Is Showering Overrated?

TheSkinny: How often should I shower? We wish we had a magic, definitive answer to this question; but we don’t. And dermatologists can’t agree either. According to SELFhow often you should shower varies among individuals and is based on a variety of factors, including: Climate, lifestyle (e.g. where you work, how often you go to the gym), and natural tendency toward “oiliness or B.O.” Their conclusion? No one really *needs* to shower daily, but if you do—make sure not to “shower aggressively,” which—as The Atlantic reports—disrupts the balance of skin oils and bacteria that live on skin. It “obliterates the ecosystem.”

Further, mites could be one of nature’s most effective exfoliants, according to a more recent story by the same reporter (who in the previous article demonstrated what happened when he stopped showering all together). This story, which takes a microscope to your epidermis, starts off by making a case for showering less—or at least, only your “bits” as opposed to your whole body—and how overwashing can trigger eczema. It then gets into out-of-balance skin microbiomes, “bacteriotherapy” and products that “feed our microbial gardens.” Worth a read, and it may help you rethink, or reframe, your washing routine. Because, as the article above points out, we spend about two years of our lives washing ourselves.

Shower bonus: Follow-up review on the $4 Amazon exfoliating washcloths that we recommended in last week’s edition. To learn more about these Korean cloths (which are called “Korean Italy Towels” for some reason), read this excellent overview from The Strategist. From our intern:

“Since pressing the Prime button on this washcloth, it has become a staple for my daily shower. It fits perfectly in my hand and scrubs off all the dead skin covered in sunscreen and sweat—the remnants of a summer day. Even after one use, my skin was immediately softer. I’d definitely recommend it, especially if you’re looking to ditch your old loofah!”

(Loofahs, by the way, can be a “breeding ground” for nasties and yours is probably more than ready for the trash—or at least a wash.) This article explains why…plus, the reasons that a washcloth is a better alternative anyway.

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