Is bathing daily beneficial for the health of the skin? In fact, knowing what is best for our skin is today a real, ongoing dilemma that dermatologists are researching extensively on.
According to some dermatologists, excessive showering can affect the skin’s main function of protecting the body.
In this report, published in the Spanish magazine “viviendolasalud”, writer Claudia Muñoz Campos reviews some dermatologists’ advice on how often to shower, how to shower, and effective products to maintain healthy skin.
First of all, the answer to the question “How often should you bathe a week?” It is “once or twice a week”, and the following is a detail about the reasons for that:
What is the function of the skin?
Skin is the largest organ in the human body, covering two square meters of the body, and its thickness ranges between 0.5 and 4 millimeters, and it is responsible for several functions. Besides protecting the body from external factors, the skin is responsible for maintaining the body’s hydration and elasticity.
The skin consists of 3 main layers: the epidermis which is the outer layer, the dermis which is the middle layer, and the hypodermis, which is a subcutaneous tissue that contains fat cells. The bathing process mainly involves the skin, which is the layer that comes in direct contact with the water and chemicals used to make skin care products.
What do dermatologists think of the number of times you shower?
While showering, many factors affect the health of the skin, including the number of times we bathe, the temperature of the water, the quality of the products we use, and the way the skin is dried, which makes this process a subject of study by dermatologists.
Dr. Richard Gayo, a dermatologist at the University of California, discovered in one of his research that bacteria on the skin help its cells create their own protective factors. Specifically, these bacteria create a type of antibiotic that fights harmful bacteria that can affect our skin. It also helps maintain a healthy balance of the fats and oils that cover the skin.
For Richard Gayo, bathing every day isn’t necessarily a healthy habit. Bathing in hot water, for example, increases the dryness and damage of the skin. According to dermatologist Jose Raoul Gonzalez, “Excessive cleaning of the body causes more problems than the accumulation of dirt.”
On the other hand, dermatologists such as Jose Carlos Moreno assert that showering every day is neither good nor bad at the same time and does not cause damage to the skin. He believes that “the use of soap may have negative consequences because it weakens the defensive barrier of the skin,” so he recommends focusing on cleaning the dirtiest areas of the body as an absolute priority.
How often should one shower?
Dr. Brandon Mitchell, a dermatologist and professor at the University of Washington, advises showering once or twice a week, stressing that it is the best way to protect our skin. And if you shower once a day, experts advise using soap only on the parts of the body where the most bacteria have accumulated (genitals, soles of the feet, and armpits). As for the rest of the body, it does not need soap, because fats and oils are necessary to maintain skin hydration.
In general, dermatologists agree that showering twice a day can harm the health of the skin, since it destroys fatty acids and the stratum corneum, which is one of the skin’s defensive barriers that prevent the proliferation of fungi, bacteria and viruses.
The author believes that showering once a day using the appropriate product, moisturizing the indicated areas, and using water of a low temperature, is not very negative for our skin.
What soap is suitable?
Given the wide variety of hygiene products available in the market, and the abundance of advertisements, it is almost difficult to know which ones are best suited for our skin to cleanse and moisturize it at the same time. Soaps without perfumes and colourants contain a lower level of alcohol and chemicals that dry out the skin. The pH of the soap should be 7, which is the neutral level that can be used without problems for most skin types.