What’s the longest you’ve gone without a shower?
One MIT engineer claims to have gone 12 years without getting wet, thanks to a spray he created, but honestly, we all need to bathe on the regular for both our health and to save our personal relationships.
But the question remains: How often should you shower?
A new video by The Huffington Post breaks down why it’s necessary to bathe. The main reason: Regular cleansing with soap and water keeps the good bacteria on your skin by washing away the bad stuff. Go without a shower for an extended period of time and you risk developing infection and skin conditions — and eventually, you’ll develop a crust of dirt on your skin.
If that wasn’t gross enough, bacteria known as bromhidrosis feeds on sweat, creating bad chemicals that smell.
On the other hand, you don’t want to get obsessive about showering. Wash too often and you risk stripping your body of the good chemicals it needs to act as natural protectants and moisturizers, causing cracks and itchy skin.
The dermatologists HuffPo talked to recommend that people who lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle shower at least three times a week, but they bump that up to once a day if you exercise or work in healthcare. And if you have limited time to shower? Focus on the big three: genitals, underarms and face.