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This is not a question about washing your hair. It's about taking a shower too often - i.e. several times a day.

I remember I read somewhere that, in this case, your skin lost good bacteria that could be useful for health of your skin.

Now I can't find these links, but I just found this question on another Q&A site.

So is taking a shower once a day okay, too often or not enough?

  • 2
    When I was living in Canada several years ago, my skin got dry and itchy. The doctor told me that it is better I take shower less often and preferably not use hot water. So I guess there is some truth in that statement. – user11212 Mar 16 '13 at 21:01
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    Might be relevant: A Polish Proverb says "Frequent washing shortnes living" and some Polish articles try to find a scientific answer, e.g.: swiatnauki.pl/8,696.html or zdrowie.dziennik.pl/profilaktyka/artykuly/… – Suma Mar 18 '13 at 11:45
  • I found Russian article too: finam.info/news/chasto-mitsya-vredno – Alexan Mar 19 '13 at 0:13
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(Unfortunately, this doesn't directly answer the "showers per day" question, but does address the more general issue of over-washing.)

Repetitive washing can cause Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL):

All skin function parameters already showed a marked change after a single wash (e.g., the median of TEWL values increased by more than 0.5 g/m2 h). Repetitive washing for 1 week led to a further deterioration of TEWL and corneometry values (e.g., TEWL increased for about 2.9 g/m2 h after repetitive washing with sodium lauryl sulfate).

In another experiment (intended to test hand-creams) they reproduced this effect to act as a control:

Twenty-five subjects washed hands and forearms with a neutral soap four times per day, for 2 minutes each time, for a total of two weeks.

They measured skin roughness and hydration:

Washing hands lead to a gradual increase of skin roughness from 100 (baseline) to a maximum of 108.5 after 9 days. [...] Skin hydration was gradually decreased after washing hands from 79 (baseline) to 65.5 after 14 days.

Part of their conclusion was:

Repetitive and frequent hand washing increases skin dryness and roughness.

3

The only information I could find is that washing your skin too often not only takes away the dirt, but also takes away the good oils, which then makes your skin dry out.

www.skinhelp.co.uk

Washing is not only good for the skin, it’s also good for the soul. A warm bath at the end of the day helps recharge our batteries and relax us at the same time, and prepares us to face what lies ahead. Washing too often, however, strips the body of essential oils and can dry out our skin. As with everything, moderation is the key!

....

www.drbaileyskincare.com

Harsh weather ‘pulls’ water out of your skin into the dehumidified wind. Soaps seep into chapped skin ‘cleaning-out’ more of your skin’s natural oils. Unless you intervene, your skin gets drier and drier and its barrier weaker and weaker. The intervention is actually simple – stop exposing the skin to situations that decrease its water and oil content, and instead do something to increase these important components of healthy skin.

So basically Washing too often, however, strips the body of essential oils and can dry out our skin. As with everything, moderation is the key.

  • I had a quick look and didn't find much better, but these sources aren't terribly definitive. It's hard to take seriously scientific advice immediately after it claims that washing is good for the soul. Look for some peer-reviewed experimental evidence. – Oddthinking Mar 18 '13 at 9:19

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