Washing yourself less often and talking about it is currently socially acceptable. Those who use less water and shower gel are considered socially and health-consciously responsible. “Non Bathing” – a trend to turn up your nose at or to imitate?
We are required to save energy and water, and nobody benefits from the overexploitation of our own bodies, least of all ourselves. That’s why some people switch to “non-bathing” and practice “cleaning reduction”: they wash themselves less often and less extensively and less intensive in order to protect your skin in particular and nature in general.
In a podcast called “Armchair Expert”, even Hollywood celebrities Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher reported that showering and bathing in their home were not on the agenda every day. Water and washcloths are used every day, for example under the arms or in more intimate areas of the body.
Dermatologists welcome the trend
Many dermatologists welcome a certain reduction in personal hygiene, especially when it comes to the use of soap as well as the water temperature and duration of irrigation when showering. Intensive, regular treatment is not good for the natural skin barrier.
The skin barrier is made up of fats and germs with positive effects. Excessive washing can damage this protective and defensive system. Then the skin becomes dry and negative influences from outside have an easy time.
That’s why dermatologists advise patients with skin that is prone to irritation and dryness in particular: Less is more, shower only once, twice or at most three times a week.
There is often potential for reduction not only in the frequency, but also in the manner of individual showering habits: for example, the water temperature should not be too high, and the pH value of the soap should preferably be in the range of 5.5 (similar to that of the skin). Arms and legs don’t necessarily have to be scrubbed with it either. About seven minutes in total should be enough.
A trend to turn up your nose?
Is “Non Bathing” a reason to turn up your nose? Because, according to a common assumption, you can probably smell whether someone showers regularly or not? Non-bathing practitioners and some dermatologists are convinced that if odors develop, this process will regulate itself over time. As soon as the skin flora has found its balance again.
However, some specialists also see risks in a more relaxed relationship with personal hygiene. Too much laundry may not be healthy, but too little can also lead to the development of eczema and skin infections if nasty germs are given too much breeding ground.
Certain regions should be cleaned daily
However, the recommendation to reduce personal hygiene under the possibly misleading slogan “Non Bathing” does not actually mean an official permission to skip body wash. It doesn’t have to be a shower every time, but certain regions can tolerate a daily wash. A classic washcloth is ideal for this.
Soap can be added, but stricter non-bathing fans limit themselves to washcloths plus H₂O. Everyone who is interested will probably have to try it out for themselves whether this is sufficient for areas with increased sweat production in order to avoid the formation of odors. This particularly applies to armpits, intimate areas and feet. Everyone in the world has probably been sufficiently informed about the importance of regular hand washing since Corona at least two years ago. A full-body shower is still particularly welcome after strenuous activities or those with an increased amount of dirt.
“Non Bathing” or “Cleansing Reduction”, as shower fasting is more aptly called, not only protects the skin, but also the wallet and general water supplies. In view of rising inflation and scarce energy, this is a good idea for the benefit of natural resources anyway.
As the Federal Statistical Office states, every resident in Germany uses an average of 128 liters of water every day. Maybe it’s worth taking a closer look at your personal shower preferences to see whether reducing it would be worth a try…
By Petra Esselmann