Here’s How Often You Should Really Shower (2023)

How often you should shower is a question with no simple answer. Experts explain when—and what—to wash in the shower.

Shower time?

Wellness trends come and go, but one thing that we always assumed was in style was good hygiene.

Now we’re starting to wonder, given that the topic of showering—or not showering, as the case may be—is being hotly debated on social media and by celebrities. Quite a few have ‘fessed up and say they have no problem skipping the daily ablutions.

One is actor Jake Gyllenhaal who told Vanity Fair he finds bathing “less necessary” at times. On Dax Shepard’s podcast, “Armchair Expert,” Mila Kunis and husband Ashton Kutcher said it wasn’t really a top priority for themselves or their kids. (Meanwhile, actors The Rock and Jason Momoa came out as shower fans on social media and in interviews.)

Is skipping a shower as gross as it sounds? But even more importantly, does it really have an impact on health?

Well it can, according to Annie Gonzalez, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology, in Miami.

Thanks to built up dirt and sweat, some consequences of not showering enough include body odor, acne breakouts, dead skin buildup, fungal infections, and oily hair, according to Dr. Gonzalez.

“Not showering enough can also increase the likelihood of getting sick,” she says.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with skipping a shower now and then. And there are some risks to overdoing cleanliness and hygiene, too.

To find out how often is often enough when it comes to jumping in the shower, we asked Dr. Gonzalez and another expert some questions. Although there’s no one size fits all, the pros share their insights to help you determine what’s best for your body.

What determines how often you should shower?

How often you should shower depends on a few things, according to germ expert Philip Tierno, PhD, a microbiologist at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Here are some things to consider.

Activity level

One variable that determines how often you should shower is your activity level, according to Dr. Gonzalez.

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“If you are someone who engages daily in sweat-inducing activities, you will likely need to shower every day,” she says.

People who exercise regularly should shower regularly, or at the very least freshen up post-workout until they can bathe.

“However, if you don’t participate in any physical activity during the day, it may be unnecessary for you to shower each day.”

There are a few skin conditions you can get or worsen from not bathing or showering.

One is dermatitis neglecta, where you get brown patches on your skin made up of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells.

If you hit the gym and opt not to shower, you could also increase the risk of getting an infection. One example is impetigo, a contagious bacterial skin infection that causes red sores.

Another is ringworm, a contagious fungal infection that is easily spread not only by skin-to-skin contact, but by touching infected surfaces or objects. The symptoms are scaly, red and itchy skin. Plus, the same type of fungus also causes athlete’s foot, too.

Sweat and body odor

Some people sweat more than others, whether or not they participate in physical activity. So, similar to how active you are, how much you sweat in general is another way to determine how often you should shower.

“Some people don’t perspire as much and don’t have heavy odors,” Tierno says. And they could get away with showering less often.

“A lot of people don’t use deodorant of any kind, and they would be more likely to have an odor after a few days,” he says.

“So it would almost be required to bathe at a particular frequency dependent upon the individual.”

In short, the more you stink, the more often you need to bathe, that is, if your body odor is a concern to you (and others around you).

(Video) Here's the Best Time of Day to Take a Shower

Skin type

Another contributing factor is your skin type.

If your skin is on the oily side and is prone to acne breakouts, showering every day would be wise, according to Dr. Gonzalez.

But you should only shower a few times a week if your skin tends to be dry and flaky so that you don’t deplete the oils of your skin further.

People with dry skin who shower too often may irritate the skin barrier leading to even more dryness and redness.

Those with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis may also experience irritation if you overdo showering. If you have a skin condition, your doctor might recommend showering less often, and using cool or lukewarm water to avoid irritating your skin.

The season

People adjust their showering frequency with seasonal change.

“The summer brings hot and sticky weather, which often causes body odor,” Dr. Gonzalez says. “However, winter leads to drier skin.”

Those living in humid or hot climates may opt to shower more often since they likely sweat more, too.

(Here are some other winter shower tips.)

How well you clean your butt

Tierno isn’t holding back: cleaning your butt, or wiping away as much fecal debris around the anus as possible, is an especially important task between showers.

And knowing how to wipe your butt well helps people prolong or extend their time between showers, too.

