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This is how often you actually need to shower

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There's no such thing as showering too much, right? Wrong...

Despite the practice that most people shower once or twice a day, we're only meant to shower once or twice a week.

As gross as it sounds - according to experts humans daily showing is mainly for "aesthetic reasons."

Speaking to TIME, Dr. Elaine Larson, an infectious disease expert and associate dean for research at Columbia University School of Nursing argues:

People think they’re showering for hygiene or to be cleaner, but bacteriologically, that’s not the case.

Bathing will remove odour if you’re stinky or have been to the gym.

But in terms of protecting you from illness, washing your hands regularly is probably adequate.

Turns out, the fancy soaps you're buying are probably a waste of money too.

Larson's research shows that antibacterial soaps and cleaning products aren't any better than a regular bar of soap when it comes to lowering your risk of getting infectious diseases.

So put down the loofah, because too much scrubbing and exfoliating can actually be detrimental.

 

The more you bathe, the thinner and less hydrated your skin becomes.

Dry skin open up gaps for infection and causes germs to slip through. 

Washing can also strip your skin of its natural oils and may disrupt the immune system-supporting bacteria that live on your skin according to Dr. C. Brandon Mitchell, assistant professor of dermatology at George Washington University.

Both Mitchell and Larson recommend you don't use antibacterial soaps which are particularly bad for stripping essential oils.

Mitchell adds that:

Your body is naturally a well-oiled machine.

A daily shower isn’t necessary.

Hit your pits, butt and groin, which are the areas that produce strong-smelling secretions.

The rest of your body doesn’t need much soaping

And when it comes to your hair, it's even less often.

Some people with a dry scalp and hair probably only need to lather it every few weeks. 

But even if you have dandruff or some other scalp issue that requires more frequent washing, a couple washes a week will suffice

So, in terms of your health, you should probably only shower once or twice a week, in terms of how you look and smell might be a different story.

A recent study showed that smelling bad was the biggest relationship deal-breaker.

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More: The answer to the ultimate question: should you take a shower in the morning or evening?

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