Shower rangers unite! Okay don’t. It would be weird, and maybe a bit intrusive to have a collective shower.

Showering is very much something you like or don’t like to do. In fact, bathing in general has two types of people – those who scrub until you can see your reflection in their skin and those who don’t scrub till you can see an ecosystem growing out of their ear.

You’d think that the guys who bath up to twice a day are on to something. I mean, come on, smelling fresh is the in thing, and people tend to like you more when you don’t have body odour. However, do you really need to shower as regularly? Apparently science thinks you shouldn’t. In fact, those who avoid bathing may – again, may – be onto something.

Before we kick things off with some foamy information, it’s important to know that bathing is important for the body. Not doing so over a long period of time can cause body odour, bacteria build up, breakouts, disease and much more. So those of you who swerve past the shower everyday should seriously consider stepping into one once in a while. But what is once in a while?

Researchers at Columbia University School of Nursing have found that showering regularly can actually be as bad as not showering at all, save for body odour. In fact, the researchers found that most of the soaps we use are as useful as using regular soap at defending our bodies from infectious diseases. Even worse, all those days you spent scrubbing away the ‘dirt’ really didn’t help and might have done you some harm.

When you shower regularly, your skin can become dry and cracked. As a result, germs find easier passage into your body through these cracks. Researchers went as far as saying that most people bath too much. And when we bathe too much we also scrub away essential bacteria and oils which keeps our skin healthy and immune system upbeat.

The results of the research also concluded that anti-bacterial soaps are actually the worst culprits for damaging skin, as they indiscriminately destroy all bacteria – 99.99% bacteria. Who’s going to survive on 00.01% bacteria?

So fact is you really need to stop jumping into a shower every time you feel sweaty. It probably will save you from illnesses and keep your skin healthy. What’s more, you also save plenty of water. So how much should you be showering?

The answer? At least twice or thrice a week. Yes, we know you’re probably looking at us with disgust. How can man live on two showers alone? How many relationships will this information destroy? Will bad odour become the new eau de toilette cologne? 

Not likely. To stay clean just wash your hands regularly and throw your dirty clothes and underwear in the wash. This will help you avoid body odour, and imagine how much time you will save in the mornings. We’ve completely rented out our showers since we got this information.


Annals of Internal Medicine