I used to really like showering. I’d linger beneath the spout and luxuriate in the hot water, which helped wake me up in the morning and/or release all my body’s tension after a really long day. These moments let my mind come up with all sorts of creative ideas that only occur when you’re washing your body. These days, though? I’m over it.
Showering’s annoying. It’s just a whole ordeal. And guess what? Dermatologists back me up on this. You have expert-approved permission not to shower every single day. “It doesn’t matter what time of year it is—your entire body does not need to be washed daily,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, board-certified dermatologist with Schweiger Dermatology. Controversial opinion maybe, but she’s got backup—dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, star of Well+Good’s Dear Derm video series, says “you’re fine to skip a shower day or two.”
“Your entire body does not need to be washed daily.” —Rachel Nazarian, MD
Before you go carefree frolicking about while allowing your tub to collect dust—you still have to tend to the particularly pungent parts of your body so that you keep all of your friends. “All you need to do is clean the smelly parts,” says Dr. Gohara. The parts in question are the usual suspects: your pits, your groin, and your feet, which Dr. Nazarian says harbor more bacteria than other areas. “I recommend those areas be washed daily with a gentle cleanser since they’re really the primary areas that should be considered ‘dirty,'” she says. For those skip-your-shower days, we’re really into Yuni’s Shower Sheets ($15) for an easy faux-cleanse.
And fun fact: You can skip the body wash if you’re washing your hair. “Shampoo will actually wash the rest of your body passively—there’s no need to take soap and specifically wash your arms, your legs, or your trunk,” says Dr. Nazarian, who adds that using more soap on those areas will actually strip your skin’s natural oils and dry them out.
“It’s certainly part of our culture to over-clean,” she says. You may be wondering: What if I do a sweaty workout, though? “Working out or going to the gym doesn’t actually change this,” says Dr. Nazarian. “Sweating doesn’t make you dirty.” Just stick with cleaning those three bacteria-prone areas of your body, and you’re good to go. (The only sporty scenario where she actually advises more cleansing is if you’re doing something like wrestling or MMA, where you have skin-to-skin contact with others.) So, there have it—showering is overrated.
BTW: Here’s what actually happens if you don’t shower for a full month (because, yes, someone tried it). And this is why dermatologists say to skip the loofah on your face when you do shower.