The alarm goes off and you jump out of bed, feed the cat (or dog) and put on coffee. After you have your fill of coffee, chances are you jump into the shower – but do you really need to? While most of us shower every day and sometimes more than that, many experts advocate for skipping that daily shower.
Showering daily can lead to dry, itchy skin and has even been shown to aggravate skin conditions such as dermatitis or eczema. Showering daily, especially in very hot water and in winter, leads to dehydrated skin that is red and irritated. Washing all over with soap and hot water also reduces the good bacteria on our skin, leaving us open to an increased chance of infection. Some of us are more susceptible to drying and chapping from showering, depending on our skin type – some skin is just naturally extremely sensitive.
Children and The Elderly
Children’s skin is much more delicate than adults’ and therefore can become dry and damaged more easily. Unless your child has been playing outside or is very dirty, they really do not need a bath daily. Similarly, the elderly have skin that is thinning and is more likely to become chapped, cracked and split. Both of these groups can bathe every other day easily.
Soap and Body Wash
Soap is designed to remove oils from the skin, which is exactly what makes it so drying. Over-washing with soap can lead to itchy, chapped skin which is why some experts suggest using it only in armpits, groin and feet to reduce body odors – while skipping chest, back, legs and arms. Women have long known that using a gentle facial cleanser is much less drying than using soap. Using a moisturizing body wash is a good option for reducing irritated skin.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Dry Skin
Another way to reduce the risk of drying out your skin as a result of showering: try using lukewarm water rather than really hot water. Hot water opens pores and therefore is much more drying to skin than lukewarm water. Yet another option is to soak in a warm bath, which allows skin to absorb water rather than drying it out. Applying a good moisturizer after bathing, whether in the shower or a bath, keeps skin soft and supple, and reduces chapping, splitting and flaking.
While many of us could skip a day between showers, most of us prefer to shower daily in order to wake ourselves up or to feel more comfortable going to work and being around others. Sometimes other factors are involved like the need to shower after working out, while menstruating, or after working all day in certain professions. For mothers, the daily shower is often the only time you have a few minutes to yourself!
While there is nothing wrong with showering daily, reducing the temperature of water and using a good moisturizer after each shower goes a long way toward protecting skin and preventing chapping and damage.