Ask anyone and they’ll probably tell you they shower every day, even if they don’t. It’s a bit like when you ask someone how much TV they watch: they’ll likely say they watch less than they do just in case they cross the socially-acceptable-line. We naturally look to celebs to set these kinds of markers, so it got us thinking when Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher recently admitted that they don’t wash themselves daily.
The news came to light on Dax Shephard’s podcast Armchair Expert, when Mila said: “I don’t wash my body with soap every day,” and Ashton added: “I wash my armpits and my crotch daily, and nothing else ever.”
Some people shower for 30 minutes, others swear just 3 minutes is enough… so what do the experts say is the optimum time?
Dax’s wife Kristen Bell then weighed in, confessing that she’s “a big fan of waiting for the stink”. She said: “Once you catch a whiff, that’s biology’s way of letting you know you need to clean it up.”
They’re not the only ones leading the shower-less charge, either. Julia Roberts previously confessed she doesn’t shower every day, though more for its eco-friendly merits than anything else, while deodorant has “never been her thing”. And in an interview with E! News, Cameron Diaz gave us more reason to consider putting the Mitchum down: “I don’t believe in antiperspirant. It’s really bad for you. I haven’t used it for almost 20 years. You’re stinky because you use antiperspirant. It keeps all the stink in.”
Should you shower in the morning or at night? Three experts weigh in with their surprising verdict
We’re previously cleaned up (see what we did there?) the debates around how long we should shower for once we’re in, and whether we should take one in the morning or evening, but is there actually any sense, or science, in steering clear of showering once a day? Here’s what medical doctor and founder of Illuminate Skin and Wellness Clinics Dr Sophie Shotter has to say.
How often should you shower?
“You don’t necessarily need to shower or bathe your entire body daily. If we overwash, hot water can dry our skin out, and too many harsh soap-based products can irritate the skin, both of which cause a compromised barrier. Overwashing can also harm the microbiome on our skin – the cells which protect us from germs, and so could mean our immune system is compromised and we end up getting ill more often – think coughs and colds.”
If we go too far the other way and don’t wash enough, however, Dr Sophie adds: “We can become dirty, providing a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and bugs like lice, and that’s without mentioning the body odour.”
The ideal frequency? Like most things in life, it varies from individual to individual, and largely comes down to lifestyle. “There’s no one answer to suit everyone,” Dr Sophie explains. “If you exercise a lot, naturally sweat more or the weather is very hot, you might want to shower every day, but if not, every couple of days is enough, with washes in particular areas that require more attention to hygiene in between.” Said areas include the groin and armpits, which Dr Sophie tells us contain more sweat glands and breed more bacteria, so will get a bit pongy if not washed when they need to be.
Do we need deodorant?
As for the deodorant dispute, Dr Sophie tells us it’s probably a non-negosh, unless you, by some miracle, don’t sweat much. “For most women, a degree of underarm sweating is very normal,” she says. “And anti-perspirant is a good choice. That said, deodorant in its own right doesn’t do an awful lot – it literally means to de-odour, or to neutralise smell. It’s better to try and prevent the smell developing by washing as and when you sweat.” Who knew?