How often you really need to shower, according to the experts

Social media has been awash with discourse on bathing culture.

Take the “everything shower” trend, in which self-care seeks share their three-hour shower routine. Or the doctors of TikTok that expose the dirtiest parts of our bodies.

Despite this new-found love of showering, experts say there’s no need to scrub so much time out of your schedule, the New York Post reports.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to washing skin and hair,” Seattle dermatologist Joyce Park told The New York Times in a new report.

In 2021, researchers at Harvard Health found that 66 per cent of Americans shower every day – more than necessary for some.

“The ideal frequency depends on your skin and hair type, how much you sweat and how dirty you get,” Dr Park said.

In particular, those who have drier skin or suffer from conditions such as eczema would benefit from taking shorter, less frequent showers as soap and water can weaken the skin’s defences.

“[I] don’t recommend a prolonged bath or daily showers,” Manhattan-based dermatologist, Dr Julie Russak, previously told The Post.

Hot showers and soaps “really remove and destroy the skin’s microbiome”, she said, which plays a role in protecting the skin and is “also extremely important in [the] overall health of the body”.

The dermatologists agree that those who otherwise feel the need to shower daily – after work or a workout – should focus “only in the areas that have higher concentrations of sweat accumulation”, Dr Russak said.

The products you use could also be to blame for any skin issues.

Consulting dermatologist for cult skincare brand La Roche Posay, Dr Justine Hextall, warned that a tight, dry complexion could be a sign of a damaged skin barrier (the outermost layer of the skin), or using a harsh cleanser or too-hot water.

“If your skin feels dry after washing your face it usually means the cleanser is too harsh, stripping the skin barrier and ultimately leading to moisture loss,” she recently told Metro, explaining that the “squeaky clean” feeling post-cleanse could mean a change in skin pH and, thus, a damaged skin barrier.

Stubborn acne, wrinkles, rough patches, dry or scaly skin, itchiness and tenderness or stinging when applying products, are all signs of a damaged skin barrier, according to Cleveland Clinic.

All of that goes for your sensitive genital area, as well, which requires no more than gentle, fragrance-free cleanser – or “just use water”, as California dermatologist Azadeh Shirazi told The Times.

Esthetician Rachael Gallo previously told The Post that both your moisturiser and cleanser should change with the seasons.

“During the hotter months, change to a gel- or foam-based cleanser to help with the excessive heat and dead skin,” she advised.

“In the colder months, switch to a cream cleanser and add one with a milk base for extra hydration.”

Gentle cleansers can remove the dirt and debris that accumulates on the surface of the skin without stripping the barrier, experts recommend.

Using hyaluronic or lactic acid can keep your skin glowing even in frigid weather, while niacinamide can reduce redness, Ms Gallo said. Additionally, SPF, vitamins and moisturisers are a must as the temperatures drop.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as ‘Don’t recommend’: Experts reveal how often you really need to shower