How often should you bathe?

I know many of you will be wondering if the title of this post is just click bait, a way to trick people into reading what I wrote. Well, I am not sorry to disappoint you. The content of this write-up is exactly what the title says.

Why should this even be a question? Aren't we supposed to be bathing every day? This is exactly what many people consider normal. To bathe every day. However, as someone who has been working at home for almost 2 years now, I really do not consider it normal to bathe every day. Why should I?

Most time, I don't go out for days (I work from home, thanks largely to Hive). We are in the rainy season, so hardly would there be a reason to sweat. I don't have body odours. Why then should I be bathing every day? Even before looking at the medical side of it, something about it doesn't just sound right.

This has always generated issues between me and my wife. She's of the opinion that one should bathe every day irrespective of whether they go out, sweat, have body odour, or have any other conditions that primarily require washing off. Her argument is that our skins produce excretory products irrespective of our activities. These products should be washed off, at least, once every 24 hours.

Is she right? Now let's look at what medicine says. What my wife and many other people call skin's excretory product is oil essentially. This oil actually helps give the skin its natural moisture. Where the problem lies when the oil mixes with sweat. Then, washing it off may be necessary because not doing so may cause the body to start emanating odour.

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Photo credit: pxhere

A combination of natural oil and sweat does not itself generate odour until it is acted upon by microbes. And guess what! We've got more than enough of those microscopic organisms on our skin naturally. They are collectively called normal skin microflora and serve very important functions.

In order words, washing off the natural oil of your skin unprovoked could be an invitation to dryer skin. Not just that, you could also be disrupting the balance of the microflora ecosystem on your skin which may lead to different skin problems.

So, how often should one now bathe?

The truth is there are no recommended standards unlike what many people assume. What many considered as standards are just societal standards. Imagine their reaction telling your colleagues at work that you did not shower before coming to the office today.

Bathing every day does not necessarily make us cleaner unless there are significant specks of dirt on our skin of we have sweated. The skin naturally cleans itself by getting rid of dead cells and replacing them with new ones every second of the day.

So, if you think bathing every day or multiple times per day without any physical activities or sweating makes you cleaner, it is all in your mind. You could actually be harming yourself.

If the condition warrants it thought, then you should bathe as many times as necessary. The condition could be a physical one such as sweating and having dirt on the skin. Not bathing in this case could cause the pores of your skin to close up. Pimples may result on your face.

Many dermatologists agree that taking a bath once every other day or even just twice a week is fine, provided that one does not gets involved in situations that cause sweating or dirt to the skin.

Interestingly, no research has confirmed that bathing every day harms the skin. Most of the concerns remain mere hypotheses.

In other words, while bathing every day does not make you cleaner, it may not also harm you. In the same vein, not bathing every day does not necessarily make you dirtier. Personally, I prefer to adjust as necessary instead of joining the bandwagon.

However, don't get it twisted. Not bathing every day does not mean I don't wash sensitive parts of my body. I do because it is vital for body hygiene.

So, which one will you rather go for and why?

PS: The best skincare routine is neither excessive showering nor skin products. You can't get it wrong with good food.

Thank you for reading.

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Posted with STEMGeeks



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12 comments
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I agree with your wife and funny enough you have the same opinion just as my husband.

Because of the oil produced by our bodies whether sweat or not and the uncountable germs in our environment, I make sure I took my bath twice a day no matter if I go out to work or I spent the whole day indoors.

And this just work perfectly for me.

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The oil producer by your skin is for the benefits of the skin. What is the essence of washing it off and then getting moisturizing oil to rub on your skin? I guess the same logic is applicable to shaving off the eyebrows only to redraw it using pencils.

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The oil produced by your skin is for the benefit of the skin. What is the essence of washing it off and then getting moisturizing oil to rub on your skin?

The problem is when this oil comes in contact with germs that are all around the world us, both at home and outside of our houses.

I guess the same logic is applicable to shaving off the eyebrows only to redraw it using pencils

Actually, this is quite a different case as in the case of shaving of eyebrows is purely for fashion.

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Microbes don't thrive on oil. They thrive on moisture. Only sweating can cause problems.

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Maybe this is true, but for me, I love taking bath twice daily it made me feel more comfortable and I can not trade it for anything else.

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This is an exciting post, I love the fact that it is not a clickbait post, you have made a great revelation to me in the post, the fact that I am a Nigerian brought up by an average parent, it is always projected to us that not bathing daily will do us harm, and ever since my childhood, bathing daily has been essential, yet, there are times that I will be too tired to enter the bathroom.

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Bathing everyday is just a societal standard, not medical or health standard. I'm glad you found the post interesting.

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I have known people through my life that have to take a shower after they poop, no matter what and they will wait to go until they can be home to shower. The neurosis is real.

As a farmer I have always gone by if I have been working or not. The winter days where I am not getting dirty and am bundled up in clothes I will go days between showers. During the summer I HAVE to shower daily.

As an eczema sufferer for most of my life the more frequent the showers the less natural oils I had on my skin but the more I was moisturizing after the showers. Now that we are spa owners showers have become mandatory daily to maintain the water quality and after cutting dairy I have no eczema.

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From personal experience, I’ve noticed that I feel much better when I shampoo my hair every other day than daily. Less dry and less flaky.

And my back breaks out less when I switched to less detergent-like soap you get in the stores.

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