We Asked Derms How Often You Should Shower—Here's What They Said

Is it healthy to go days without showering? What about bathing multiple times per day? Experts weigh in on the shower frequency sweet spot.

A long, luxurious shower can be before bedtime can be one of your day's greatest pleasures (and it's super beneficial for your skin health, too). But on days when we're not in the mood to deal with soaping, scrubbing, shaving, there are certainly other ways to deal with body odor. But exactly how often should you shower?

Listen to Your Body

Every body has different needs. "Some people need to shower once or twice a day after working up a sweat, while others who aren't as active, may only need to shower several times a week," says Michele Green, MD, New York City–based cosmetic dermatologist. "While the importance of personal hygiene can't be understated, everyone's skin is different. Depending on the season, your skin, and your preferences, the frequency of your showers may vary throughout the year."

Thanks to cold weather and indoor heating, winter skin is going to be drier than in other seasons. And during the summer months, you may get more oily due to humidity, sweat, and sunscreen.

Regardless, don't go more than a couple of days without a shower—every other day is about the longest you'll want to wait. Depending on the type of deodorant you use—deodorants for women range from traditional to natural aluminum-free formulas—you may need to wash your armpits more frequently with soap and water.

If You Skip Showers

"Aside from odor, you'll need to be concerned about a host of different skin issues like acne, irritation, flare-ups of existing skin conditions, and even yeast or fungal infections," warns Dr. Green. "Acne forms when there is a blockage and inflammation of sebaceous follicles, not only on the face, but on the chest and back, as well. Shower too little and there's greater potential for acne-causing bacteria to become trapped inside the pores."

To clear up any body skin breakouts, you should shower more often than you are now, using a loofah to remove the buildup of dead skin cells and keep pores clear. Dr. Green adds that it's important to rinse the loofah and hang it to dry between uses to prevent the spread of bacteria.

If You Shower Every Day

On the flip side, if you're someone who showers more than once a day, your skin is going to need some extra TLC. "Those who work out consistently should probably shower afterwards, which if done properly, isn't harmful to the skin, but may require a change in habits," explains Lisa Chipps, MD, Los Angeles–based dermatologist. "For healthy skin, it's best to keep showers quick and lukewarm. While long, hot showers may feel great, they can break down the skin's natural barrier and lead to dry and irritated skin."

Experts recommend sticking to gentle cleansers and shying away from exfoliative body cleansers so you maintain the pH balance and don't strip the skin of natural oils. One of the favorite body washes is Dove Deep Moisture. "After bathing, blot (don't scrub) your skin dry and apply a gentle moisturizer to any areas that are prone to dry skin," Dr. Chipps adds.

Whether you're showering every day or every other day (don't go longer than that), the most important takeaway is to nourish your skin, whatever your routine.

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