From a young age, we’re taught personal grooming habits that we either choose to stick to or not. You’ve probably had a sibling, friend, or roommate whose hygiene made you wonder where they bought that bottle of Eau de Funk Parfum.

They formed their own showering habits, perhaps for life. It’s fine if you’re away and don’t have access to facilities, it’s also fine to skip your normal ritual here and there. We get feeling down. We get feeling lazy. We get medical emergencies. But daaaaays or weeks on purpose. . .even your dog may hide from you.

Seriously, how far do you want to take things? This is going to sound all sorts of judgey but it’s necessary: you don’t want to skimp on the bathing. Not even a bird bath.

Experiments with showering could make you feel like you’re headed towards a scientific breakthrough, but here are a few reasons why your body (and those in close proximity to you) would prefer not to be in the lab with you.

  1. Infections

    At any given time, you have a combo of thousands of bacteria and fungus on the skin. Many of those are there to help. When your dirty habits take over, so do the bad germs, leading to infections.

    Staph, ringworm, viruses, and other unwanted microbes can invade not only your skin, but your eyes, mouth, and nose too. Do you really want to risk catching an illness?

  2. You Become Putrid

    Doing research for your book “How to Lose Friends and Scorch Nose Hairs” is no excuse for being stinky. No one’s saying that you should drench yourself in jasmine body wash, but the most obvious reason to shower is for the sake of smell.

    That onion soup aroma you can’t pin down? It’s you. The reason you’re craving salt-and-vinegar chips? It’s your own scent. That weird landfill smell that’s following you from room to room? Uh huh. That’s you too if you haven’t gone skin-to-skin with some soap lately.

  3. Skin Problems

    Unchecked buildup on the skin contributes to conditions like acne, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Forgoing bathing can also breed brown growths of plaque on the skin called dermatitis neglecta – lesions that result from not cleaning yourself.

    Sweat, dirt, dead skin cells, oil, and other hygiene-averse elements gather on the skin or scalp, wreaking skin havoc. Avoid this with a regular cleaning regimen that’s compatible with your skin.

According to dermatologists, you don’t have to bathe twice a day or even daily, but you do need to pay attention to certain body areas. If you couldn’t guess which, that means the groin, armpits, feet, and face.

Going overboard on fancy bathing products isn’t necessary, but a mild soap or warm water can work wonders. Too much bathing can strip the skin of its good bacteria and natural oils, causing cracks, dryness, or irritation, so stick to something that’s cleansing but not overkill.

While your mood or the seasons may dictate some of your showering habits, consider your fellow man standing behind you in line, your significant other, and your own nose.

What’s the longest you’ve gone without bathing, and what did you learn? Do you have any showering habits you’d like to share?


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