Keeping yourself clean and healthy involves showers and baths, clean clothes, brushing teeth, cleaning ears and more. But are you really doing them in the right combination? Some modern thoughts on the subject of showering and cleanliness…
Are you showering too much for your own health? Dr. Elaine Larson at Columbia University School of Nursing has been doing research on all of this, and she finds, showering every day, using the wrong products, can do more harm than good.
“I think showering is mostly for aesthetic reasons,” she says, “People think they’re showering for hygiene or to be cleaner, but bacteriologically, that’s not the case.”
Regular showering can actually have some undesired effects on your health…
- Overshowering creates dry cracks in the skin, letting in harmful bacteria, potentially causing illness.
- It can wash away helpful immune-system bacteria, and oils that keep your skin moist.
- Too frequent shampooing can dry out your scalp.
- Antimicrobial soap can lead to “superbugs” – resistant bacteria strains.
- Showering also leaves you open to the risk of injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized (Source: New York Times).
- Lest we forget, frequent showers use a lot of water and energy, which is bad for the environment.
So what’s the right thing to do? According to Dr. C. Brandon Mitchell, assistant professor of dermatology at George Washington University, every two or three days will suffice for showering, and shampooing, even less frequently. He and others advise to hit the “stinky” areas with soap, but otherwise leave the other skin alone.
In effect, it’s almost more important to keep your clothes clean (they carry germs, too) than it is to shower.
Here are two Buzzfeed videos that help set the record straight…
How Often Should You Shower? | Buzzfeed Blue
The 5 Ways You’re Cleaning Your Body Wrong
At GreatNewMe! we recommend a balance, don’t dry out your skin, and don’t drive away your closest friends. The choice is yours.