How often is too often when it comes to showers? Dermatologist weighs in

Whether it's the first thing you do in the morning or the last thing before bed, when we shower can often play a significant part in our day.

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Turns out those long hot showers might be doing you more harm than good. Source: Seven Sharp

A recent survey has found one in six people are showering less since the Covid-19 pandemic, with 27 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 skipping daily showers.

But according to some dermatologists, it's not necessarily a bad thing for our skin — or the environment.

Dermatologist Dr Louise Reiche told Seven Sharp we don’t necessarily need to skip the odd shower but to instead shorten its duration.

“The frequency of showering will depend on your skin type and your activity levels, what you’re doing recreationally and at work,” she said.

Reiche said she has seen a “more gradual, general trend” towards people having an addiction to longer showers “at least daily – sometimes more frequently – and using a lot of products”.

“Maybe it’s the only space people can get away from some technology to have some thinking time, but it would probably be better to go for a walk without your devices to get some down-time, thinking time, rather than spending a long time in the shower.”

She advised people to use soap on “the pits and the bits and the toes just to keep it all nice and clean”, but the “majority of the body does very nicely being washed with water alone”.

Reiche said products with a lot of fragrance “tend to be a bit more irritating on our skin” and can make people “prone to getting dryness, redness and cracking”.

There’s also growing concerns the chemicals used to make the fragrances “may cause harm, again, to the natural organisms on our skin that are there for resilience purposes to keep other bad infections out”.

She said plant-based products marketed as having “natural” fragrances can also be harmful to our skin by causing irritation.

Reiche instead suggested people use fragrance-free products and a smaller variety.

“Rather than having 10 products spilling all over the shower and being knocked off, you can just stick to one or two.”