When the Greeks created the first showers they were considered a luxury. Today, most of us don't go a day without doing it. So what's it like to go a week without showering?
Meet Our Test Subject
This is Amy Sciarretto, writer, music journalist and guinea pig. Amy bravely put her hygiene on the line and made herself vulnerable to the social stigma of going more than a day without showering, or even a dry cleanse, like the one in this Life Aspire article.
Despite the unending supply of wet wipes, there are some things you can't control. There's a big world out there and we all have to live in it. And that world is filled with dirt, dust, mud and ... dogs.
I volunteer at a dog shelter every Saturday and Sunday, walking and handling dogs. It's muddy, sweaty, and slobbery work, but delightfully so. I usually wake up, walk the dogs, and then come home and shower because duh. But any crustiness was understandably exacerbated during this week.
As any dog owner knows, dogs are gross. An infinite amount of wet wipes is still no match for the numerous body fluids, hair and dander that dogs leave behind after a cuddle session.
As a music journalist, Amy could probably get away with emitting a little funk when hanging out in sweaty, loud venues. But smelling and feeling good weren't the only sacrifices Amy made. The inability to lather up was taking a toll on her skin. Her skin became itchy and dry and she developed back acne due to oil buildup, a condition she was not usually prone to.
Okay, we're convinced. It's probably not a good idea to go a week without showering. Back to showering every day, right? Actually, the science says we may be overdoing it. Dermatologists Dr. Ranella Hirsch and Dr. Joshua Zerichner have warned against overbathing, pointing out that the expectation of the daily shower was rooted into our culture through advertisers looking to sell more soaps, shampoos and conditioners.
We overbathe in this country and that’s really important to realize. A lot of the reason we do it is because of societal norms.”
They also warned that showering too often can cause dry, irritated skin as well as cause lesions that come with a risk of infection. They argue that we could probably get along fine with a shower every 2 to 3 days depending on activity level.
Amy isn't the only person who's avoided the shower for seven full days. YouTuber, Lisa Malambri also talked about not showering for a week.
A Grimy Lesson
So what did Amy learn from all this? It sucks, basically. After finally getting a shower, Amy decided the unwashed life was not for her.
Guys, I am so not a survivalist or naturalist. I admit my need to shower daily. It perks me up. It gets the blood coursing through my veins. Soapy, sudsy lather running down my back awakens my pleasure centers. When I finally took a shower, I was delighted by the sight of dirty water circling the drain.