We’ve all sat next to that person in class, the one who smells like they haven’t showered in days. We always wonder, “Why can’t they just shower everyday, are they trying to push people away?”. Personally, I shower between once or twice a day, depending if I worked out that day. I never understood people who don’t do the same thing I do. Societal norms tell us that we should shower every single day (at least in America, in Europe it’s every few days). So, we’re going to see what science has to say about the matter. As we discussed in class, science is a formalized error detection system. Therefore, it’s the perfect thing to use to determine if it’s good or bad for you to shower everyday.
THE GOOD: According to this article, there are many reasons you should shower everyday. Not only does it make you smell better by getting the sweat and natural oils off of your body, but it also does things like increase blood flow, reduce stress (because who can be stressed in a shower!?), boosts the immune system, improves sleep, among other great benefits (these are listed from the same article listed above). Likewise, it also opens up your pores, making you look better to others and feel better as a result. Obviously, there are massive benefits to keeping your hygiene up. And now we know that not only does it make you smell better for all of those around you, but it also helps you in other ways as well.
THE BAD: Obviously, taking a shower everyday will use up a lot of water, something we have to be mindful of in this day and age. According to this article on the guardian, the average 10 minute shower uses 60 litres of water, a truly staggering amount considering how many times I shower a week. Likewise, more showers=a higher electricity bill per month. Again, according to the same article, the cost of a family of four showering everyday equals about $450 extra a month, something that a lot of families probably cannot afford. This goes to show that, while showering everyday may be good for your health, it may be bad for your bank account (something that we, unfortunately, put a lot of focus on). Likewise, the same article talk about how using a lot of shampoo/soap on your hair and body can be damaging to your skin and hair. Your hair has natural oils that get damaged, causing your hair to become brittle (which is why you need conditioner as well to keep your hair soft, costing you more $$$$). This can lead to baldness later in life and can also lead to skin conditions as well.
So, in reality, the answer is that I have no answer for you. While my hypothesis was that showering would be beneficial for you (which it is, in a way), my research showed that it can also be harmful for your health in other ways, and likewise put a hole in your wallet. So, in essence, I would say that you should shower as you see fit, so long as you aren’t too smelly next to me in class, because there are positives and negatives to showering daily and to showering weekly. Obviously in the summer, or if you are an active person like me, you should probably shower everday. However for others it may be perfectly acceptable to wait a few days between showers!
Sometimes, science doesn’t answer the question, but rather make you more unsure of the answer. Unfortunately, in this case it’s the latter, and I now am not sure if I’m making the right decision showering so often. Often in science evidence may change your hypothesis, and this may be one of those times for me. Hopefully this article at least informed you on reasons to or to not shower. But remember, the next time you’re in bed and know you should shower but you’d rather lie there an extra 20 minutes before class, that it may not be that big of a deal.
Finally, I wanted to show you this video on why showering everyday might not be all it’s chalked up to be.
Thanks for reading!