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Confession: I stopped showering.
Okay, not completely, but I have stopped showering every day.
And I promise, it’s not as gross as it sounds.
Why to Reduce Your Showers
To be honest, I stopped showering out of laziness. After I got married, I started working exclusively from home. While I showered after work outs and days I got sweaty or dirty, many days I simply wouldn’t shower. I would decide to wait until the end of the day to shower, and then night would come and I just wouldn’t. Fall rolled around and I would begin to forget to shower. And this makes a great reason to reduce how frequently you shower: It saves time and personal energy. After all, how much time would you save in the morning if you could take your shower out of your routine?
Secondly, it saves money. Water is included in my rent, but if you pay your own water bill, you will easily save money by cutting your showers. A conventional shower head uses 7-10 gallons per minute (source). When not showering, you will also use less electricity by not using the bathroom light, fan, or a hair dryer. You use less products, like soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc. when showering less, so you will also spend less money in that department. Oh, and all of these things make it much more environmentally friendly.
Less dry skin. I wanted to say it is healthier, but I decided that would be taken the wrong way. Poor hygiene is definitely not healthy. I am not advocating walking around covered in dirt and reeking of BO. However, if the transition is made properly, there are many aspects of less frequent showering that can be healthier. The number one benefit for me is that my skin is less dry. In the winter, this is my number one reason. I used to have to apply lotion twice a day in the depths of winter. Now, I only need to a few times a week (not counting my hands and face). This also saves me money!
I have also found that since I did make my transition to showering less slowly and properly (see below), it has many other benefits such as less odor and oil. Since I am no longer stripping my body of its healthy oils and bacteria every morning, my skin is balanced. It does not produce excess oil and I have less body odor than I did when I was showering all the time. I attribute this not only to stripping the oils with soap on a daily basis, but also to a population of good bacteria that has been allowed to grow on my skin. No, really, this is a good thing! I used to feel disgusting and grimy less than 24 hours after my last shower no matter what. Now, it takes days for me to reach that level! (and I shower once I reach it)
How I Stopped Showering
1. Transition to chemical-free. Although I only stopped showering a few months ago, I began my transition to chemical free over two years ago. Without this, none of the following steps would have been possible (besides eating real food, of course). When I stopped using commercial products on my body, I significantly reduced my toxic load. I no longer was excreting these toxins in my sweat and oils. This was most obvious in my deodorant: Before, I would shower and apply deodorant every morning and reek by midday. Once I switched to this natural deodorant, I would go the entire day with no scent. Eventually, I found that I didn’t even need deodorant if I had showered that morning!
2. Eat real food. When I am eating 100% clean, I either have no body odor, or my body odor smells like tea. I’m not even joking! Rather than struggling to process food chemicals and other junk, then excreting that in my sweat, my body is happy with my food choices. What is required for each person will be different, but a good place to start is to eliminate processed foods and any foods you may be sensitive to. Similar to the above point, if you aren’t putting toxins into your body, you won’t sweat them out as body odor.
3. Switch to No-Poo. I could never have started skipping showers if I hadn’t switched to “no-poo” first. It used to be that skipping one day of shampooing would leave my hair looking really gross. But once I got through the transitional period of no-poo, I found that I could go longer of periods of time without washing my hair. Any variety of homemade shampoos could be used, such as baking soda or the shampoos in DIY Organic Beauty Products. I love the Citrus Honey Shampoo!
4. Transition to Water Washing. I started water washing a little over a year ago. I now only shampoo my hair once a month or so. While going this long without washing your hair isn’t necessary to reduce the frequency of showering, it made it much easier for me. I don’t have to worry about whether my hair needs washing or not if I don’t shower.
5. Use Less Soap. Okay. If I didn’t lose you with water washing, I’ve probably lost you now. However, as you reduce your toxic load, you may find that you do not need as much soap. Soap strips your skin of its natural oils and good bacteria. I started by only washing my “pits and bits,” and then getting the rest of my body if it felt dirty. This saves money, keeps your skin healthy, and will allow your body to start to adjust.
6. Shower Less! Now you’re ready to reduce your showers. Do this to whatever extent you are comfortable and your personal hygiene allows. For me, I started this by simply forgetting to shower, and I eventually reduced my showering to once a week or whenever I feel like I need one. This is the easiest part. 🙂
Note on detox baths: Since starting GAPS intro, I have been doing daily detox baths, which ups my shower/bathing count. I love these baths to help flush out toxins and body odor. It allows me to go longer between showers. However, I try to do foot baths whenever possible to avoid the water use and dry skin of daily bathing.
Showering less definitely isn’t for everyone, and it can take a long time to comfortably make the transition. But I am so glad that I did!
How often do you shower? Would you try reducing how often you shower?
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