How often you should shower to avoid health problems
Actress America Ferrera has recently raised the debate about how often to wash to a new level. The star took part in a game with her colleagues where they had to guess facts about each other. She admitted that her secret passion, which she is a little embarrassed about, is the habit of not taking a shower for several days. This sparked a whole wave of discussions on social media. But is there any scientific explanation for how often we should wash?
IFL Science tried to understand this issue. It looked at the issue through the eyes of researchers from several angles.
How people take a shower in different countries
Harvard Medical School has previously studied the hygiene habits of residents of different geographic regions. It turned out that two-thirds of people take a shower every day in the US. In Australia, their share was even higher: as much as 80%. And in China, about half of the respondents said they shower twice a week.
In general, many different factors influence the frequency of showering. For example, after an intense workout or physical activity, it is necessary to wash in order not to disturb others with the smell of your body. Also, in summer, the need for hygiene procedures is obviously higher than in winter.
What happens if you take a shower too often?
Too many hygiene procedures can be harmful to the skin and cause more irritation than you might expect. Each of us carries a large number of microorganisms inside and outside the body that are important for maintaining our health. Some studies show that overuse of the shower can disrupt this microbiome and cause damage to the skin. This can result in dryness, irritation, itching, and even inflammation. The skin's protective barrier will be broken and bacteria and allergens will begin to penetrate.
In addition, shower cosmetics - gels, shampoos, soaps - together with bacteria wash away too much oil from the skin. In the long run, this can have negative consequences.
Some pediatricians and dermatologists recommend not bathing children every day. This is because children's immune systems need to be stimulated through contact with microorganisms, dirt, and other environmental factors. This allows it to develop the so-called "immune memory" and create the antibodies necessary for health
What if I take a shower too rarely?
Not showering often enough leads to one very unpleasant consequence: the appearance of an odor. But that's not all. Irregular hygiene procedures can cause yeast fungi to grow in the sebaceous glands and develop dandruff. Dead skin particles and other dirt also begin to clog the sebaceous glands, which causes acne. Moreover, eczema can also develop on dirty skin.
So how many times a week should you take a shower?
Scientists have no definitive answer. Some experts believe that you need to take a shower every day, while others point to 3-4 water procedures per week as the optimal number. But in any case, the frequency is influenced by some external conditions, such as weather or a person's lifestyle.
Some researchers point out that a daily shower should be a short procedure: only 3-4 minutes. During this time, you need to pay special attention to the armpits and groin, which will help prevent the appearance of an unpleasant odor.
But, no matter what scheme you choose, experts urge you to choose body care cosmetics based on your skin type, give preference to unscented products and not to neglect moisturizing your body after washing.
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