Let’s make this clear right from the get-go. My title is misleading. If you take anything out of this blog, please don’t let it be to never shower because that is not what I’m saying. However, before we start, take a second to think about how much you actually shower- and be honest. Once a day..twice a day..once a week? In our universe today, we like to live by the stigma that cleanliness is key. The idea that one must shower everyday has been plastered into our heads ever since one can remember. But how accurate is that though? Does one reallllyyyy have to shower everyday? Is that even healthy?
Let’s start with the pro’s of showering everyday:
1. You feel squeaky clean. Coming straight from a workout? Get a shower. Feeling gross from greasy fast-food? Get a shower. Don’t feel like doing homework? Get a shower. No-matter what the cause, shower’s are always there for you and will never fail to give you that squeaky clean feel.
2. You smell delightful. Whether you support Dove, Irish Spring, Suave, or Axe, you leave the shower smelling 10x more charming than you did going in.
3. You instantly become a rockstar. Take it from Fez, once the curtain closes, the concert begins.
4. You get daily alone time (this becomes very essential, especially when you live in supplemental housing).
But where there are pro’s, there are con’s:
1. Bad for hair. As gross as it sounds, the greasy hair one gets after not washing it once or twice actually matters! The oils moisturize your hair and keep the scalp healthy. Not only does washing your hair too often dry it out and makes it vulnerable to dandruff, but it also ruins color. Let’s not forget about all of the minerals from the water having the ability to dull colors and cause a lost in richness. How rude.
2. Skin damaging. As discussed here, the barrier of ones skin is called the stratum corneum. This layer of hardened, dead skin cells are held together by lipids which help maintain moisture throughout the skin (Josh Clark). These fatty compounds secure the healthy cells that rest underneath. However, taking frequent showers and washing your body with washcloths and loofahs damages this layer. The combination of soap and hot water dissolves the fatty compounds. Also, scrubbing with either washcloths or loofahs quickly increases the damage. The destruction of the stratum corneum prevents moisture, therefore drying out the skin causing it to be irritated and cracked. As studied by Dr. Elaine Larson, cracked, dehydrated skin opens perforation for infection causing germs, bad bacteria, and diseases.
Long story short, the more you scrub your body, the more prone you become to breaking apart the stratum corneum. This damage causes lost of moisture and prevents the immune system-supporting bacteria from spreading. That being said, showering everyday gives less time to the skin to repair the breakage of the dead cells (outer layer), causing irritation and potential infections.
3. Time consuming. While they may be relaxing, think about all the time you spent standing up soaking in water. You could have be catching up on homework, running errands, or checking out a new series on Netflix. This may not be scientific, but it holds truth.
4. BILL$ BILL$ BILL$. The cost of your water bill skyrockets per shower-especially if you’re like me and take 20/30 minute showers. It only becomes worst showering more than once a day. Not only does your water bill double, but so does that amount of money you put out to buy shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. $$$
It is clear that the pros are overshadowed by the cons. Showering everyday is horrible for your skin and can cause health problems in the long-run. Nevertheless, even with that being said, I believe it just comes down to personal preference. Although I am now aware of the dangers that come along with showering frequently, I will still continue to shower seven times a week. However, if one is concerned with the hazards involve, there are ways to get away with not showering everyday. Check this out for ways to “look great even when you don’t shower”. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll take up a few of these life hacks.