‘My guilty pleasure would be… not showering for a few days,’ admitted America Ferrera in a recent interview with Vanity Fair.
Admitting to the rather unorthodox hygiene routine, America left her Barbie co-stars in shock, with Margot Robbie exclaiming: ‘I would never have expected that.’
While the comment has got us reaching for the shower gel, its reignited a debate as old as time: just how often are we meant to shower?
Celebs from Cardi B to Dwayne Johnson to Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, have all contributed to this dirty discussion at some point or another.
Dwayne is lathering up three times a day, while Mila isn’t quite so well acquainted with her shower, admitting she doesn’t wash with soap every day.
So, how often are we meant to be heading into the bath or shower? Well, it turns out, America’s habits aren’t quite as shocking as you might think.
It turns out daily washes may not be the best for your skin, and that less is actually more.
Stephanie Taylor, health and wellbeing expert at StressNoMore and Kegel8, has warned of the dangers of washing too much.
‘By showering too much you can upset the skin’s protective layer of acid mantle. This stops the skin becoming dry or flaky, as well as providing the microbiome of bacteria that protect your immune system,’ she said.
However, that doesn’t mean you can go for weeks at a time without having a wash.
‘However, by washing too little, you will start to produce body odour and allow sweat and dead skin cells to build up on the surface of your skin, blocking your pores and causing breakouts and bacterial or fungal infections,’ says Stephanie.
‘At the very worst, uncleanliness can cause dermatitis neglecta – where dead skin cells, dirt and sweat form on the skin.’
Her advice is to ‘wash fully at least two to three times a week, using warm water and gentle cleansers’ and ensure your shower is ‘no more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time.’
And, there are still some body parts that need some regular bathing.
Taylor adds: ‘It is vital to wash around your intimate areas daily. Although, while women should avoid using any harsh chemicals inside their vagina, the crotch area surrounding the genitalia can be particularly sweat prone.
‘Allowing the sweat and bacteria to breed can cause a host of problems, like infections or extreme odour.’
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