As most of you know, our skin secretes oils. When we don’t shower for a while, dirt and other polutants can stick to us, causing irritated and very itchy skin.
Sometimes, just taking a shower or rinse can do wonders to your motivation and zest for life. Not taking a shower can make you feel dirty and bring down your mental state.
You Can Get Sick
Our bodies are covered in about 1,000 different types of bacteria and about 80 kinds of fungi. Before you run for the shower this instant, keep in mind that many of those are good for you, helping you break down food and other necessary functions. However, if you don’t shower reqularly, this will leave room for the bad bacteria to win. Without showering, those bad bacteria will eventually find their way into your body through your mouth, nose, and even eyes. Now guess what? You’re sick.
You'll Carry More Bad Bacteria
Put simply, the good bacteria need your help! By showering, you are assisting your good guy bacteria friends in getting rid of all the bad bacteria. Yuck.
Skin Irritations and Blemishes
Need more reasons to shower regularly? This is it. Your skin is naturally oily and salty, so not showering can lead to a build up of oil and cause irritation and blemishes.
You'll Develop Bad Body Odor
You probably thought sweating causes body odor right? Wrong. Body odor is actually gas given off by bacteria as they consume body protein and fatty acids. That’s right, b.o. is caused by bacteria farts! The average body odor consists of up to 30 distinctly terrible smells, so even if you didn’t sweat, not showering will quickly give you body odor.
You'll Sport Breeding Areas for Ick
Your armpits, groin, and face become breeding grounds for the bad guys. If you really do have to skip a shower, dermatologists suggest treating at least these areas some other way. Baby wipe, anyone?
Groin Area Rashes
Speaking of the groin, if that area is neglected for too long, a yeast or other type of infection could develop, causing a lot of pain and burning.
Toes are also a place that can build up fungus. Just say no to toe jam.
Higher Risk of Infection
Not showering often can cause a build up of dead skin from when it breaks down. This can raise the risk of bacterial and fungal infections like, you know, staph or jock itch.
Did you know there’s actually a dermalogical term for not taking care of your hygiene? Dermetitis neglecta is a skin condition that specifically occurs when you don’t take care of your physical hygiene. Basically, without washing your body, the dead skin cells build up so much that they cause dark cornflake-like scales that are hard to remove. While the condition goes away with resuming proper hygiene, ie regular showers, sometimes extra treatment is needed from a doctor.
While showers that are too hot can be harmful for eczema-afflicted skin, taking no showers can also have a negative effect. The build up of oils and dead skin cells can inflame the already inflamed skin.
More Bad Hair Days
If you keep on neglecting those showers, though, your skin oils will build up, most notably on your scalp. This may even negatively affect your hair.
If you are a typically hygienic person, about the end of day 2, you’ll start wondering if everyone can smell you. While this is a possibility based on your use of deodorant and how much you sweat, the truth is, people might not smell you as much as you think. You might start noticing yourself withdrawing from people, thinking that all they can smell is your body odor.
Hopefully, even if you skip a day or two of showering, you’re still washing your hands. What happens when you don’t wash your body for a while but still wash your hands or maybe keep a piece of jewelry on through your no showering phase? Dirt lines. Kind of like tan lines, but somehow even less attractive.
For those who work out and don’t shower regularly, keeping moist sweaty clothes next to your skin for extended periods of time may lead to easier and more skin abrasions and cuts. So if you don’t have time to shower after your next gym session, be sure to at least change your clothes.
Dead Skin Cells...Everywhere
The nastiest result of not showering? Being covered in your dead skin cells. How many skin cells? Well, every minute of the day, you lose between 30k-40k off the surface of your skin! (roughly 43 million!) By showering regularly, you wash off some of those deceased cells, may they rest in peace.
In addition to paranoia and a generally negative feeling, you might also start to feel…well…frumpy. In one blogger’s story, she stated that she started to dress a little sloppier because she just didn’t feel all that attractive. She just felt dirty.
In addition to a bad hair day and flaky dry skin on the rest of your body, you might notice your scalp start to itch and dandruff start to form. The oils from your scalp will collect dust and dirt; your scratching will soon lead to flaky skin on your scalp.
Natural Ecosystem Balance
Despite these negative consequences, for those of you wanting to take a few days off of your normal hygiene routine, there are some positive effects of not bathing. Remember all those bacteria living on us we talked about earlier? Well, while showering can help out the good bacteria, showering too much can throw your natural bacterial ecosystem out of balance, creating things like a dependence on soaps and conditioners.
Skin Will Moisturize Itself
Speaking of which, once you stop using shampoos, conditioners, and soaps on a daily basis, your skin will actually start moisturizing itself. So while you may need to hop in the shower to rinse off the day’s dust and grime, you don’t necessarily always need to use all the products.
Longer-Lasting Shampoo and Conditioner
It may simple, but don’t underestimate the convenience of not having to replace your shampoo and conditioner as often. It saves on time and money.
It’s estimated that, on average, $126 a year is spent on shampoo and conditioner. That’s nothing to mention if top-of-the line products are used. In addition to saving money on expensive shower products, you’ll also save on your water bill. Over time, those money savings can add up. Just by cutting your shower down to 4 minutes, you can save up to $100 per year on your water bill.
Lower Your Eco-Footprint
The typical 8-9 minute shower uses about 17 gallons (65 liters) of water. Additionally, many of the products used in the shower aren’t as environmentally friendly as they seem to be. Micro-scrubbing beads and chemical cleaners can wreck havoc over the long-term. By showering less, you can lower your eco-footprint.
How much time do you think we spend, on average, in the shower? To give an idea, the average man in the US spends about 62.4 hours a year in the shower (2.5 days), the average woman in the US, 65.9 (almost 3 full days). Over the 60-ish years of your adult life, you spend about 6 months in the shower. Imagine how much time you’d save if you didn’t shower daily? You might even have time for an extra few minutes of sleep!