Hoe vaak moet je douchen? - Elicious

How often should you shower?

How often should you actually shower? And how can cutting back help the planet? One of the most controversial topics is how often we should shower. Every day? A few times a week? Ask a group of people and you're guaranteed to hear a lot of different answers.

Water consumption

Looking at water consumption per person in the Netherlands, depending on family size, it is approximately 47,500 to 52,000 liters per year. For a two-person household this amounts to approximately 270 liters per day and for a four-person household to approximately 520 liters per day.

This includes water for brushing teeth, making food, doing laundry, flushing the toilet and of course showering. The latter is the perfect place to start reducing. And it also has the advantage of less energy consumption, because most people shower with warm water.

The benefits of showering less

The average shower uses about 6 liters of water per minute. With a rain shower this can be much more. Of course, everything depends on the type of shower head, but here are some examples:

Duration Normal shower Rain shower
1 minute 6 litres 15 litres
5 minutes 30 litres 75 litres
10 minutes 60 litres 150 litres

Water scarcity is a growing problem on every continent, with poorer communities hit hardest. To build resilience to climate change and provide water to a growing population, this finite resource must be better managed. (read more about this on the United Nations website) 

If you want, you can save a lot on your water consumption by either taking shorter showers or showering less often. The latter is not only good for Mother Earth, but also for your skin.

Showering less also helps boost your immune system by keeping disease-fighting bacteria on your skin. It also allows us to retain more of our microorganisms and the skin's natural oils. Microbes on the skin prevent harmful pathogens from entering the body and reduce the risk of skin diseases.

How often should you actually shower? 

The 'right' number of times to shower per week varies from person to person. The frequency will be higher, especially for people who are more active.

So how often? Every day? A few times a week? Ask a group of people and you're guaranteed to hear a lot of different answers.

Showering when you're sweaty: Yes or no?

Maybe you just ran a few miles on the treadmill, you just got home from a long walk with the dog, you did some DIY and you are coming home after a day of physical work. Anyway, you've been sweating quite a bit. In that case, showering is necessary.

One of the main reasons to shower is to rinse away dead skin cells, dirt, waste and sweat. How much you should shower depends on your environment and your daily activities. But also your natural tendency to sweat, oiliness and body odor.

If you're more active or sweat aggressively at the gym almost every day, you'll probably want to shower more often.

Can you shower too much?

There is no real threshold for showering too much, because the amount you shower also depends on your lifestyle and skin type. But showering too much can cause damage by causing healthy bacteria and... oils are removed from your skin.

If this happens, your skin may crack and bad bacteria can enter through the cracked skin, which can lead to worsened eczema, allergic reactions, acne or skin infections. Additionally, stripping your skin of natural oils may cause your skin to dry out and you could also develop contact and seborrheic dermatitis.

Showering too much can also have harmful effects on your hair, such as making your hair extremely greasy. Or on the other end of the spectrum, creating a dry scalp (which causes dandruff). Look for these signs. If you notice them, reconsider your shower schedule.

What if you don't shower enough?

We've already talked about what can happen if you shower too often, but what if you don't shower enough? The short answer: not much good.

If you don't shower enough, you increase the risk of sweat, dirt, and dead skin cells building up on your skin. The mixture of sweat and bacteria causes body odor and dirt on the skin, leading to acne, blackheads and clogged pores. The buildup of dead skin cells can irritate the skin and make your skin feel dry and itchy. Furthermore, if you don't shower enough, your skin won't be able to fight harmful bacteria.

Fungal and bacterial infections (such as staphylococcus or ringworm) can also develop if your skin cannot keep out bad fungi and bacteria. You can even catch a cold from bad bacteria because you don't wash away the germs. Skin conditions such as eczema or atopic dermatitis can also worsen if you don't shower enough.

The right (and wrong) way to shower

It can be incredibly tempting to take a long shower, enjoy the warm water (especially when it's cold outside) and practice your singing skills. But realistically, a shower should take between 5 and 10 minutes. Taking longer showers can strip your skin and hair of essential moisture and moisture oils, not to mention the negative impact on Mother Earth.

In addition, a good natural soap with glycerine is better for your skin than a liquid gel or body wash bar. Gently glide the soap over your skin. If you want to remove extra dead skin cells, you can use a natural loofah or a sisal bag in combination with the soap. These work great and prevent aggressive scrubbing, which can lead to irritation. After showering, you can of course use a nourishing body butter to prevent the skin from drying out.

Our verdict

There is no standard approach when it comes to how often you should shower. If you're more active, you'll probably want to shower more often to avoid problems like itchy and dry skin. But if you're more sedentary—work from home or have an office job—it's probably fine to shower every other day, or 2 to 3 times a week.

No matter how often you shower, remember to keep it short, 5 to 10 minutes is really all you need to get squeaky clean.

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