Donnachadh McCarthy writing for the Guardian says something in modern society stinks, and it's our habit of showering every day. He says he only bathed once a week when he was a kid and doesn't remember smelling, blaming "falsely imposed cultural norms" for our all-too-frequent showers. McCarthy says he's now down to one shower a week and "a daily sink-wash that includes my underarms and privates." "The only real beneficiaries of over-frequent baths and showers are the companies that make and market soaps and shampoos," he argues. McCarthy points to the water waste, electricity use, and carbon emissions perpetrated by daily showers as proof. "The daily bath or shower…is terrible for the environment and our bank balances," he says.
But if his environmental concerns aren't convincing, how about how bad daily showering can be for your skin? McCarthy says he has a friend who needs medical creams after damaging his skin with too much soap. He claims soap removes oils and necessary bacteria, causing dermatitis, and can make babies' skin more sensitive. McCarthy hasn't used shampoo—which he says damages the hair and scalp—in more than two decades after visiting the Amazon and seeing all the "lovely, shiny, healthy hair." But he's not a zealot, admitting there are times when more washing is necessary: "Of course, if you are being intimate with somebody, whether it is your partner or a doctor who is examining you, it is nicer for both of you if you are fresh and clean. But that can just involve a quick sink-wash." Read the full piece here. (Read more hygiene stories.)