Skipping Your Daily Shower May Make Your Skin Healthier (2023)

How often you should shower is based on your health needs, what you do for work, your lifestyle, and your preferences. For example, if you're physically active or have a messy job, you might need to shower every day.

This article will help you figure out how often you should shower compared to how often most people in the United States shower or bathe. It also looks at what happens if you don't shower enough and how to protect your skin when you do shower.

Skipping Your Daily Shower May Make Your Skin Healthier (1)

How Often Should Adults Shower?

People in the United States shower a lot. According to Harvard Medical School, approximately 2/3 of Americans shower daily.

Showering daily is not necessarily "unhealthy," but you may not need to. For many people, a full-body shower every other day or even every third day is enough.

That said, just because you don’t shower daily does not mean you want to skip out on personal care.

On the days when you do not shower, use a clean washcloth to wipe yourself down. It will also help if you wash your faceevery night to remove dirt, makeup, and sunscreen—all of which can clog pores.

One of the most important personal hygiene steps you can take is washing your hands. Proper, frequent hand washing is key for keeping yourself and your loved ones safe from illness.

Who Needs to Shower Every Day?

Showering daily would be necessary if you get dirty, sweaty, or are exposed to allergens or dangerous chemicals at work or in your typical activities.

People who may want to take a shower every day include:

  • Farm workers
  • Animal rescue volunteers and staff
  • Landscapers
  • Gardeners
  • Construction workers
  • Funeral directors
  • Athletes
  • Fitness instructors
  • Intense gym goers

Multiple showers a day is probably not necessary, though there might be times when you need to bathe more than once a day if you get dirtier than usual or are exposed to something like a harsh chemical more than once.

Your showering needs can also change throughout the year. For example, if you live in a region that is very hot in the summer, you might prefer to shower daily to clean off the sweat and stay cool.

After exercising or working up a sweat, shower and change into clean, dry clothes as soon as possible. Wearing sweaty, moist clothes can raise your risk of getting bacterial or fungal infections, such asjock itch.

(Video) Doctor Settles The "Shower Daily" Controversy

Do Teens Need to Shower Daily?

A daily shower is ideal for teens who have hit puberty. They should also shower after swimming, playing sports, or when they’ve been sweating a lot. They also should wash their face daily, as excess oil and dirt can contribute to acne.

How Long Can You Go Without Showering?

How long you can go between showers depends on your day-to-day activities, how dirty or sweaty you get, and what types of allergens or chemicals you are exposed to.

What Happens If You Go Months Without Showering?

If don’t shower for a few days, you may develop body odor. Dead skin cells, sweat, and oil also tend to build up, which can clog pores, which can triggeracne breakoutsin people who are prone to them.

Going months without taking a shower or bathing can lead todermatitis neglecta(DN), a condition where brown patches of dead cells, dirt, sweat, and grime form on the skin. This condition tends to affect people who are unable to adequately clean their bodies because of a physical or mental health condition.

It can also develop after surgery when a patient is afraid to clean the area around the incision or finds it painful to do so.

DN can be treated by making sure the person has the support they need to wash the affected skin regularly.

What Happens If You Shower Too Much?

Showering too often can affect thebarrier function of the skin. Healthy skin has a natural layer of oil and bacteria that help keep it from drying out.

Excessive exposure to soap and water—especially hot water, may strip away the skin's protective layer, which can cause the skin to become dry, flaky, and itchy. This can be particularly problematic for people with skin conditions such aspsoriasisoreczema.

On the flip side, not showering enough can cause body odor, acne, and evenskin infections.

An Overview of Dermatitis Neglecta

(Video) What Happens To Your Body When You Skip Showers For Just Two Days

Healthy Showering Tips

Whenever you take a shower, there are some steps you can take to protect your skin.

