James Hamblin, a journalist working in The Atlantic, decided to try out a rather unique experiment for his newspaper. He committed to forgo daily showers to see how his body would react.
Instead of jumping right into the experiment, he took it one step at a time. Initially, he began reducing the frequency of his showers. At first he noticed that there was a lot of bad odour—as one might expect and his skin started getting greasy as well. But that didn’t stop him from carrying on with his test.
Eventually he stopped showering all together and decided to take his water-saving lifestyle change to another level by reducing the amount of times he flushed his toilet.
He wrote about his progress in an article in The Atlantic, admitting that now he only washes his hands frequently. He wrote:
I don't use shampoo, shower gel and I hardly ever take a shower anymore. When I get dirt on my face after jogging, I just rinse my face with water. And when I wake up with messy hair, I just wet it.
Natural body smell
You would think that he probably smells kind of raunchy all the time, but the opposite is true. Not using soap or shampoo for a long period of time will return the body back to its natural state and eventually all the bad smells subside. Hamblin added:
After a while, my body returned to its natural balance and I stopped smelling bad. I didn't smell like rose water or Axe deodorant. I just smelled like a person should smell.
How many times should you take a bath?
Experts have said time and again that daily showers are not necessary for good hygiene. According to them, washing your body—not including the hair—twice a week is already more than enough to stay clean. Elaine Larson, professor at Columbia University explained:
Most people shower for aesthetic reasons. And they think that if they wash every day, they will be cleaner. But this is obviously not the case from a bacteriological point of view.