The standards of hygiene seem to get more demanding with every leap in social development
While most people bathe at least once every day according to health experts at Harvard University say it isn’t actually necessary.
Why do we clean ourselves so often?
Looking back at the human history of hygiene we seem to be more obsessed with hygiene than ever before.
The term ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ is actually based on the very real possibility of accidentally throwing the baby out with the bathwater in Victorian times.
Families in Victorian England all took turns sharing the bathwater, weekly at the most the baby was usually last in the bath and by then could be so dirty you might not see the baby in the bathwater.
Thanks to indoor plumbing and hot water on demand daily bathes have become easier to accomplish elevating the bar on hygiene.
Are there any benefits to daily bathing?
Although there isn’t a medical reason for bather every single day, Dr Robert Shmerling, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing says bathing and showering daily can help keep body odour under control and form part of a daily routine (which is healthy), but the health cons outweigh the pros.
“When it comes to concerns about health, however, it’s not at all clear that a daily shower accomplishes much. In fact, a daily shower may even be bad for your health,” he says.
“Normal, healthy skin maintains a layer of oil and a balance of “good” bacteria and other microorganisms. Washing and scrubbing remove these, especially if the water is hot.”
How often should a person bathe?
“Some (perhaps a lot) of what we do when it comes to cleaning habits is influenced heavily by marketing. Ever notice that directions on shampoo bottles often say “lather, rinse, repeat”? There is no compelling reason to wash your hair twice with each shower, but it does sell more shampoo if everyone follows these directions, “says Dr Robert Shmerling.
“When it comes to concerns about health, however, it’s not at all clear that a daily shower accomplishes much. In fact, a daily shower may even be bad for your health,” he adds.
There is no ideal frequency for bathing however cleaning yourself regularly with a focus on your groin, armpits and other areas that may smell.