In Australia, we are renowned for being a fairly “clean” nation. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Energy Australia statistics reveal 29 per cent of Aussies are showering twice a day, with nine per cent even hitting the shower three times or more every day!
Generally stats on Australians showering habits reveal 90 per cent of women and 80 per cent of men shower every day.
If we compare our showering habits to those from around the world, we can really see how keen we are to keep clean.
According to the UK’s Daily Mirror, only 21 per cent of women bathe daily, with 33 per cent admitting they might only wash every three days.
In China, showering is even less frequent, with most Chinese bathing only twice a week.
In the last few days, the media has been saturated (excuse the pun) in stories about showering, with our showering habits being called into question. Is it possible that showering too frequently is actually bad for our skin?
Speaking with The Sydney Morning Herald, President of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, Associate Professor Stephen Schumack, warned against a daily shower, stating “Over-washing causes ‘defatting’ of the skin – getting rid of the natural body oils we produce to protect the skin cells. This can cause actual damage, making them more permeable to bacteria or viruses, precipitating itchy skin, dryness, flakiness and worsening conditions like eczema.
“If you over-shower, you are altering the natural distribution of good bacteria on skin,” said A/Prof Schumack.
“This may predispose you to other bugs on the skin such as pityriasis, an overgrowth of yeast organism on skin, more common in those who shower a lot.”
A/Prof Schumack cites the best way to look after your skin is by showering only when absolutely necessary.
What are your thoughts on this controversial topic? Do you agree with A/Prof Shumack’s hypothesis, or do you think a daily shower plays an important role in day-to-day hygiene?