5 Benefits of Showering Less

5 benefits of showering less

Today I’m guest-posting over at Red and Honey about How I Stay Clean Without Showering Every Day. Mosey on over to learn some tricks I’ve used.  Because these are the things you want to know about me, right?

(Sometimes, when I stop and think about it, I’m amazed what I share on these here Interwebz. How I go about skipping showers?? Complete with pictures of my greasy hair??)

But why would one want to shower less often? Here are five reasons I’ve tried to reduce the number of times I shower.

Good Stewardship

As I mentioned in my guest post, I recently learned that in many parts of the world, we’re using up groundwater faster than it can be naturally replenished through precipitation.  By the year 2040, experts are predicting major water shortages on many parts of the globe.

While water shortages aren’t expected in this part of the world, I think it’s time we started thinking about our water consumption no matter where we live.

We currently share this planet with over seven billion other humans. Everyone deserves an equal share of clean water. Sadly, this isn’t the reality right now.

We need to work towards giving everyone equal access to clean water. In the meantime, I feel it’s also valuable to remember that water is a shared resource. We shouldn’t squander it just because we can right now. We need to be mindful of our water usage and minimize waste.

And daily showers just aren’t necessary for every single person on the continent.

Lower Water and Heating Costs

When you consume less on behalf of other people, you get perks of your own: smaller utility bills! That’s your water, as well as the energy it takes to heat your water. Save money by skipping showers (and when you shower, try to make it quick. No need to linger.) Your bank account will thank you.

Save Time

I don’t know about you, but showering generally takes a good chunk out of my morning. (Or afternoon. Or evening. With a toddler in the house, you never know when you’re going to find the time). For women especially, showering often means having to dry, restyle, and add product to your hair. This really eats up your time!

On days when I use my quick three-step method (as outlined in my other post — i.e. change undies, wash underarms, and dry-shampoo my hair), I easily save myself 15-20 minutes a day. And again, with a busy toddler in the house, those 15-20 minutes are precious!

Increase Vitamin D

Here’s one you may not have heard of: according to Modern Alternative Mama, showering too often can prevent your body from synthesizing the vitamin D you get from the sun.  According to a recent study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Forty-two percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient. If that’s the case, so we want to conserve everything we get!

As Kate Tietje explains:

Vitamin D, as a fat-soluble vitamin, is made in the oily layer of your skin.  It is then slowly absorbed over 2 – 3 days.  If you shower everyday and use soap, you will wash this oily layer off your skin and will not absorb the vitamin D you just made!

Consequently, she recommends only rinsing with water after sun exposure, or waiting a few days between showers, to allow the vitamin D to be synthesized and absorbed.

Better for Your Skin (And Overall Health)

I’ve read from a number of specialists that showering less often is better for your skin. There are a number of factors involved.

First, there’s the matter of bacteria. Just like we’re learning more and more about good bacteria in our intestinal tracts, we’re discovering the benefits of good bacteria on our skin. John Oxford, Professor of Virology at Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, argues that “A vigorous daily shower would disturb the natural bug flora of the skin as well as skin oils.” (source).  As University of California dermatology chief Dr. Richard Gallo explains, “Good bacteria are educating your own skin cells to make your own antibiotics . . . They produce their own antibiotics that kills off bad bacteria” (source). In other words, if you get rid of the good bacteria, you interfere with one of your body’s simplest defenses against germs.

Then there’s the protective layer of dead skin cells.

Siobahn O’Connor, co-author of No More Dirty Looks, explains:

As gross as it may sound, these dead skin cells . . . that live on our skin are actually desirable—they’re there to help protect us from undesirable bacteria, and they can make it harder for some harmful chemicals to easily penetrate the skin. Which means that when you strip your skin with harsh soap or body washes . . . you make it more vulnerable.

And lastly, those good old natural oils. Your body produces those oils to keep it soft and supple. Hot water (from hot showers) softens these oils and makes them easier to strip away, leaving your skin drier and more prone to flakiness. Yech.

So join with me and do yourself a favour by showering less often. You’ll see improvements in your wallet and your health, you’ll free up more of your day, and you’ll help conserve a precious global commodity. Sounds good to me!

What do you think? Are you already ditching the daily shower routine, or do I sound crazy?


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  1. I shower maybe twice a week. I have fine hair and shampooing more often than that is destructive. If I wear makeup during the day, I wash with a coconut-oil based cleanser and moisturizer my face before bed. In the morning, I take a “whore’s bath” at the sink, washing the, um, important parts.

