Bathing every day could increase people’s risk of infections, experts warn.
Showering excessively can reduce skin hydration, causing it to become dry and cracked, which allows germs to enter, according to infectious-disease expert Dr Elaine Larson from Columbia University.
She adds most people bathe in the belief it will reduce their risk of illness, however, it actually does little more than remove body odour.
Dr C Brandon Mitchell, assistant professor of dermatology at George Washington University, adds washing strips the skin of its natural oils, which can disrupt ‘good’ bacteria that supports people’s immune systems.
According to Dr Mitchell, bathing just once or twice a week is usually sufficient for most, adding: ‘A daily shower isn’t necessary.’
Dr Mitchell told TIME: ‘Your body is naturally a well-oiled machine. I think most people over-bathe.’
He urges people who wish to shower daily to only do so if their skin feels healthy and hydrated.
Dr Mitchell also recommends people do not lather their entire bodies with soap but just focus on smelly areas, such as their armpits or feet.
He even adds those with dry hair only need to wash it every few weeks, while people with scalp issues, like dandruff, may benefit from shampooing a couple of times a week.
Dr Larson says people should focus on washing their hands frequently, as well as cleaning their clothes, which collect dead skin cells, to reduce their risk of illness.