We've been hearing it since we were kids: "Wash up!" But, according to an article in last week's New York Times, more and more people are giving up their daily shower, skipping a day (or days!) here and there.
We're not going to lie to you, there are definitely mornings we don't feel like showering and, if we do say so ourselves, our hair looks pretty darn good when we skip a day. The question is: Is it unhealthy to go a day or two between hosing off? And if we do skip a day here and there, how can we keep ourselves looking, feeling and, of course, smelling fresh?
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The verdict among experts is that unless you commute in crowded spaces (say, the subway), are a daily gym-goer or are hanging out with people who are sniffling, sneezing or coughing (especially during cold and flu season), there's nothing wrong with showering less often -- in fact, it may be one of the healthier things you can do for your skin.
"Many people overbathe and wash too much of the natural oils from their skin," Dana S. Simpler, M.D., an internist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, tells HealthySelf. "In fact, there is a medical condition called 'Winter Itch' for the dry, itchy rash some people get in the winter [from showering too often]."
If you tend to have dry skin in the colder months, Simpler suggests you shower or bathe every other day without using soap on your legs and arms (where you're most likely to dry out). On the off days, do a sink wash of your underarms, groin and anywhere the skin folds on itself to ward off bacteria that may accumulate where air doesn't circulate. This should take care of any stink factor.
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Now, about that hair. According to the Times article, sales of dry shampoo, which you spray on your hair to soak up grease between washes, have more than doubled since 2007. This is for good reason (other than the obvious one of people showering less often), according to Turner Watson, owner of Canvas Salon in Charleston, S.C.: They work! At least, the good ones do. She swears by Batiste Dry Shampoo for grease control and L'anza Powder Up Texturizer for next-day volume.
How often do you shower? When you skip a day, what are your secrets to looking and feeling fresh?
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