Recently, a few notable celebrities—Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, and Kristen Bell to name a few—have stirred up tabloids with the news that they don’t shower every day. This may have struck a lot of people by surprise because about 2/3 of Americans report that they bathe once a day. However, the reasons behind frequent bathing schedules aren’t actually tied to health benefits. Instead, the need to shower comes from social pressure. Yet with so many famous influencers saying they don’t hop in the shower more than a few times a week, you may feel more comfortable abandoning your daily routine. But will you really stay clean? Here’s a look at what you should know.

What are the effects of daily showers?

Your skin is home to a microscopic world of oils, good bacteria, and other microorganisms. Showering too often, especially if you use antibacterial soap, can strip the skin of these essential particles causing dryness and irritation. Even more importantly, daily showering can reduce your immune system function. Yet for many people, skipping their morning or evening shower just feels dirty. That may be even more true if you break a sweat with daily workouts or live in a warm climate. The good news is that the potential negative effects of bathing daily can be mitigated by carefully choosing the products you use on your skin (skip the sulfates and opt for soaps with added moisturizers) and lowering the temperature of the water. You can also jump in the shower for a quick rinse rather than a full scrub down.

How often do you really need a shower?

There’s no magic number when it comes to how many showers you should take each week. It really comes down to personal preferences as well as your skin and hair type. You may find that your hair and skin become more brittle and drier with frequent washing. However, those with particularly oily hair and skin may find that skipping a shower can feel uncomfortable. Rest assured that if you do skip a shower for a day or two, you can still consider yourself clean and healthy.

Have questions about your health and wellness? Consult the MeMD blog for a look at the science behind some of your most pressing health questions. You can also rely on MeMD to connect you with a medical provider anytime, anywhere for help routine skin and hair issues as well as minor medical concerns.

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