“The idea is to make sure people wipe their anus in an appropriate way,” Tierno says. “That’s a very important aspect of maintaining good hygiene.”

(Video) Here's why you should never Shower with hot water 😨

Following an initial wipe, consider doing double duty to cleanse the area. Use wet tissues with either a saltwater solution (1/2 a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon in a quart of water) or even a mild soap solution, to clean the area well. Anal wipes are also an option, too.

(This practice isn’t a bad idea, even if you do prefer to shower daily.)

“In a pinch, you can use wet tissue with plain water, but the plain water shouldn’t routinely be used because it can be irritating,” Tierno adds.

Here’s How Often You Should Really Shower (1)Cunaplus_M.Faba/Getty Images

So, really, how often should you shower?

There is no generic rule about how often you should shower, according to Dr. Gonzalez. It mostly comes down to personal preference.

“Some people feel that showering every day is a must, and some people believe that showering two to three times a week is sufficient,” she says.

In general, male or female, it’s OK to skip a day or so depending upon the circumstances, according to Tierno.

“Alternating your bathing every other day is perfectly fine,” he says. “There’s no one size that fits all, unfortunately.”

It’s not going to hurt to engage every day or every other day if you so choose, according to Tierno.

However, Dr. Gonzalez does suggest showering no more than once a day to keep skin at its healthiest.

Focus on cleaning these parts

How often you shower is as important as how well, and where, you’re cleaning. So it makes sense that Dr. Gonzalez recommends focusing on cleaning the dirtiest parts of your body.

These areas include the underarms, in between your toes, the groin, the hair, and the breasts, per Dr. Gonzalez.

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“Any crevices in the skin should also receive extra attention in the shower as they get the grimiest and sweatiest,” she says.

Again, Tierno drives home the importance of cleaning the butt area.

People who need to shower more (or less) often

Since most teenagers participate in physical activities, they are the age group that should be showering most frequently, according to Dr. Gonzalez. Plus, teens beginning puberty experience an increase in body odor.

Meanwhile, children and older adults do not necessarily need to shower as often as teenagers to maintain their cleanliness, Dr. Gonzalez notes.

And of course, individuals who engage in work where they come into contact with debris or germs, such as custodians, garbage collectors, and butchers, may want to shower more often than those who remain in an office all day.

(These are the other reasons you can shower less often.)

The bottom line

When it comes to the right amount of showering, once a day or every other day seems to be the rule of thumb. But remember, more isn’t always better when it comes to showering. Overdoing it could lead to dry, itchy skin.

Tierno’s best bit of advice is to remember that you know your body best. Only you can determine exactly how much cleaning your skin tolerates and needs.

Next, check out these quick morning hacks to freshen up without showering.

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Here’s How Often You Should Really Shower? ›

Many doctors say a daily shower is fine for most people. (More than that could start to cause skin problems.) But for many people, two to three times a week is enough and may be even better to maintain good health.

How often should you shower as you age? ›

However, with age, it can become a struggle to bathe or shower daily. This may be due to mobility or simply not having enough energy. But for the elderly, having a shower once or twice a week is sufficient to keep skin conditions and infections at bay.

How often do dermatologists recommend showering? ›

Dermatologists universally agree

The idea of needing to shower every 24 hours is great for soap manufacturers, but most people only need to take a few showers a week, depending upon their activities and environment.

Is it OK to shower every 4 days? ›

In general, showering every other day or every few days is enough for most people. Keep in mind that showering twice a day or frequently taking hot or long showers can strip your skin of important oils. This can lead to dry, itchy skin.

How often should you go without showering? ›

Generally, she says, "you should be showering, bathing or cleansing yourself every two to three days." Though, if you're working out or engaging in an activity where you are sweating a lot, you may have to shower more often. The biggest problem that may stem from not showering enough? The stink.

How often should a 70 year old wash her hair? ›

Generally speaking, older adults may only need to wash their hair around once per week. For seniors who are hesitant to wash with greater frequency, dry shampoos can be effective in the days between wet washing.

How often should a 50 year old shower? ›

Bathing once or twice a week is acceptable for older adults, as the purpose is to prevent the skin from breaking down and lower the risk of skin infections. Seniors also tend to be less active than younger adults, so they can get away with fewer baths.

