Experts warn that bathing every day could increase people's risk of infections.
According to infectious-disease expert Dr Elaine Larson from Columbia University, showering excessively can reduce skin hydration, causing it to become dry and cracked, which allows germs to enter. She says most people bathe in the belief it will reduce their risk of illness, however, it actually does little more than remove body odor.
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. He urges people who want 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.
What about our hair? Dr Mitchell says 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.
A study released in January last year suggested over-cleaning can damage the healthy bacteria, viruses and other 'bugs' that live in and on people's bodies.
Researchers from the University of Utah analysed the residents of a remote village in the Amazon.
Results suggest such people have 'the highest diversity of bacteria and genetic functions ever reported in a human group'.
The scientists concluded westerners are overly clean, which affects their populations of microbes.
They did not comment on how often people should be bathing.
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