  • Use warm, not hot, water. Hot water can strip the skin of its protective oils, likesebum.
  • Keep it short. Five to 10 minutes is ideal for showering. If you stay in the water too long, it can dry out your skin.
  • Use non-drying soap.Whether you prefer a bar or liquidbody cleanser, choose one labeledas moisturizing to help keep your skin hydrated.
  • Use soap only on select areas of the body. Limit lathering to spots on your body that are prone to odor, like armpits, groin, buttocks, and feet.
  • Be gentle. If you use a body scrub or loofah, do not scrub your skin too hard. When using a towel after your shower, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it.
  • Moisturize after showering.If yourskin tends to be dryor sensitive, slather your body with a fragrance-free moisturizing cream, body lotion, or oil after you get out of the shower while your skin is still damp.
  • Keep poufs and loofahs clean. Damp sponges, loofahs, and shower poufs are breeding grounds for bacteria and mildew. Let them air dry outside the shower and replace or sanitize them in a dishwasher at least every other month.
  • Change your towels. You should change out your towels for clean ones at least once a week. More importantly, allow towels to dry completely between uses, as dampness can breed bacteria. Spread towels out to dry on a towel bar rather than hanging them on a hook to speed up the process.


Each person's bathing needs will differ depending on various factors including the weather, their job, their environment, and hobbies. 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. Skipping showers for a long time can also cause infections, acne, and dermatitis neglecta.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should I shower if I have eczema?

    Ideally, shower once a day for five to 10 minutes. This will add moisture to your skin. To lock it in, pat your skin gently with a towel, use medication on affected areas of your skin, and apply moisturizer to your entire body within the first few minutes of exiting the shower.

    Learn More:How to Keep Skin Hydrated

11 Sources

(Video) What Happens To Body After 30 Days Cold Showers (Science Explained)

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Harvard Medical School Health Publishing. Showering Daily - Is It Necessary.

  2. American Academy of Dermatology Association. How To Control Oily Skin.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Handwashing: clean hands save lives.

  4. Virginia Department of Health. Unknown Chemical Exposure.

  5. National Library of Medicine. Jock itch.

  6. Saha A, Seth J, Sharma A, Biswas D. Dermatitis neglecta -- a dirty dermatosis: report of three cases. Indian J Dermatol. 2015;60(2):185-187. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.152525

  7. American Academy of Dermatology Association. 8 WAYS TO STOP BATHS AND SHOWERS FROM WORSENING YOUR PSORIASIS.

  8. National Eczema Association. Eczema and bathing.

  9. Herrero-Fernandez M, Montero-Vilchez T, Diaz-Calvillo P, Romera-Vilchez M, Buendia-Eisman A, Arias-Santiago S. Impact of Water Exposure and Temperature Changes on Skin Barrier Function.J Clin Med. 2022;11(2):298. doi:10.3390/jcm11020298

  10. University of Washington Medicine. This Is How Often You Should Clean Things, According to a Microbiologist.

By Angela Palmer
Angela Palmer is a licensed esthetician specializing in acne treatment.

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Skipping Your Daily Shower May Make Your Skin Healthier? ›

It might change your natural flora (not to be confused with your aura) … meaning the bacteria and other fun stuff on your skin might be eliminated less frequently than they are when you shower every day. “There might be some changes in the normal flora of the microorganisms on the skin,” explains Baron.

Does skipping a shower help your skin? ›

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.

Is it healthy to skip a 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 to your skin when you stop showering? ›

Skipping your shower could lead to an excess of dead skin cell buildup, says Amy Wechsler, a New York City dermatologist. Hyperkeratosis, which is the thickening of the outer layer of the skin, would undoubtedly occur. Rashes and itchy irritation will occur.

How can I shower everyday without damaging my skin? ›

If You Shower Every Day

"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."

How long can I go without showering? ›

According to Shirley Chi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles, there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. Showering "once every three days is fine." If you have a skin condition, the answer is different, however.

