You get ready for work by jumping in the shower. You end a great workout by hopping back in the shower. You relax at the end of the day, get ready for a night out, or just think of your best material, all in the shower (bonus points if you take cold showers). Then you wonder why your skin feels parched and sensitive.
Maybe you’re quite the opposite. You put off showering until it’s a dire situation because you’re busy or trying to save your skin from agony. In either case, you may not even know why you choose to shower when you do. So how often should you shower?
The answer is a blend of “when you need it” and “when your skin feels comfortable,” but finding the right balance can be challenging. Fortunately, we have advice on how to know exactly when to shower to keep clean while protecting your skin. Here’s what you need to know.
You might choose a few different reasons to get in the shower every day. Common ones include:
- Persistent odor
- Morning or evening routine
- Morning energy
Daily showering can be tough to maintain, especially in the winter. You should reconsider your daily routine if you notice:
- Irritated skin: Hot showers can be extremely drying for your skin, causing cracks and irritations that allow harmful bacteria through the top layer.
- Painful skin: Soaps can mess with the skin’s natural pH balance, causing pain and irritation.
- Other health issues: Counterintuitively, daily showering could also interfere with your immune system or could expose you to excess salt, metals, and chemicals used to clean municipal water.
The time of year can also affect your showering schedule. In the summer when you’re hot and sweaty (and are less likely to take scalding showers thanks to the heat), a daily shower may not harm your skin. It can help curb odor and keep bacteria in check.
If you need to take a daily shower, these tips can help keep it comfortable and safe:
- Reduce temperatures: Lukewarm water is less irritating and won’t dry out your skin as much.
- Keep showers short: In addition to saving water, reducing shower times is less irritating on your skin.
- Use gentle cleansers with little to no fragrance: These help preserve your skin’s natural pH and biome.
After the shower, you can apply a moisturizer to help preserve the moisture barrier and prevent cracks or irritation. Healthy skin is your body’s first defense against illness. Showering too frequently may even affect your immune system.
Showering less often can help protect your skin from irritation and reduce your exposure to municipal water chemicals, but that doesn’t mean showering is bad for you. Instead, you should find a balance.
If you don’t shower enough, you have more than odor to deal with. Dead skin cells, bacteria, hyper-pigmentation, skin plaques — it’s not a good look. Balancing regular showering with the right technique helps you stay clean and preserve your skin’s biome.
So how often is that specifically? The official answer is that everyone is different. You’ll need to pay attention to your body’s cues for a shower and perfect your showering technique to get it just right.
Showering schedules are unique to each person. To find yours, follow these cues to narrow down your perfect showering frequency.
- How do you smell? Do you smell after a single day, or does it take a few days? This can be your first clue for how often you need to shower.
- What about your hair? Greasy hair after one day is another clue, but if your hair still looks fine after a week, you may not need a daily shower.
- What’s the weather like? Winter and summer have different effects on your skin. Adjust based on your comfort level.
- Do you have other skin conditions? If you’re managing something like psoriasis or eczema, your shower frequency can also be a balance. Watch your symptoms accordingly, and adjust the number up and down.
- What activities do you have? An intense day at the gym may accelerate your workout schedule, for example. A special night out could do the same.
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can begin to build your perfect showering routine. Shorter showers more often, longer showers less often, a seasonal approach, or a careful as-needed basis — your shower schedules are unique to you.
You definitely wouldn’t want to shower twice a day, every day, but every once in a while (that intense gym day, for example), it isn’t a bad thing. Pay close attention to your skin’s cues to know when it might be appropriate, and take the right precautions.
Winter can be tough on your skin. Cold temperatures and scalding water can lead to some serious skin complications. You should adjust your schedule based on two factors. You can reduce shower temperatures and time to shower more frequently or enjoy your long, hot shower with less frequency.
You can also change your shower products to gentler options with more moisturizers to account for the environmental conditions. Summertime, switch back to your products that help alleviate odor and clean grime, and sweat more thoroughly.
There’s no hard and fast rule for how often to shower. Instead, it’s a balance between understanding your skin’s tolerance for things like heat and your preferred soap and how quickly you have greasy hair or body odor.
You don’t have to give up your daily showers if that gets you going in the morning. You also don’t have to shower more than your skin can tolerate. Adjusting your shower conditions can help keep comfort levels clear and ensure you’re odor and sweat-free.
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