This is how often you should shower

  26 September 2017    Read: 1075
This is how often you should shower

You finally have an excuse for not showering every day.

Just inform the haters that you're looking after your microbiome.

And then explain, to any bemused looks, that refers to the collection of microbes that live in and on your body. Obviously.

Far from cause of disease, these gross-sounding little friends actually help to keep you alive and well, they even help to keep your immune system and heart functioning correctly.

Studies show that a daily shower with shampoo and soap strips a person's hair and skin of its 'good' microbes.

One study even linked disruption of your microbiome to acne.

Thankfully, even going to the extreme of giving up showering completely doesn't necessarily mean you'll reek.

James Hamblin quit showering for The Atlantic and was "an oily, smell beast" at first, but he soon felt able to go out in public again without a liberal coating of deodorant.

He wrote:

After a while, the idea goes, your ecosystem reaches a steady state, and you stop smelling bad.

I mean, you don't smell like rosewater or Axe Body Spray, but you don't smell like B.O., either.

You just smell like a person.

There is no official guidance on how often you should shower to make sure your microbiome is healthy and you smell fresh.

But Professor Stephen Schumack, President of the Australasian College of Dermatologists points out other reasons that you should only shower when you need to.

He told the Sunday Morning Herald:

It's only in the last fifty to sixty years (since the advent of bathrooms with showers) that the idea of a daily shower has become commonplace.

The pressure to do that is actually social pressure rather than actual need.

It's become popular because of the social need to smell good.

But it's only the glands in your ampit and groin that produce body odour.

They're not all over the body.

He added that showering daily is probably not the way to go.

Overshowering causes 'defatting' of the skin - getting rid of the natural body oils we produce to protect the skin cells.

This can actually damage them making them more permeable to bacteria or viruses.

The original article is published in the Independent.

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