Winter is here and no matter how close the bathroom is, nothing seems more daunting than rolling out of bed and getting into the shower. In the few – rather elongated and teeth-chattering – minutes you spend contemplating if you should skip that shower, the horrors of social ostracism often convince you otherwise.
Admitting you didn’t bathe could be social suicide. Whether in Bangalore’s mild winter or Chennai’s sultry December – the pressure of bathing is real everywhere.
But turns out there is such a thing as ‘over bathing’ (yay, I was always rooting for this!) – and herein lie your guilt-free reasons to skip that daunting shower in the cold.
1. Preserve That Good Bacteria
Just as good bacteria are important for the gut, and aid digestion, our skin too needs healthy bacteria.
“Good bacteria are educating your skin cells to make your own antibiotics,” Dr Richard Gallo, Chief of the Dermatology division at University of California told The New York Times.
So meet Mr ‘Healthy Bacteria’, the underrated superhero that kills off the bad bacteria trying to make themselves cosy on your skin (eugh).
2. Your Skin Needs Those Natural Oils
The skin draws a lot of its moisture from the water in the body and natural oils preserved in its pores. Too much hot water on your skin could erode that moisture and lead to dryness. It could make your skin flaky and worsen conditions like eczema or rosacea.
Cracked skin could in fact make space for germs to slip through the pores and cause infections or allergies.
3. You're Not as Dirty as You Think
Your clothes actually collect more dirt than your body. So if the effort is to avoid illness, take care of your laundry, folks! Washing your clothes frequently might be more helpful than bathing everyday.
Bathing will get rid of body odour, but if cleanliness is the agenda, keep your hands, groin, armpits and feet clean. A simple washcloth could do the job, and showering every other day could be sufficient.
A quick shower if you’ve hit the gym or have sweat a lot is advisable.
4. You're Causing Your Hair to Break
Washing your hair everyday, especially if you’re lathering up the shampoo, leads to product build-up and causes split ends in the hair.
Dryness in the scalp leads to dandruff which in turn could cause acne. If you must succumb to showering everyday, avoid washing your hair.
This is not to say we shouldn’t maintain basic hygiene, given how polluted our cities have gotten. However, there are ways to avoid stripping down and standing under the shower when that mercury drops.
Dilli ki sardi or not, if you think the weather is pleasant enough and you haven’t been sweating profusely, skip the shower without any guilt.
So the next time somebody judges you for saying you didn’t bathe, turn around and tell them you’re only looking after your health.
(With inputs from The New York Times, TIME)
(This article was first published in December 2016.)
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