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.
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.
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!
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?