I’m a hygiene expert and here’s why you don’t have to shower every day – even if you smell | The Sun

I’m a hygiene expert and here’s why you don’t have to shower every day – even if you smell | The Sun

11/04/2022

MOST people enjoy a regular shower.

Research suggests the majority of Brits (55 per cent) insist on having a shower or bath at least once a day.

But according to some experts, most of us are showering far too much.

And showering less would actually be better for our health, she said.

Professor Sally Bloomfield, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, washing every day is “really not important” and the main reason we do so is to be “socially acceptable”.

Bathing regularly simply wards off “nasty” body odour.

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According to the expert washing too often can strip the body of its self-regulating microbiome – the microorganisms that live in our body and help control oil levels on the skin which keep it healthy.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast, she said: “In my opinion we don't need to bath and shower every day.

"In fact, we don't need to bath and shower at all," Prof Sally said.

“There are microbes on our body that produce nasty odours but they're not harmful to us.

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“And the reason we bath and shower is that we want to get rid of those odours and we want to feel comfortable," she said.

Washing regularly can also leave us more vulnerable to harmful bacteria,  Doctor Robert H. Shmerling from Harvard Medical School, US has said.

Showering can lead to dry and cracked the skin.

This allows bacteria into the skin and can cause infections and allergic reactions, he explained.

"Our immune systems need a certain amount of stimulation by normal microorganisms, dirt, and other environmental exposures in order to create protective antibodies and "immune memory," Doctor Robert added.

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While there is no ideal frequency, experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people, Dr Robert Shmerling explained.

Unless you are grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often, of course.

"Short showers, lasting three or four minutes, with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice," he said.

"This is one reason why some paediatricians and dermatologists recommend against daily baths for kids.

"Frequent baths or showers throughout a lifetime may reduce the ability of the immune system to do its job," he added.

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Some soaps contain antibacterial properties which can "kill off" good bacteria, the expert said.

"This upsets the balance of microorganisms on the skin and encourages the emergence of hardier, less friendly organisms that are more resistant to antibiotics," he added.

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