What happens to your skin if you don't shower for a year? ›

After a year, he said, you'd have a build-up of skin stratum corneum, or dead skin on top of your skin. It includes a build-up of a protein our skin produces that has a funky odor to it. Bacteria also would accumulate on the skin, giving off a nasty smell when it mixes with our sweat.

How long should you shower? ›

According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Edidiong Kaminska, MD, the recommended maximum shower time is about 5 to 10 minutes. This is enough time to cleanse and hydrate the skin without overdoing it.

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.

How often does the average person 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.

Will my skin get better if I stop washing it? ›

Neglecting to wash your face can have drastic effects on your skin. If you have oily skin and stop washing, you might start to experience more breakouts. For those with dry skin, your face might start to look more dull and dry.

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.

Why do people stop showering? ›

While common, there are multiple reasons why someone stop showering depending on the individual. The reasons can range from not feeling secure and in control in the bathroom anymore, to early signs of dementia and psychological issues.

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.

What is the cleanest way to wash your body? ›

Do a quick rinse to wet your skin before applying any soap. Using a loofah, washcloth, or just your hands, apply bar soap or bodywash to your body. Start at your neck and shoulders, and work your way down the length of your body. Don't forget to wash your legs and get between your toes with soap and water.

What can I do instead of showering everyday? ›

Here's how:
  1. Switch to Natural/Homemade Deodorant.
  2. Use Magnesium Oil.
  3. Step One: Change your Underpants.
  4. Step Two: Wash Your Underarms.
  5. Step Three: Use Dry Shampoo on Your Hair.
Mar 22, 2021

Why is daily shower important? ›

It can have unexpected positive effects on our physical and mental health. Taking a shower is a good way to change our experiences quickly and improving our mood. They can be relaxing or energizing depending on the temperature of the water and even strengthen our immune function.

What are the benefits of showering twice a day? ›

"Showering twice a day not only maintains scalp health, but also helps eliminate unwanted germs in our body," Dr. Cua explains. He further emphasizes that according to a study quick baths also help improve mood and reduces fatigue after a long day.

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.

What happens if you don't wash your feet? ›

Excess moisture left on your feet will create more foot bacteria, which could make your feet more prone to infections. Drying your feet will also help prevent dry, cracked feet and calluses. You should also practice good foot hygiene outside of the shower.

Are there any benefits to cold showers? ›

Cold water strains your body — it goes into “survival mode,” working hard to maintain its core temperature. This stimulates your body to increase blood flow circulation. “Increasing circulation redistributes blood and delivers freshly oxygenated blood to areas of the body that need to recover,” Dr. Hame says.

Has not showered in 65 years? ›

The 'world's dirtiest man', Amou Haji – an affectionate nickname for an elderly person – has passed away at the age of 94 in Iran. Haji went 65 years without putting soap or water to his body, believing they would make him sick.

What happens if you don t shower? ›

If you don't wash your body, it makes it easier for germs that cause actual skin infections to flourish. If you didn't wash at all, dirt, sweat, dead skin cells and oil would start to accumulate, and infections or ongoing skin conditions can become more serious, more difficult to manage, and harder to undo.

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.

Is it OK to shower every 2 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 a woman shower? ›

While there is no ideal frequency, experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people (unless you are grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often). Short showers (lasting three or four minutes) with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice.

How do you wash 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

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.

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 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.

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.

Why was my skin better when I didn't wash it? ›

You may be using unnecessary products. "Some people may just not be genetically predisposed to breakouts or may produce less [oil],” says Batra. If that sounds like you, you may actually find your skin looks better when you ditch your cleanser.

Why is my skin clear when I wake up? ›

During the day as you're upright, the dermal fluid moves towards your legs, but overnight, when your body is horizontal during sleep, dermal fluid settles back. This swells up your facial skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, like pumping water back into a raisin or rehydrating a shriveled, dried sponge.

