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Daily showers could be harmful for skin health, some experts claim

  • By Team AVISA
  • May 23, 2024

Daily showers aren’t necessary and may not have any health benefits, according to some experts.

Proponents of less frequent showers claim that most people take them every day — or multiple times a day — only because this has become a societal norm.

“Why are we washing? Mostly because we’re afraid somebody else will tell us that we’re smelling,” environmentalist Donnachadh McCarthy said in an interview with the BBC.

McCarthy said he only showers once a month, freshening up with sink washes in between.

Approximately two-thirds of Americans shower every day, according to Harvard Health.

Some of the most common reasons are to prevent body odor, freshen up after working out and get help in waking up.

Potential health impacts of daily showers

Robert H. Shmerling, M.D., senior faculty editor of Harvard Health Publishing, noted in an article for Harvard Health that frequent hot showers remove the healthy oils and “good” bacteria from the skin.

As a result, the skin can become dry, itchy or irritated, he noted.


The skin may also become more susceptible to infections and allergic reactions, as harmful bacteria and allergens are able to enter through dry, cracked areas.

Daily showers could also weaken the immune system, Shmerling warned.

“Our immune systems need a certain amount of stimulation by normal microorganisms, dirt and other environmental exposures in order to create protective antibodies and ‘immune memory,’” he said

“This is one reason some pediatricians and dermatologists recommend against daily baths for kids. Frequent baths or showers throughout a lifetime may reduce the ability of the immune system to do its job.”

Risks could also arise from exposure to chemicals in water — including salts, heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride and pesticides — and in shampoos, conditioners and soaps.

“Overcleaning your body is probably not a compelling health issue,” Shmerling wrote.


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