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People Are Bathing Less

Trend Alert: Bathing Less

These days, there are enough soaps, scrubs, shampoos, and deodorants to seemingly eradicate every last germ. But for some people, these types of personal hygiene products are being shoved to the wayside as a nonbathing trend is becoming more popular.

"We don’t need to wash the way we did when we were farmers," Katherine Ashenburg, author of The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History, told the NYT. And since the invention of cars and less labor-intensive machinery, "we have never needed to wash less, and we have never done it more," she added.

While most people will bathe (or at least clean up with a washcloth) after an intense workout, many people prefer not to shower every day. They say it retains the natural oils of the skin and hair to hydrate and protect their bodies. Many are also concerned about the environmental impact of overusing water. There are also those who eschew antiperspirants and deodorants altogether, citing aluminum concerns.

But with special tricks, like using lemon under the arms to quell odors and dry shampoo to keep hair in check, not bathing might not be so bad after all. Would you consider bathing with less frequency?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
KeLynns KeLynns 6 years
Anonymous, I can't believe that thing about the salt. Most Americans get way more salt than we need, so by that logic most Americans wouldn't have BO or have any need for deodorant.
reynolda reynolda 6 years
I shower everyday but only wash my hair every 4-5 days or so - dry shampoo works wonders for me. On days I wash my hair my showers are pretty long, but the rest of the time, they're 5 minutes or less, so I don't feel bad about the water consumption.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I 100% agree with AmberHoney. I am obsessive about my personal cleanliness. I'll make up for my water and soap consumption through other environmental efforts. I am not foregoing my cleanliness.
Ms-Devi Ms-Devi 6 years
I work from home so daily showers aren't an absolute necessity. But I don't live alone so I shower out of consideration. I don't wear deodorant everyday, but I'm obsessive about scent so I monitor myself when I've been more active than not. Working up a sweat can work up a stench. I do ask people I know well if I smell if I'm worried. I'll just say for myself that I believe most people have more manners or fear or repulsion to walk up to anyone and tell them they smell, so I won't rely on that to know whether or not I'm offending. Like one of the commenters on the Times site said, it's not anyone else's responsibility to tell us that we have bad hygiene (and most normal people won't take on that role), it's our job to be as considerate of others as possible. If we don't shower, wear deodorant, or clean our scalps, we need to be vigilant in making sure our choices don't adversely affect those around us.
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
I shower every day before work and bath or shower when I get hom after work. That will continue..
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 6 years
When I sweat in summer I shower every day, sometimes twice. But I have to admit that in winter, if I don't sweat, I might skip a day. I do always use an deodorant though. I couldn't go without it. And so far all the links to cancer have been disproven, even by the american cancer association, so I am not worried.
Lissa1000 Lissa1000 6 years
I shower and wash my hair everyday but I don't wear deodorant. I would if it didn't gunk up my shirts. Spritzing my pits with perfume and freshing up midday is enough to keep the people around me happy.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 6 years
I shower every other day or every 2 days. My hair is good and healthy, I don't stink, I'm not a sweaty person, I don't work out, and I don't work.
biarose biarose 6 years
I workout every day, and therefore need to shower everyday, because by the end of my workout I am always covered in sweat!
Carri Carri 6 years
I can't stand behind this one. I hate the way my skin and hair feels after not taking a shower for 24 hours. I'm not a sweaty person, but I just feel gross.
ModernGraceKelly ModernGraceKelly 6 years
I think some people have more body odor than others. I don't sweat most days at all... So I wash my hair every other day, but I make sure feminine areas are taken care of every day. In the Winter I don't want to dry my skin more, and once it dries it also becomes more sensitive. Some people just have bad odor that seems to come from not only bacteria, but their skin scent. Smoking, what you eat, and overall lifestyle and diet all contribute to that.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
I don't shower daily. I never hear anyone complaining about my rankness.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 6 years
I'm gonna out myself and say that I already do this. I don't work, only go to school twice a week, and i shower about once a week. and only ever wash my hair as often. my hair is thick full, shiny, and doesn't get oily or greasy fast. I don't smell, and I'll take a shower the minute I do. If i shower and wash my face more than that my skin gets really dry and I break out. I waste less water, I use less product (although I really would love to try dry shampoo) and on days where I'm not quite clean feeling, but not dirty enough to shower I'll use baby wipes or something of the sort. I actually really enjoy it. I feel clean and healthy.
Ladyseven Ladyseven 6 years
I shower every other day- or my hair gets insanely dry... but any longer than two days it gets pretty grody. If I shower every day, my skin gets really flaky, despite slatherings of extra-strength moisturizer, plus I'm tempted to shave more often if I shower every day and I have NO desire to deal with ingrowns.
TheEnchantedOne TheEnchantedOne 6 years
I shower at least once a day. Once a day is the norm. Unless I spend the whole day outside and get all sticky and dirty. Or maybe after cooking a very odoriferous dish. I cannot not shower after that.
KeLynns KeLynns 6 years
I wash my hair every 3-4 days. But cleaning my body? That's a daily MUST.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 6 years
I'll be sticking to my cleanliness, thank you very much! This saving the planet stuff is over the top, does any person with a brain really want to trash the environment?! I mean really! Let's all rejoice in the stink.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
If I skipped the shower after my workout, that would be so disgusting. I wish I could, though, since it would be so much better for my skin.
SFCA SFCA 6 years
I don't wash my hair everyday. But I always wash my hair after a workout, so I schedule my workouts every other day.
Allie14839476 Allie14839476 6 years
I tried it once after I did a paper in a biology class on how many resources individuals use on a daily basis. My hair was so much thicker/softer and my skin was clearer. For some people there is a little bit of a transitional period, so I would suggest trying it during a weekend or when you don't have any important meetings or presentations coming up!
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