You’re probably used to showering every day. We do it these days for habit and hygiene, but you might know that showering regularly has only been the norm for 50 or 60 years.
So skipping the shower for a day or two can’t be the end of the world, right?
Well, it won’t kill you, but as you’ll see, it’s pretty gross.
It’s common these days for people to shower more than once per day, with Australians showering the most, according to a 2008 report by SCA.
Babies can be let off the hook, though. They aren’t very active, so once or twice a week is fine. Their skin is too sensitive for much more.
We didn’t really start doing it regularly until clean water was available because, before then, what was the point of showering in dirty water.
But to be clear, showering every day doesn’t mean you should wash your hair every day. Overwashing can leave it dry and brittle. Dry shampoos are okay, though.
You’re carrying about 1,000 types of bacteria on your body at any given time. And 40 types of fungus. But rest assured, most of them are actually good for you.
Simply put, good bacteria keeps the bad bacteria off our bodies.
But the good bacteria needs help in the form of soaps and showers. When you skip a shower, you’re still getting dirty even if you’re not sweating. Touching things over the course of the day can get bad bacteria everywhere.
You can’t contain the bad bacteria if you don’t shower. And if they find their way to your eyes, nose, or mouth, you can get sick.
The oily and salty nature of your skin can also cause irritation and blemishes if not regularly cleaned.
You might think that sweat causes body odor, but it’s actually the gasses given off by bacteria consuming body protein and fatty acids.
This can lead to as many as 30 bad smells.
It’s not really a health issue until it gets too severe, but it’s clearly a social issue. If you stink, people are going to judge you and possibly avoid you.
Dermatologists suggest that if you must skip a shower, make sure you treat your armpits, groin, and face some other way, since they’re breeding grounds for bacteria.
Conversely, you don’t want to overdo it with super-long showers, either. You’ll strip important oils from your body, and hot water will dry out your skin.