How Often Do You Really Need To Shower?

Whether showering is the highlight or lowlight of your day, it needs to be done every day — or so we thought. As Associate Professor Stephen Shumack, President of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, told the Sydney Morning Herald, "It's only in the last 50 to 60 years (since the advent of bathrooms with showers) that the idea of a daily shower has become commonplace." He continued, "The pressure to do that is actually social pressure rather than actual need. It's become popular because of social need to smell good. But it's only the glands in your armpit and groin that produce body odor. They're not all over the body." 

So, how often do you really need to shower then?

"We shower to remove oil, skin cells, sweat, bacteria, and dirt," dermatologist Heidi A. Waldorf, M.D., explained to Health. But these things vary based on factors like skin type, environment, and lifestyle, meaning the need for showering changes from person to person. For example, "[For] those with very oily, acne-prone skin, showering more frequently and using antibacterial cleansers can be helpful," dermatologist Jennifer Herrmann, M.D., told Well+Good. "On the other hand, those with dry skin should shower less frequently."

Your lifestyle should determine how often you shower

In terms of your environment, you simply need to look at the weather. "If you live in a humid environment, you tend to sweat more and will need to shower more often to minimize the bacterial load on the skin," dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D., told Women's Health. Those who live in cold, dry climates, on the other hand, can shower less. "In the winter months, when air is drier and indoor heaters are in full force, the skin tends to be more dry as well," Dr. Herrmann told Well+Good. "Too frequent showering worsens dryness and flares skin conditions like eczema and rosacea."

And when it comes to lifestyle, just weigh up how active you are. If you hit the gym every day, you obviously need to shower every day. In contrast, "A sedentary person can get away with a shower once, twice, or three times a week, especially in winter," Shumack told Sydney Morning Herald

Ultimately, there's no set guidelines for how often you need to shower. Instead, consider the factors listed above as well as your personal expectations of hygiene. If you want to shower every other day, that's totally fine (via Glamour).