there is a magic number. (See: How often should you pee? How much water should you drink each day? What is the bare minimum you can floss ad infinitum.) Sometimes you can really land a concrete numerical answer to a health issue, but sometimes it is not so easy. The answer to this urgent shower question falls into the latter category.
Dermatologists do not generally agree on how often you should take a shower.
"We shower primarily with sweat and dead skin cells, dirt and debris debris, and prevent things like body odor," says Mary L. Stevenson Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology of Ronald O. Perelman at NYU Langone Health. All this is based on your natural tendencies in terms of greasiness, sweating and B.O. as well as on your daily activity and environment. Therefore, the "correct" showering frequency will of course vary from person to person.
With this statement, there is a fairly clear dermatological consensus that daily showering or bathing is not necessary for most people. The idea of having to take a shower every 24 hours to maintain good personal hygiene is more of a social norm that some people sign than a biological imperative. Emily Newsom Dermatologist at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center SELF. In fact, many of us are probably showering more than we need to, Dr. Stevenson.
In general, most people really need a few showers a week.
Dr. Stevenson suggests two to three showers per week for the average person. Melissa Piliang M. D., a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF something similar: Every two or three days. It really only depends on your lifestyle and natural tendencies towards oiliness, sweating and B.O.
from. If you sweat every day in the gym you may want to take a shower every day. The same applies to people who are exposed to strong chemical substances or odors at work (such as in a factory or a fast-food kitchen), or to people who get dirty when working outdoors or exercise physically.
Season and climate also play a role, Dr Newsom points out. The same person who takes a shower every day during a hot, humid summer can opt for a cold, dry winter every two days .
If you prefer to take a shower every day, this is fine if you do the right way for your skin and your overall health.
"For most people, daily showering is good, provided they avoid aggressive bathing practices," says Dr. Piliang. Yes, it is possible to bathe aggressively.
Regularly long showering or bathing is a potential problem, as natural oils can be removed from the lipid barrier of the skin fatty outer layer, which holds moisture, and irritants and allergens , This can lead to dryness and irritation. Think of to cap it after about 10 minutes (especially if you have dry skin), and make sure your skin is then padded with moisturizer.
Another good shower application? No to extremely hot water and soaps, both of which can remove the natural oils that make up this essential lipid barrier. Instead, Dr. Piliang should opt for warm water and gentle cleansers that are formulated without ingredients such as fragrances or sodium lauryl sulfate (19459043), a foaming agent that can pull oil out of your skin. If you are looking for products designed for people with sensitive skin you can point in the right direction.
Even if you use soft material, you only need to soap some parts of the body. Newsom. This includes the armpits and the groin. (This may extend to the use of a gentle soap in the vulva, if you deem it necessary, but definitely not in your vagina .) B.O. happens when the apocrine sweat glands in the armpits and groin produce a milky fluid that then mixes with bacteria on the skin, explains the Mayo Clinic . The sweat elsewhere in your body usually comes from ecru and is odorless. You can then simply wash them off with water, if you wish, explains dr. Piliang. Their feet however, are an exception to this rule, as they were probably sweating and deprived of ventilation all day (bacteria love that).
Another thing that you want to limit or avoid is the use of Dr. Ing. Piliang says of body scrubs, whether it is body wash or luffas and brushes. These may be too hard and may cause microscopic scratches in the outer dermal layer. In addition, Luffas and the like tend to harbor bacteria .
Your mileage can vary, of course. You may have a gentle body scrub that you love. In that case, you can do what you do. However, if you are looking for another way to separate dead skin cells, Dr. Piliang plans to choose something like a body wash with a chemical exfoliator such as an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid). (Be sure to keep something away from your vagina!)
Some skin conditions require you to take frequent or less frequent shower shots than the average person.
For example, someone with very oily skin, body acne or hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) may want to take a shower every day (or sometimes even twice a day) to keep their skin clean or to avoid body odor.
On the other hand, Dr Piliang says, people with extremely dry or sensitive skin or inflammatory skin conditions where the lipid barrier is already impaired – such as psoriasis eczema or ] rosacea – Daily showers could be too dehydrating and irritating. (Avoiding hot water and harsh detergents is even more important in these scenarios.)
If you have a skin condition, ask your dermatologist if it affects how often you take a shower. Otherwise, you'll need to choose the sweet spot that will keep you clean without irritating your skin.