How Often Should You Shower?
5 min read
People have been fighting a lot lately, about a lot of different topics.
One topic we can’t exactly say we saw coming is the great debate on how often you should shower. Surprisingly enough, this debate sparked from an extremely well known celebrity couple: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher.
They stated in an interview that they wait until they can literally see dirt on their children before they make them take a shower. This isn’t just something they do with their children, it’s also how they tend to live their lives.
Little did they know that this admission would spark a debate among other celebrities and all of us, too. Cardi B chimed in on the pro-showering-very-often side, as did Dwayne Johnson. But now it’s time for us to dig into the details and find out...just how often should we be showering?
First, let’s dig into the history of hygiene. Who decided we needed showers, anyway?
History of Hygiene
While the need for basic hygiene seems to be something humans naturally understood over time, it actually seems that those in Ancient Greece and Rome may have had more advanced knowledge than those further down the line.
Let’s take a look at where things started, where they headed, and where we are now.
In Ancient Times
We can most likely assume that before we had public or private baths, people simply used the rivers, oceans, and lakes to bathe and keep clean. Once civilizations began to blossom, bathing became a part of community living, where people would get together and talk while they bathed.
Archaeologists believe that The Great Bath of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan may be the oldest public bath. It is located in one of the oldest human civilizations on earth.
Egyptians are known to have extensive beauty and hygiene rituals, but their “showers” were more homemade and involved servants pouring water over their heads. The ancient Greeks are believed to have created the first true showers, which were made from lead pipes (yikes) and found in their gymnasiums. The Romans built off this innovation and created exquisite bathhouses with impressive water technology. You can still go visit some today!
The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages took us back a few steps in terms of cleanliness, at least in Europe. The fall of Rome put most of their fancy bathhouses in disrepair, and we lost a lot of technological advances.
Then came the plagues. A lack of understanding when it came to plagues and medicine discouraged people from going to public baths anymore and even discouraged some from bathing altogether.
Most people consider this time in history to be pretty bleak in terms of personal hygiene.
During Modern History
Flash-forward to the late 1700s when people finally came around to the idea of personal hygiene. The first modern-day shower was invented by William Feetham, but the idea didn’t catch on quite yet.
It wasn’t until the 1920s that the shower became a common product in US households. Today, most houses in the United States have at least one shower, and people are encouraged to use them regularly.
Why Do We Shower?
Showering is one of many ways that we can clean our bodies. Other ways include baths, saunas, steam showers, and more.
Cleaning our bodies is important because it helps keep us healthy. Showering helps get rid of bacteria, removes dead skin cells, and more.
Here are a few benefits of showers, baths, and other forms of bathing:
- Increased blood flow
- Improved immune system
- Easing muscle pain
- Improved relaxation
There aren’t too many things as refreshing as taking a nice shower and wrapping up in a cozy towel after, especially after spending time outside. But one of the main reasons people shower is to fit in and make others comfortable with their hygiene habits. This is one reason the celebrities' big announcements came as quite a shock.
How Often Should You Shower?
So, just how often should you shower? The short answer is every two to three days. The long answer is...it depends on a few different factors. Your best bet is to get to know your body and how showering affects you.
Showering once a day might work for you, and showering every few days might be the way to go. Most dermatologists recommend against multiple showers a day, though.
Can You Shower Too Much?
It’s definitely possible to shower too much, and your skin will let you know it. If you have skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, you should definitely be careful about how much you shower because it can cause flare-ups.
Here are a few signs you might be showering too often:
- Dry skin
- Dry hair
If you’re noticing any of these signs, it might be time to spread your showers out a bit more. Plus, skipping the daily shower can help reduce water use, which is a great benefit for the environment.
What About Not Showering Enough?
Now that you know you can shower too much, you should also know that it’s possible to not shower enough. Showering is one way to prevent body odor, which happens when sweat and bacteria mix together.
Forgetting to shower for a day or two shouldn’t make your body odor too noticeable, especially if you’re not really working out. But if you do work out frequently, you may also have to shower more frequently.
A few ways you may notice you’re not showering enough include:
- An increase in acne
- Strong body odor
- Patches of discolored skin
- Greasy hair (this can also be a sign of showering too much, so be sure to get to know your hair type)
How Long Should You Shower?
Let’s be honest. We’ve all needed to take a super long shower that doubles as a sad cry session or a cute karaoke moment. But, on a normal day, showers should stick between five and 10 minutes. This helps save water and also will avoid drying out your skin, especially if you’re prone to using super hot water.
What do you need to take the perfect shower? Some people might have a 30-step process, while others are ready to jump in and out in minutes.
Here are some of the key things you’ll need to make sure you’re truly getting clean in the shower:
- Body wash (many dermatologists recommend using a gentle cleanser instead of traditional soap)
You can wash your face in the shower, although some dermatologists suggest you steer clear. People tend to use much hotter water in the shower than you should use when washing your face. So unless you plan to end with cooler water, skip the face wash until later.
You’ll also need a nice, comfy towel to dry off with. Instead of roughly rubbing the towel to dry your body, gently blot the water off.
Should You Wash Your Legs and Feet?
You might think there’s only room for one shower debate, but you would be surprised at how many different opinions exist when it comes time to clean our bodies. Another hot topic of conversation lately is this: do you have to actually wash your legs and feet or can you kind of just let the soap and water trickle down from the rest of your body?
Hopefully, you know what we’re about to say here. Yes, you should definitely be washing your legs and feet! Letting soap just trickle down doesn’t give them the deep cleaning they need to get rid of dead skin and clear their pores.
How Often Should You Do These Other Things?
Has the great shower debate made you question how often you should be doing other things? It definitely sent us down the rabbit hole, so we’ll share a few common questions (and answers) with you now.
- How often should you wash your towels? Most recommend washing towels once a week.
- How often should you clean your bathroom? Once a week seems to be the norm here, too.
- How often should you water your succulents? No joke, this was one of the top questions! The answer here is: whenever the soil dries out.
Hopefully, this answered some of your burning questions and will help you avoid the internet rabbit hole today.
A Clean and Tidy Conclusion
The great shower debate has officially been settled, whether or not you found the answer you were hoping for. As with so many other things in life, the right answer lies somewhere in the middle and can change from person to person.
If you’re still wondering how often you personally should be showering, be sure to remember the signs of both over and under showering. When in doubt, ask your dermatologist what’s right for you.