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Should We Throw in the Towel and Stop Showering?

Some scientists are arguing that regular showering disrupts our body’s ecosystem and damages our microbiome, and are suggesting that we wash less, The Guardian reports. Using an example of a reporter from The Atlantic who hasn’t bathed in a year, the news agency raises the question of whether or not we should all take up the no-shower idea.

Many people are now aware of the importance of your gut microbiome. Some even take proactive steps to protect it, like minimizing the use of antibiotics and eating fermented foods to support a healthy balance. Less widely known is that such microorganisms don’t only populate your gut; they’re found throughout your body, including on your skin.

What most people don’t realize is that aggressive not only can wipe out your normal body bacteria, but can trigger a cycle of bacteria feeding on oily secretions from your sweat and sebaceous glands. There’s also the issue of chemical-laden body washes and shampoos. When you cut back on showers, you negate the need for these products and their often-toxic ingredients. There are issues on an environmental level as well, especially in regard to water usage.

If you’re thinking of lightening up on your shower routine, you can try probiotic (beneficial bacteria) soaps, lotions and other personal care products available at many health food stores. It’s already known that probiotics can influence the health of your skin from the inside out; however, it may be equally beneficial to let your skin’s microbes re-populate the “old-fashioned” way — by putting away your body wash and other cleansers so your skin has a chance to balance itself naturally.
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