Is it OK to shower once a week? ›

A daily shower isn't necessary. ' Mitchell suggested showering or bathing once or twice a week, and experts generally say a few times a week rather than daily is plenty. Also, keep showers short and lukewarm, as too much water, particularly hot water, dries out the skin.

What happens if you don t shower? ›

Poor hygiene or infrequent showers can cause a buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, and sweat on your skin. This can trigger acne, and possibly exacerbate conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. Showering too little can also trigger an imbalance of good and bad bacteria on your skin.

Should you shower at night or in the morning? ›

“Humans tend to perspire at night,” Dr. Goldenberg said. “When you wake up in the morning, there's all this sweat and bacteria from the sheets that's just kind of sitting there on your skin.” So take a quick shower in the morning, he said, “to wash all of that gunk and sweat off that you've been sleeping in all night.”

How long can a human go without showering? ›

"If your skin tends not to be dry, you could extend it to every other day or so." If you take it from a certified germ expert, though, you can skip showering for as long as you wish.

Why do some people not shower? ›

Occasionally, the refusal to shower could be linked to certain mental health problems. For example, teens with serious depression may lack the interest and energy to shower. 2 But taking a shower won't be the only problem they'll struggle with; depression could also lead to academic and social problems.

How long is it OK to go without showering? ›

Dr. Elaine Larson, the associate dean for research at the Columbia School or Nursing and School of Public Health, said "frankly" showering and bathing is mostly for "aesthetics." Showering every day, she said, is unnecessary. Every two, three or even four days is acceptable as long as you don't stink up the place.

How often does the average American shower? ›

According to Harvard Health, 66% of Americans shower daily. There is no ideal frequency for showering however, with global warming changes some people have begun showering for less time. Research done by Kantar World Panel shows that the average number of showers per week is 7 with the average duration being 9.1 mins..

How often do most people shower? ›

In the United States, most people bathe daily but, in other countries, many people bathe only 2-3 times per week or less. Many times it can come down to habit and ritual, as daily showers can help people feel more awake, avoid body odor, relax tight muscles or simply because that's what they've been taught to do.

Is it OK to skip one day of showering? ›

It also depends on your personal preference. If you feel better with a daily showering routine, go for it. If you would rather skip some days, that's OK, but never go more than two or three days without washing your body with soap.

What happens if elderly don't shower? ›

While a mild case of body odor and a disheveled appearance can be a minor cause for concern, other seniors neglect their hygiene so much that it can jeopardize their overall health. For example, it can put them at risk of urinary tract infections or skin infections and put a damper on their mental health, as well.

How often should you wash your bra? ›

How often you need to wash your bras isn't an exact science. But dermatologist Alok Vij, MD, says that as a general rule, you should wash them after every two to three wears.

How often should you wash your bedding? ›

Most people should wash their sheets once per week. If you don't sleep on your mattress every day, you may be able to stretch this to once every two weeks or so. Some people should wash their sheets even more often than once a week.

Do people shower less as they get older? ›

Less Need to Reduce Odor

It's common for people to bathe less frequently as they age, and international comparisons suggest this may not be unhealthy. In fact, doctors commonly suggest to patients that they should bathe less frequently than daily for skin health.

Should females take baths or showers? ›

Your personal hygiene priorities should determine whether you take a bath or a shower. If you're interested in promoting relaxation, easing fatigue, and treating chronic pain, a bath might be the right choice for you. If you're more interested in an efficient daily cleansing, a shower might be the better choice.

What are the benefits of not bathing daily? ›

"Showering less helps strengthen your immune system by keeping disease-fighting bacteria living on your skin. It also allows us to preserve more of our microorganisms and the skin's natural oils," she says.

What percent of the world showers daily? ›

Bathing Habits of the World - Transcript

In this infographic we've taken a quick peek behind the shower curtain of the world's bathers to see exactly when and how they go about getting themselves squeaky clean. Daily Shower Stats – 63% of women and 58% of men shower once a day.

Is it better to take a hot shower or cold shower? ›

Cold showers can help reduce inflammation, relieve pain, improve circulation, lower stress levels, and reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. Hot showers, meanwhile, can improve cardiovascular health, soothe stiff joints, and improve sleep.

