Yep, This Is Actually How Often You Should Be Showering Right Now . . .

"Wait for the stink." It's a proclamation that Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and even Jake Gyllenhaal all agree on when it comes to bathing habits. The conclusion, in short: the best time to shower is when "you can see the dirt," because, as Gyllenhaal so eloquently put it, he just finds "bathing to be less necessary, at times." Still, while the celebrity consensus is clear, anyone who has dedicated a precious 10 minutes of every morning to tub time is probably wondering: do I really need to shower as often as I have been?

Basic hygiene principles aside, that's a fair question — although its answer largely depends on a number of factors. "Under normal circumstances, showering every day is not necessary," said dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. Beyond your environment, celebrity aesthetician Renee Rouleau added, "What dirties the body most is oil secreted out through the pores, particularly on the back where shirts rub closest on the body. This creates an occlusiveness that traps in heat and increases oil secretion, which creates an odor. Then add in sweat, which adds salt to the body, and the skin can get 'dirty.'"

"Under normal circumstances, showering every day is not necessary."

Your specific skin type also plays a role: people with oily skin might need to rinse off more often than drier types, for example, as would those who tend to sweat more naturally. Still, you don't want to overwash in the same way you might be with your hands, as the combination of warm water and harsh soap can strip the skin of its essential oils.

Wonder no longer. We asked a handful of pros for their opinion on how frequently you should be showering, so you can pivot your energy to the next to-do of the day (like dissecting any non-bathing quotes from high-profile celebs on Instagram).

According to a Dermatologist
Getty | Grace Cary

According to a Dermatologist

When it comes to maintaining your skin health, there is no "golden rule" for the amount of times you should shower your body a week. That said, "you should wash areas like your face, groin, and underarms daily," Dr. Zeichner said. "You also should clean any areas of skin with visible soiling. If you start to notice any significant body odor or any changes in the skin, particularly in the skin folds — for example, between the toes, in the groin, in the armpits, or under the belly or breasts — you should wash the skin. A moist environment can promote overgrowth of fungus on the skin, leading to potential infections."

If you are spending most of your time indoors and the environment has been properly cleaned and not contaminated, you can shower as often (or least often) as you'd like. Anytime you go outside, though, he said the safest course of action is to shower when you get home.

"While some people prefer to rinse without soap, in this environment, I do recommend using a dedicated cleanser. Dove's Deep Moisture Body Wash ($6) provides gentle cleansing but also respects the skin barrier with the same type of hydrating ingredients found in traditional moisturizers. Especially if you are washing more often than you normally do, it is important not to disrupt the outer skin layer."

According to a Hairstylist
Getty | freemixer

According to a Hairstylist

Of course, there's the matter of how clean you want your hair to be. "If you have an oily scalp, washing your hair every day can be good for it, especially if you have fine, straight, wavy, or curly hair and you are seeking volume and lift at the root," said Kevin Mancuso, hairstylist and global creative director for Nexxus. These hair types can usually go a few days without washing when not exposed to the elements. "If your hair is very curly to 4c, daily washing may not be practical if your styling requirements are laborious. In this case, I suggest washing as frequently as you can (every two weeks should do). If you have a dry scalp, this doesn't necessarily mean you get a free pass to a filthy scalp, but I have many clients whose hair looks amazing after three days and beyond."

"We know that viruses can live off of the body for hours or even up two days."

For Dr. Zeichner, it's just as important to wash your hair as it is your body should you venture outside. "The oily environment of your scalp and hair could theoretically serve as a reservoir for the coronavirus," he said. "We know that viruses can live off of the body for hours or even up to two days. In cases like this, dry shampoo will not take the place of traditional hair washing."

According to an Aesthetician
Getty | Klaus Vedfelt

According to an Aesthetician

According to Rouleau, how often you choose to shower is largely dependent on personal preference: "If someone doesn't want to give off an odor, then they should shower regularly because it can feel unhygienic — although there is no harm or risk if sweat and oil aren't removed," she said. "Those who sweat and have oilier skin will generally need to shower more than people who don't work out or have dry skin, or have less oil production. I would say daily is good, but many can get away with every other day."

At the end of the day, there's a good rule to live and breathe by. "When the body gives off an odor, it's been too long," Rouleau said. "It can be difficult for a person to recognize their own odor, so sometimes a partner will be the one to notice it first."