There are two types of people: ones who will hop in the shower given any opportunity-even after a definitely-not-sweaty yoga class-and ones who will go three days in a row subsisting on wet wipes and dry shampoo because, lolz, who has time to shower every day?
But how often should you really be showering, according to doctors? At least every two to three days is a good rule of thumb, says dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D. Any less than that, and bacteria and dirt can start to build up, causing inflammation. (ICYWW, you need to wash your hair about as often; you can shampoo more often if you tend to have oily hair, and less often if you have a dryer scalp.)
That said, it is possible to shower too much; while Engelman didn't give a specific timeframe for how often is too often to shower, you might be overdoing it if you notice your skin is dry or irritated (since too many showers-or showers that are too hot-can strip your skin of its natural oils and lead to over-exfoliation).
Still aren't sure if your shower habit is legit? There are a lot of factors that can come into play. Such as...
Sweat can lead to pimples, especially when combined with bacteria and makeup, says Engelman. So if you've just gone for a run or done a boxing class that leaves you dripping, you'll want to shower right afterward to prevent that bacteria buildup.
"If you live in a humid environment, you tend to sweat more and will need to shower more often to minimize the bacterial load on the skin,” Engelman says. In drier climates, on the other hand, you might be able to get away with showering less often. Again, the general rule here is that sweat should lead to a shower.
Hard water can also be an issue. “Unfiltered water can contain minerals, oxidizers, calcium, magnesium, silica, and iron," says Engelman. "These can leave residue on the skin and hair causing build-up, dryness, and irritation.” Skin can look dull and dry, too, because products like serums and moisturizers aren’t able to full penetrate the skin.
If you're noticing any of these issues and live in a place with hard water, try scaling back on your shower routine to see if that improves the situation.
How Dry Your Skin Is
You can still shower as often as once a day if you suffer from dry skin-if you're not stripping your skin of natural oils in the process, says Engelman.
To avoid that, skip the scalding-hot water temps, which Engelman says can sap moisture from your skin, especially during the winter. Instead, go for lukewarm water.