To shower—or not

Adel Gabot

esquire_2016-Sep-06

8:38AM

I’m not ashamed to say it: I don’t shower everyday.

Of course, if I had a particularly strenous day, or I just ran a 21k marathon, or if I crawled through some rubble, or it’s just especially hot that day, I’d shower. Of course.

But ever since I had my stroke (six years ago now), I’ve been taking it pretty easy with my activities, and as a result, I don’t get worked up as much. I began just showering every other day, or sometimes even after three or even four days, on occasion.

I don’t stink, and I don’t feel or look like a hobo. People can never tell (or smell) that I last took a shower a couple of days ago, and that’s just fine. It never gets that far.

I don’t get out as much, and I’m usually ensconsced in comfortable digs so much that I don’t get dirty or dusty and don’t sweat a lot. So I just don’t feel the need to shower as often. I sometimes do take a shower anyway, but just because I feel guilty and polite society tells me that I should, but I don’t feel the need to. Really.

We’ve been conditioned by habit to take a shower every morning, whether or not we really need to. I just broke myself out of that habit. I just keep clean as much as I can: I wash up and brush my teeth as often as I did before, and comb my hair and change my clothes periodically. And apply deodorant liberally when I do get out of the shower. And I’ve been doing this for the past few years, and no one’s the wiser.

And I just came across a web post on Esquire that vindicates my habit:

How Often You’re Actually Supposed to Shower

by Olivia Ovenden, written and posted on April 11, 2016


Cleanliness is next to Godliness, or so the saying goes. But if you’re someone who finds their morning scrub unnecessary, new findings suggest it may well be.

Whilst we were all brought up to believe that washing daily is just common decency, experts are now suggesting you may only need to do so once or twice a week.

Dr. Elaine Larson, infectious disease expert at Columbia University School of Nursing told Time: “I think showering is mostly for aesthetic reasons. People think they’re showering for hygiene or to be cleaner, but bacteriologically, that’s not the case.”

She also said that while washing is necessary to remove odors after exercise or perspiring in heat, it won’t necessarily help with protecting from illness. Her advice? Making sure you wash your hands, which should be enough. Unless you’re regularly rolling around in mud.

Further evidence damning regular bathing suggests that it in fact dries up your skin, opening gaps for germs to enter your pores.

Your body is naturally a well-oiled machine. A daily shower isn’t necessary,” said Dr. C. Brandon Mitchell, assistant professor of Dermatology at George Washington University. He found in studies that washing too frequently disrupted the skin’s process of fighting bacteria and stripped away natural oils.

That said, to the guy on the subway who everyone can smell two cars away: Deodorant is still not optional.

From: Esquire UK

So there.


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