Washing with soap is damaging our skin, says doctor – what to do instead
Using soap to wash in the shower is a trivial task that none of us have ever thought anything of.
But it turns out that it has actually been damaging our skin all this time.
According to Dr James Hamblin, using soap in the shower can confuse our body’s natural responses to dirt, reported Daily Star.
In his book, Clean: The New Science of Skin, which was released this week, the author said cleaning agents can affect the balance of natural microbiomes.
He writes: “While we have long thought about our skin as a barrier to separate us from the outside world, growing knowledge about the microbiome suggests that skin is instead a dynamic interface with our environment.”
The expert told the Guardian : “As I gradually used less and less, I started to need less and less.
“My skin slowly became less oily, and I got fewer patches of eczema.
“I didn’t smell like pine trees or lavender, but I also didn’t smell like the oniony body odour that I used to get when my armpits, used to being plastered with deodorant, suddenly went a day without it.”
In an interview with Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on This Morning, Eamonn was quick to ask the question we all wanted the answer to: “Do you smell?”
With which he said: “No, I don’t smell at all. I’ve asked people in a regimented way and they said no.”
But don’t confuse Dr Hamblin’s advice as a means to stop showering altogether, instead he thinks we should be questioning “rituals that are considered a necessity”.
The author added: “If you skip a day of showering you won’t look oily or smell like an onion. I don’t emanate some offensive odour and I don’t get really oily looking.
“I smell like a person.”
But Dr Hamblin isn’t the only expert that warned against using soap when you shower.
A case study on the Harvard Health website also says that showering everyday is bad for our skin.
It reads: “Daily showers do not improve your health, could cause skin problems or other health issues — and, importantly, they waste a lot of water.
“Also, the oils, perfumes, and other additives in shampoos, conditioners, and soaps may cause problems of their own, such as allergic reactions (not to mention their cost).
“While there is no ideal frequency, experts suggest that showering several times per week is plenty for most people (unless you are grimy, sweaty, or have other reasons to shower more often).
“Short showers (lasting three or four minutes) with a focus on the armpits and groin may suffice.”
Who would have thought it?