CBS Local — Many people start the day with shower to wake themselves up or at night to get the day’s grime off; however, health experts are saying people are probably washing up too much.
According to multiple reports, excessive showering is actually doing damage to the skin and the body’s ability to heal itself. “Soap and the hot water dissolve the lipids in the skin and scrubbing only hastens the process,” experts say, via a report in PJ Media. The report added that scrubbing interrupts the body’s natural oil production which promotes healing. This results in dryer, cracked skin.
“I think showering is mostly for aesthetic reasons,” Dr. Elaine Larson of Columbia University’s School of Nursing told Time. “People think they’re showering for hygiene or to be cleaner, but bacteriologically, that’s not the case.”
Dr. Larson has also done research on the benefits of antibacterial soaps; finding that specialized cleaning products are no better than plain soap for preventing infectious diseases. “Bathing will remove odor if you’re stinky or have been to the gym,” Larson said before adding that washing your hands regularly is a better solution than over-showering.
“Your body is naturally a well-oiled machine. A daily shower isn’t necessary,” Dr. C. Brandon Mitchell of George Washington University said in the Time report. Dr. Mitchell recommends that people who shower daily should not lather their whole body, just the areas that give off the strongest smells, like armpits.