How to get clear skin? ›

People may wish to try these general tips for getting clear skin fast.
  1. Avoid popping pimples. A pimple indicates trapped oil, sebum, and bacteria. ...
  2. Wash twice daily, and again after sweating. ...
  3. Avoid touching the face. ...
  4. Moisturize. ...
  5. Always wear sunscreen. ...
  6. Focus on gentle products. ...
  7. Avoid hot water. ...
  8. Use gentle cleansing devices.

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.

How often should a 70 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.

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.

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.

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.”

Should you use soap everyday? ›

Frequent washing, particularly with soaps, strips natural oils from the skin barrier and increases water loss. This leads to drying of the skin and irritation,” he says. This can be a problem particularly for people with skin conditions such as eczema where the skin barrier is already impaired.

What 3 body parts should you wash everyday? ›

The three areas, according to one doctor, you really only need to wash with soap are your armpits, groin and feet. The rest of your body is good with a simple rinse of water.

How often you should change your sheets? ›

How Often You Should Wash Your Sheets (And How to Get Them Really Clean) Experts recommend washing or changing sheets once a week.

Is it better to wash your body with a washcloth or hands? ›

That's right! Scrubbing up with your hands is recommended. "It's best to just wash with our hands," suggests Erum Ilyas, MD, MBE, FAAD. "Loofahs have been well-documented reservoirs of bacteria.

How long is it OK not to shower? ›

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. 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 long is it bad not to shower? ›

“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 a dry shower? ›

Dry Shower is the perfect way to freshen up without water! Specifically formulated to kill odour causing bacteria and germs with its gentle yet effective, coconut derived cleaning ingredients, Dry Shower leaves you feeling (and smelling) fresh and clean.

How often should a person shower? ›

While there is no ideal frequency, experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people (unless you are grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often). Short showers (lasting three or four minutes) with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice.

Is it good to take a break from showers? ›

Showering daily can dry out your skin and kill the healthy kind of bacteria that keeps your skin and body healthy, so taking a break here and there can have some surprisingly healthy benefits. "Skin has many 'good bacteria,' and many of these are protective and help prevent skin infections," says Dr.

Is it bad to sweat and not shower? ›

All that sweat from your workout will cause bacteria and yeast to build up, so if you don't shower, you don't rinse those bugs off and may have an increased risk of irritation and infection, Deirdre Hooper, M.D., a dermatologist at Audubon Dermatology in New Orleans, LA, previously told Shape.

Does showering less help with dry skin? ›

The easiest method to prevent dry skin as the temperature drops is to bathe less often. Many Americans bathe once or twice daily and spend time scrubbing their skin with a washcloth or luffa, but this is not the best way to combat dry skin.

How long should a daily shower be? ›

Edidiong Kaminska, MD, the recommended maximum shower time is about 5 to 10 minutes. This is enough time to cleanse and hydrate the skin without overdoing it. “Our skin needs water, just like our bodies, but if we over- or under-do it, then it may have consequences,” she adds.

How often does the average woman shower? ›

Generally, people shower somewhere between every other day and twice a day, depending on their personal preference and how their skin reacts to getting hosed down, says Jeffrey Cohen, a dermatologist and assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine.

Can I 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.

Why are showers so healing? ›

We've known about the healing effects of showers — both hot and cold — on our bodies for a long time now. Research suggests that hot showers alleviate anxiety as a result of the heat prompting our brains to release oxytocin — a “happy hormone” — which, in turn, reduces stress.

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.

Why do I get itchy when I 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.”

Are hot or cold showers better? ›

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.

Why you should shower everyday? ›

Showering cleans the skin and removes dead skin cells to help clear the pores and allow the skin cells to function. It washes away bacteria and other irritants that could cause rashes and other skin problems.

What is the best thing to wash your body with? ›

Water is excellent at washing off sweat and dust and the normal lint that we pick up around us every day, [while] soap is really good at pulling oils out of the skin,” Dr. Greiling says.


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