When did humans start bathing daily? ›

The oldest accountable daily ritual of bathing can be traced to the ancient Indians. They used elaborate practices for personal hygiene with three daily baths and washing. These are recorded in the works called grihya sutras which date back to 500 BCE and are in practice today in some communities.

How can I wash my body without a shower? ›

How Can I Stay Clean Without Showering?
  1. BRING A WASHCLOTH. I prefer to use a square of synthetic chamois camp towel because it's lighter and dries more quickly than cotton.
Apr 1, 2013

Why do you itch when you don't shower? ›

And without regular cleaning, some of that dead skin can build up on the surface of your skin. The end result? Skin irritation, says Dr. Aishah Muhammad, M.D. “Dead skin and grease naturally gather on the top layer of skin,” she said, “and by not washing, this buildup can leave your skin feeling itchy and dry.”

How often should a woman take a bath? ›

Don't take a bath every day: Daily baths can dry out your skin by ridding your body of its natural oils. Try for baths no more than twice a week. Shower between bath days. Use warm (not hot) water: Some people may experience dizziness or weakness when the temperature is too hot.

What time of day is healthiest to shower? ›

Benefits of Showering in the Morning

Another benefit to morning showers is that you cleanse yourself of any night bacteria. Research shows that humans tend to sweat more at night than in the morning. A quick morning shower can help you feel less sweaty.

Is it better to shower once or twice a day? ›

Many doctors say a daily shower is fine for most people. (More than that could start to cause skin problems.) But for many people, two to three times a week is enough and may be even better to maintain good health.

Why you should always shower before going to bed? ›

When incorporated into a bedtime routine, a nighttime shower may help send your brain the signal that it is time to sleep. Showering at night also ensures you will be cleaner when you go to bed, reducing the buildup of sweat, dirt, and body oils on your bedding.

Will I smell if I skip a shower? ›

When you skip showering for a couple days, it can lead to your body releasing potentially unpleasant odors. Dr. Muhammad says, “Body odors form naturally as a result of bacteria on the skin breaking sweat down into acid. By not washing while continuing to sweat, bad smells will just get worse and worse.”

What happens if you don't dry yourself after a shower? ›

James says any time there's an increased presence of moisture (like when you're not fully dry after a shower) can create a potential breeding ground that's favorable to yeast.

Which cultures don t shower? ›

The Himba people live in one of the most extreme environments on earth with the harsh desert climate and the unavailability of potable water. However, their lack of bathing has not resulted into lack of personal hygiene.

What is it called when someone doesn't shower? ›

For people with ablutophobia, that means trying to avoid bathing and washing, which can lead to different problems for health, well-being, and social acceptance.

What percentage of people don't shower every day? ›

Meanwhile, 31 percent argue it's not necessary to shower daily. Conversely, 35 percent of those who think cleanliness is vital say they shower every day, while 15 percent do so every other day. Only eight percent of respondents take showers once a week and a mere four percent like to soap up more than twice a day.

Is it nasty to not shower for 2 days? ›

Health Risks Of Not Showering Enough

Yikes. “Some adults who go longer than 3-4 days between showers run the risk of accumulating patches of dark, scaly skin, especially in oily areas, and an accumulation of 'bad' bacteria which can lead to fungal or bacterial infections,” adds Dr. Young.

What is the world record for longest time without showering? ›

World's Dirtiest Man Amou Haji Who Didn't Shower For 60 Years Passes At 94 After Bathing Few Months Back.

Is it OK to shower once a month? ›

Dermatologists recommend 2–3 showers a week, or every other day. I shower when I'm dirty. For example, an intense workout, I smell, actually being covered in dirt or food, etc. this amounts to once or twice a month on average for me specifically.

How often do Mexicans shower? ›

There's no official protocol for how often to shower, but folks around the world — in countries such as India, the US, Spain, and Mexico — all bathe about once a day (either with soap or without) , according to Euromonitor International.

How often do Mexicans wash their hair? ›

Hair washing generally correlated with the frequency of showers, too – except for Mexicans, who wash their hair much more often than anyone else, with an average of over six shampoos a week. Indians in the poll wash their tresses the least, with an average of two shampoos per week.