    This is a massive time saver. I don’t feel gross or dirty keeping this routine. My husband dorsnt tell me I stink. So I’ll stick with it! The exception would be if I got extra dirty or sweaty while doing yard work or working out.

    It makes my weekly shower (or twice-weekly) that much more enjoyable!

    • Right? Isn’t it such a time-saver?!

      Bahaha . . . someone on the other blog left a comment saying they called a wipe-down at the sink a “bird’s bath” when they were little. I think I prefer that term. :)

      • I agree on showering less often. Because I don’t currently work outside the home, I tend to not shower immediately on getting up (on days that I do bathe) and try to get any ‘messy’ or sweaty work done first. We had a intense yoga class this morning (in a 80* + studio) and then spent a few hours ripping out the garden and putting the yard to bed. It would’ve been silly to shower first, but it know (too many) folks who would’ve taken TWO showers today instead of cleaning up after.

        Bird Bath!! We always called it that as well. I remember my MIL once mentioned needing a TPA (when she injured her arm and couldn’t shower) and I asked ‘what’s that?’ She is quite the Gentle Lady and blushingly said it stood for T-ts, P-ts and A– !!! Poor MIL! I felt quite bad for embarrassing her, but we got a good laugh out of it. :^)
        PepperReed recently posted..Back in the Land of the Living!My Profile

  2. I shower twice a week unless I get really sweaty or dirty and only wash my hair once a week. I love not having to spend the time showering everyday, it’s especially nice in the winter. I don’t like getting out of the warm shower into the cold air, and I don’t blow dry my hair so then you’re walking around with cold, wet hair on your head for an hour or two which makes it so hard to warm up! I use homemade (by a friend) goat’s milk soap and my skin hardly ever dries out. I’ve been using deodorant made with your recipe since the spring and I don’t have any problem with odor unless I’m working out and really sweating. When I used antiperspirants and took daily showers it was almost like I couldn’t even wash off underarm odor all the way cause my pores were clogged and the antiperspirant held onto it. Ick! So glad I’ve been able to switch to more natural methods!

  3. Hmmm. I’m intrigued and interested, but I generally start my day with a workout. How do you avoid stinking without showering after working out?
    Michele recently posted..Motherhood with a Toddler – Life in GeneralMy Profile

  4. The 10 minutes I spend in the shower may be the ten most peaceful, pleasant minutes of the day. Until I read these comments, I presumed everyone loved showers as much as I do.

  5. I had to laugh because your post went up right after a morning conversation with R when I’d joked I might just skip the shower because I was feeling too lazy. His eyebrows about hit the ceiling! Love that I have FACTS to back my laziness up with next time!
    fiona lynne recently posted..A weekend in LondonMy Profile

  6. Aww, the long comment I wrote the other day didn’t post! Sadface.

    The gist of it was, I only shower maybe once or twice a week. I started because we couldn’t afford to heat our house and being wet in 55 degrees is no fun. But now I just can’t be bothered to take the time. I loooooove showers, though, and my one a week is often rather long. Heh.

    I think I had also written something about growing up in a desert and how the schools there brainwash you about water conservation. So I have a lot of water-saving habits that confuse my non-desert-dwelling husband. :-D

  7. One of the best reason could be water saving… Maybe you want to help the environment by conserving water. :)
    Best anti fungal soap recently posted..Defense Soap… Anti-Fungal Soap Ingredients for Ringworm, Jock Itch and Athletes Foot.My Profile

  8. 1. My grandmother calls the little bath at the sink a “Daddle-Do” as in “That’ll Do.”
    2. When I was in the Army, I was shocked that people had to be taught how to take so-called “Navy showers” or “combat showers” – where you turn the water on just long enough to get wet, turn it off, lather up, and then rinse and that’s it. That was the norm for me all m life. :) Yay conservation!

  9. I couldn’t go a day without a shower, though how anybody can spend more than five minutes under the shower never ceases to amaze me, what are they doing in there? You get in, lather up and rinse off, to be honest you only need a once over in the shower, infact every few days you can skip the soap and just rinse off, making it even quicker.

  10. Nice article indeed. Though i differ some points you mentioned your about taking shower. You can also review my shower info graphic about benefits of taking regular shower.

  11. I recently went 2 months without a “shower”. Partner and I were on a long-term adventure in a bus travelling in the summer months. A lot of time was spent in nature and by water sources. The only bathing was a few times a week in a creek or river or lake.

    Along with this was a lot of nude tanning in the sun. After 2 months of this process both of our skins had this amazing feel and glow. It is worth trying for the experience. I must say it felt very healthy.


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