When your schedule revolves around a young child, finding time to take care of yourself can be a challenge. With all that feeding, changing, playing and cleaning, something usually has to give. And for many of us, that something is the daily shower.
But if bypassing the bath has you feeling like maybe you should keep your unwashed self at a distance from other adults, relax. You aren’t dirty and smelly. You are trendy!
According to the New York Times, dirty is the new clean. It seems that all kinds of people – not just busy moms – are resisting societal expectations regarding personal hygiene and just saying no to soap and deodorant. And not because they are too busy to bathe.
Some shower-skippers say that daily washing dries their skin and makes them more prone to flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema. Others cite preservation of the skin’s natural oils as well as water conservation as their reasons for bathing less than daily. Still others just like the way they smell unwashed and undeodorized.
But while companies that make personal hygiene products tell us we can never be too clean, Richard Gallo, chief of the dermatology division at the University of California, San Diego, says we can. Because just as there are good bacteria that keep you healthy on the inside, there’s also good bacteria that keeps you healthy on the outside.
Good bacteria are educating your own skin cells to make your own antibiotics. They produce their own antibiotics that kills off bad bacteria. It’s not just removing the lipids and oils on your skin that’s drying it out.
Back when I used to work in an office with other people, my morning routine always involved showering and washing my hair. For me, leaving the house unwashed would have been akin to leaving the house unclothed. But when my youngest was a baby and I was lucky enough to stay home with her, showering became an every-other-day event at best.
Now that I work at home and my nearest coworker sits about 25 miles away from me, I often skip the shower and head straight to my desk. But unlike the people profiled in this article, I don’t embrace my funk. I feel dirty when I don’t shower and even if nobody tells me I stink, I suspect I probably do.
How about you? If you don’t mind me asking, how often do you bathe? And did having children impact your personal hygiene routine?
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