Which nationality showers the most? ›

Here is a look a few bathing habits by country, including baths versus showers and considerations like frequency. From the most showered country in the world (Brazil) to the most commonly bathed country (the UK), we all have our preferences.

Which country bathes the least? ›

Great Britain has the lowest rate of showering per week, at 83 percent. However, the English do love their baths: they have the most baths out of every country, with 32 percent of people bathing each week. Germany comes at a far second, at just 20 percent.

How often do Japanese people shower? ›

Many Japanese people take a bath more or less every day. In some parts of the world, people may refer to showering as “taking a bath,” but not in Japan. In Japan, simply showering does not count.

Do French people shower everyday? ›

While there are numerous stereotypes about the French that are completely inaccurate, it turns out the whole "French people never shower" thing may indeed be true.

Is showering once a week fine? ›

A daily shower isn't necessary. ' Mitchell suggested showering or bathing once or twice a week, and experts generally say a few times a week rather than daily is plenty. Also, keep showers short and lukewarm, as too much water, particularly hot water, dries out the skin.

Can you shower with just water? ›

All you absolutely need, bare bones, to stay clean is water. Just water. Water does a fine job of rinsing away dirt without stripping vital oils from your skin. Also, avoid those luxurious long, hot showers.

How often should you shower over 60? ›

As people get older, they have less energy to get things done each day. Usually, personal hygiene (specifically bathing) is one of those things that gets neglected. So how often should an elderly bathe? To avoid any skin conditions or infections, a senior should bathe at least once or twice a week.

At what age are you considered elderly? ›

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines an “older adult” as someone who is at least 60 years old. Many states may also have different definitions of “elderly” when determining what resources are available in cases of elder abuse, although most states commonly use 65 years of age as the cut-off.

Do you become more of a shower as you age? ›

Yep! Changes in tissue elasticity and collagen levels as you age have a lot to do with this. You might become more of a shower as your tissues stretch out over time — the 2018 IJIR study found that growers were younger on average.

What is the healthiest amount of times to shower? ›

Many doctors say a daily shower is fine for most people. (More than that could start to cause skin problems.) But for many people, two to three times a week is enough and may be even better to maintain good health.

How often should a 65 year old shower? ›

Seniors don't have to bathe every day

Even though most Americans are used to showering every single day, it's not a strict requirement for good health. At a minimum, bathing once or twice a week helps most seniors avoid skin breakdown and infections.

What is the health benefits of not showering? ›

"Showering less helps strengthen your immune system by keeping disease-fighting bacteria living on your skin. It also allows us to preserve more of our microorganisms and the skin's natural oils," she says.

What are the three stages of old age? ›

The United States' older adult population can thus, be divided into three life-stage subgroups: the young-old (approximately 65 to 74 years old), the middle-old (ages 75 to 84 years old), and the old-old (over age 85).

What is the difference between old age and elderly? ›

The American Psychological Association (1) states in Section 2.17 Age, (p 69): “Elderly is not acceptable as a noun and is considered pejorative by some as an adjective. Older person is preferred.

What to do when you're 75 years old? ›

Spending time at an event, making friends, or catching up with old acquaintances can have a significantly positive impact on your overall wellness.
  1. Hiking and Walking Clubs. ...
  2. Group Exercise Classes. ...
  3. Wii Sports. ...
  4. Gardening Clubs. ...
  5. Book Clubs. ...
  6. Life Story Exercises. ...
  7. Lectures and Continuing Ed Classes. ...
  8. Online Collaborative Games.
Jan 20, 2023

How much sleep should elderly get? ›

Older adults need about the same amount of sleep as all adults—7 to 9 hours each night. But, older people tend to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier than they did when they were younger. There are many reasons why older people may not get enough sleep at night.

Are most men growers? ›

Most male participants, however, didn't fall into either category: only 24% could be classified as “growers” and another 25% were considered “showers.” Researchers also found no correlations between age, weight, smoking status, or co-morbidities and penis growth.

Is it normal to have less energy at 75 years old? ›

But getting older doesn't automatically sideline you from being active. Usually, our energy declines because of normal changes. Both genes and environment lead to alterations in cells that cause aging muscles to lose mass and strength and to become less flexible. As a result, strenuous activities become more tiring.


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