Americans are obsessed with bathing. Most people shower or bathe daily, some more than once per day. Not only do people in this country bathe often, they use smell-good products while they do it. It’s almost as if people are convinced that the better something smells, the cleaner it is, including a human. The problem is that many products that smell great are absolutely toxic to your health. Would you be surprised to learn that some people do not bathe every day? In fact, people like actor Ashton Kutcher and his wife, Mila Kunis pretty much don’t bathe, ever, unless necessary. Kutcher doesn’t believe in bathing kids, either.
Upon learning that Ashton Kutcher and his wife don’t take daily baths or showers, you might be shocked or think they’re crazy. Well, you might be even more surprised to learn that the idea is not as uncommon as you think. In fact, a publication from Harvard University called “Harvard Health” stated that daily bathing may do more harm than good.
It appears that Ashton Kutcher is on to something
In its article on bathing, Harvard Health explains that the outer layer of the human body is covered in natural oils and “friendly” micro-organisms/bacteria. As Ashton Kutcher and his wife told podcast host Monica Padman, daily bathing washes away the body’s natural oils and “good” bacteria. Once this protective layer of helpful oils and micro-organisms are gone, the body is at risk for all sorts of nastiness, including dry, itchy skin, allergies and infection.
Kunis says that she never bathed her newborn children. Kutcher followed up by recommending that parents only wash their kids if they see dirt on them. Before you get too grossed out imagining how cruddy and smelly the Kutcher/Kunis household must be, you’ll be glad to know that both parents say they wash the vital areas of the body on themselves and their kids every day. What do they consider vital? Basically — underarm areas and private parts — that’s it. Kunis says that she does wash her face and Kutcher splashes water on his after a workout. Other than that, the couple adamantly believes that there is no point in bathing children (or adults, for that matter) and that it diminishes your health to bathe daily.
Harvard Health says lack of bathing is just as bad as over-bathing
While Ashton Kutcher and his wife seem to be happy living a no-bath lifestyle, Harvard Health has stated that not bathing at all can be just as damaging to your health as bathing too often. The goal is to create a healthy balance. If you never bathe, dead skin cells can build up on your body, which lead to problems like hyperpigmentation. Showering too much can leave your hair dry and brittle and can spark all sorts of skin problems. Not showering can create unbalance between good and bad bacteria, giving bad bacteria a stronghold, which can place you at risk for infection and severe skin problems.
There are natural remedies for improving skin health. I think it’s safe to assume, however, that the average person associates washing more often with keeping skin healthy. This, according to many dermatologists and other health experts, is not only not true, it can actually be the underlying source of the problem!
Bathing less is better for the environment
Generally speaking, many Americans take clean water for granted and are wasteful with it. The average shower lasts more than eight minutes and uses more than 17 gallons of water. Do the math. If you have five people in your household, and each one showers every day, that’s nearly 600 gallons of water per week!
American Academy of Pediatrics weighs in
Ashton Kutcher apparently isn’t the only one who recommends not bathing kids every day. The American Academy of Pediatrics has said that bathing a baby too often impedes his or her ability to ward off infections. Okay. Anyone who has ever had a baby knows that these tiny humans are famous for diaper blow-outs! How many times were you getting ready to go somewhere when baby let loose and you were left with a gooey, mustard mess that traveled throughout the onesie from head to toe?This would be an obvious instance where bathing your baby would be necessary.
However, when baby isn’t having a blow-out moment, it’s perfectly acceptable and healthy to “spot clean” instead. Another thing about kids — the older they kid, the stinkier they are when they’re dirty! If your family is considering a less-bathing route, it’s a good idea to discuss ways to stay clean and fresh with your older kids. Perhaps, like Ashton Kutcher and his wife, as long as they’re cleansing under their arms and private areas every day, they’ll be good to go!
What are your thoughts?
How does this article make you feel? Do you think it’s a good idea to bathe less or not at all, unless necessary? Do you believe that it’s unhealthy to bathe every day? Did you grow up in a house where everyone took a Saturday bath or did you have the luxury of showering each day? Do you bathe your newborns? Leave a comment, and share your thoughts!