For those who shower every day, you are not alone. In America, roughly two-thirds of the population reports showering daily; in some places worldwide, it’s even more common! But is this daily showering practice really good for us? What are the benefits of not showering every day?
Read on for some key info on the benefits of not showering every day, how we as a society got into this habit, and what you can do to break it.
Why Do Most People Shower Daily?
A good place to start with understanding the benefits of not showering every day is to understand how we got into this routine in the first place. After all, if there were greater benefits to a staggered showering routine, why wouldn’t that be the primary habit?
For the most part, daily showering boils down to a few starting points. Most of them have less to do with the benefits of showering and more to do with convenience or the perception of social norms. These patterns tend to begin in puberty and then develop into a habit that, for most people, can last a lifetime.
Avoid Unpleasant Physical Symptoms
It likely comes as no surprise that a daily showering habit tends to kick off when puberty sets in. This is a time when the human body undergoes an entire overhaul of changes…many of which can lead to increased body odor and unpleasant physical symptoms like itching, acne, and more.
This is also when many people first begin to develop a life-altering concern for the opinions of their peers. Both platonically and romantically! Given that, the solution can seem pretty obvious. Showering every day appears to be a surefire way to avoid social pitfalls, odious occasions, and other unpleasantries.
It’s Just Routine
For many people, their daily shower also becomes part of their wake-up routine. Like a good cup of coffee or an energy drink, they need that splash of water to wake them up and get the day rolling. Or, for those who replace a stimulating beverage with a morning workout, washing off the sweat and smell of exercising can feel like a must before work, school, or other activities.
Because the daily shower habit is often ingrained early in life, it becomes a normal part of the routine as we grow into adulthood. But it’s important to stop and assess if this truly serves our health and routine in the long run. Let’s explore some benefits of not showering every day.
Health Benefits of Not Showering Every Day
1. Smoother, Less Dry Skin
Depending on where you live and where you are showering, the quality of the water you’re showering in may sometimes be questionable. Your skin, your body’s largest organ, is sure to let you know about this.
Folks who take regular, daily showers often manifest this habit’s downsides on their skin. Skin that is subjected to daily showering, especially in hot water, becomes rougher and drier with repeated exposure. Itchiness, overall irritation, and even discoloration can occur as a result.
This happens partly because the water washes away the skin’s natural oils, which are developed to help with the smoothness and elasticity of the skin. Couple this with the fact that many people use heavily processed skin soaps that further strip oil from your skin, and the development of dry skin becomes all the more likely…and even harder to get back under control.
Because of the risk that daily showering poses by disrupting your skin’s microbiome, one of the key benefits of not showering every day is smoother, less dry skin. Giving your skin time to secrete necessary oils between showers is highly beneficial to your body’s overall health.
2. Reduced Risk of Skin Infections and Dermatological Allergic Reactions
Another of the key benefits of not showering every day is layered in how your skin protects itself from infections and allergens. Because your commonly used antibacterial soaps do not discriminate against harmful bacteria and the good bacteria that help make up your skin’s microbiome, the more you use it, the more vigorous and unfriendly microorganisms develop and take hold.
Couple this compounding of bad bacteria with the dryness and cracking that come with repeated hot water exposure. You begin to run a greater and greater risk of developing a topical skin allergen and even skin infections.
The more frequently your skin is exposed to these heated, stripping habits in the shower, the more likely you will face some of these issues. Over time, it becomes clear why skin health is one of the key benefits of not showering every day.
3. Empowered Immune System
Present times and circumstances have seen a tremendous surge in the messaging that frequent hot showers are one of the crucial keys to avoiding getting sick. Which makes sense in theory…after all, we wash our hands in hot water to avoid spreading germs, right? So why not our whole bodies?
But this mentality overlooks the factor mentioned above: your skin’s microbiome. When we use hot showers daily to strip away potentially harmful bacteria, we also remove healthy bacteria.
This can actually understimulate your immune system. This habit decreases the body’s exposure to dirt, microorganisms, and other invaders in your environment. Thus, your immune system develops less and less of an impression of what to fight off and even how to fight it.
Over time, this daily showering habit can decrease your immune system. This can lead you to experience more frequent illnesses and illnesses that are harder to shake. By removing those smaller “battles” for your immune system to fight, it struggles to fight both the small and large ones.
Thus, one of the often overlooked benefits of not showering every day is that it helps gently but greatly improves your immune system.
Hygienic Benefits of Not Showering Daily
4. Can Improve Your Body’s Overall Oil Production
While many of us make showering a daily habit due to oily hair and skin, studies have shown that showering too often can upset the body’s oil production habits. Because you are stripping the oils faster with harsh shampoos and soaps, your body has to work overtime to replace the natural oils that are being lost.
This can then lead to an increase in oil production that makes you feel, and even look, oily or greasy if you skip your daily shower. One of the benefits of not showering every day is that you can “train” your body’s oil production to slow down so that when you skip a day of showering–or even several!–your body won’t rush to produce more oil.
5. Can Improve Your Overall Microbiome
It comes as little surprise that, because of the effect of showering on the organisms on your skin and your overall immune system, one of the key benefits of not showering every day is an improved microbiome.
When you give your body the space to recognize and address what it comes into contact with, particularly on your skin, it helps improve your systemic health. Over time, you may see a reduction in skin issues, overall inflammation, and more.
6. It Can Reduce Body Odor Issues in the Long Run
No one wants to be stinky! But we often don’t realize how daily showering can cause our bodies to produce more frequent and even more odious bodily secretions. This can especially be true if you are using soaps or shampoos to which your body might have a mild reaction.
Given time and good, non-showering hygiene, a great benefit of not showering every day includes less oil production and, thus, a natural decrease in body odors.
Lifestyle Benefits of Not Showering Daily
7. Saves You Time
While a daily shower can feel nice and certainly becomes a treasured part of many people’s routines, there’s no denying the time it takes! You can often reclaim hours per week by reducing your shower schedule from daily to even just every other day.
Even if you continue a regular showering schedule, reducing the time spent in the water and the duration and heat of your shower can have similar benefits.
8. Reduces the Use of Water
Showering, unsurprisingly, demands quite a bit of water use. Because of this, saving money and making less of an environmental impact are big benefits of not showering every day. Switching to an every-other-day shower schedule, or showering just a couple of times a week, can greatly reduce your water use.
9. Saves Money on the Cost of Shower Products
There are ways to be thrifty with daily showering. However, cheap shower products are just that–cheap–and they can often have an even more deleterious effect on your microbiome, skin texture, and oil production.
If you are going to use quality shower products–and you should! It can be incredibly beneficial to reduce the number of showers you take. This will help stretch out the lifetime of those higher-quality, more expensive shower products.
Wrapping up the Benefits of Not Showering Daily
Feeling equipped to experience the benefits of not showering every day? There are other ways to improve the benefits of the showers you take! Check out these 5 Easy Ways to Shower Without Hot Water for tips on continuously improving your showers for your overall health and hygiene.