The topic of bathing solicits a variety of responses and many a debate has been started around the frequency of one’s bath or shower.
Looking at the history of bathing, like many things bathing has gone in and out of fashion. You may recall some history lessons mentioning bathing being part of ancient Roman culture; most Romans bathed once a day in communal bath houses. At the opposite end of the scale Queen Isabella I of Spain only bathed twice in her life; she was bathed at birth and once before she married! Another famous monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, is remembered - amongst others - for two things; that she never married, and that she is rumoured to have said “I take a bath once a month, whether I need it or not!”
Fast forward to more modern times, and preferences in bathing frequency still vary dramatically. During renowned fashion designer Vivienne Westwood’s interview after her Spring/Summer 2018 show at Paris Fashion Week, she said that her secret to staying young was only washing once a week! But many others feel that bathing daily is essential.
What do the experts say?
Although there is no official protocol on how often to bathe, most dermatologists agree that once or twice a week is sufficient for skin health. To minimise the stripping of skin moisture - this is when soaps, shampoos, water and scrubbing removes natural oils produced by the skin - the experts say one should try adhere to the following:
- Don't make the water too hot.
- Limit bathing time
- Moisturize after bathing (while the skin is still damp) to lock in escaping moisture.
They also recommend showering as it naturally limits time in the water and saves water as you aren’t filling the tub. This seems like sound advice given the fact that South Africa is a water scarce country and although Day Zero has been put on hold, the restrictions and tariffs are still in place for the Western Cape. Read more on how you can save water
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