Should you shower every day?

Dermatologists have said that many people don't need to shower every day, and experts suggest showering several times a week.

Should you shower every day?
Source: Pexels/Karolina Grabowska

Here’s a question that has a lot of people divided – should you shower every day?

US celeb America Ferrera, known recently for her moving speech in "Barbie," will go for a few days without a shower. But TV personality AI Roker has said he showers twice a day. Kristen Bell ("Frozen") and her husband, Dax Shepard, wait for their kids to get what they call "the stink" before bathing them. 

So, it's easy to say there's no "right" answer to whether you should shower every day, as it varies from person to person. A 2021 survey conducted in the US with 5,700 adults found that over 60% showered at least once daily. Harvard Medical School has reported that over 80% of Australians shower daily, but in China, around half of people report bathing twice a week. 

Dermatologists have said that many people don't need to shower every day, and experts suggest showering several times a week. But there are many things to consider when deciding how often to shower. 

Why do people shower every day?

Many people shower daily due to concerns about body odor or personal hygiene, which can come down to how much someone perspires, if they work out regularly or simply to help them wake up in the morning. Dr. Marisa Garshick, a dermatologist based in New York City, says, "It is important to shower to rinse away the sweat and buildup that can contribute to clogged pores and breakouts." Plus, some people with oily hair or dandruff may choose to shampoo their hair daily.

When should you be cautious about daily showers?

On the flip side, some people may be better off showering every other day if they have dry or sensitive skin or eczema. Daily showers, especially hot ones, can cause irritation and itchiness from soap, too, says Dr. Joyce Park, a dermatologist in Seattle, and Dr. Mark Abdelmalek, a dermatologist based in Philadelphia.

"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,'" according to Dr. Robert H. Shmerling from Harvard. "Frequent baths or showers throughout a lifetime may reduce the ability of the immune system to do its job." 

Types of showers

There are different kinds of showers, too, like a quick body rinse or a long, hot, lost-in-your-shower-thoughts one. A TikTok trending topic is one kind most women are familiar with – the "everything shower" – you know, the one where you do a full detail, from exfoliating to shaving to even slapping on a hair mask or a scalp scrub. Some people might love this ramped-up self-care ritual, while others might dread the amount of time it takes.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends showers that last no more than five minutes and to "skip the loofah, buff puffs and washcloths, which can irritate your skin and cause psoriasis to flare." Experts also stress the importance of using gentle shower products with minimal ingredients (as nice as some of them smell, those chemicals might not be so lovely) and targeting the main areas that need cleaning – the groin, feet and armpits. (We'll just pop in here, too, and say don't forget your behind.)

One important tip from Dr. Park that many people may not know is, "when you get out of the shower, pat your skin dry, do not rub." And don't forget the moisturizer.

Whether you shower every day or not seems to come down more to what your body and hair really need and your personal preference. So just figure out what works best for you, and scrub-a-dub on your own schedule.