June 4, 2013

"Cleansing reduction" — the new trend of bathing only once a week.

The idea is to preserve the skin's natural oils. And the environment. Plus: lazy.

73 comments:

edutcher said...

We'll either have to perfume ourselves like Moslems or smell a lot worse.

Lance said...

Plus: stinky.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The idea is to preserve the skin's natural oils.

And aroma.

Mitchell the Bat said...

A while ago I was in Britain and you were considered wealthy if you had a stall shower.

They didn't consider it an indignity at all to have to crouch in a bathtub and use a hose attached to the spigot.

Or maybe they were just messing with me, the dirty bastards.

David said...

Join the Marines. Seek out a combat post.

Oh, they're from New York?

Never mind.

Julie C said...

My hairdresser tried to convince me to not wash my hair every day. Said it was better for my hair. Blech.

I'll take drier hair that smells great and doesn't feel oily.

This is also why I don't go camping.

Julie C said...

My hairdresser tried to convince me to not wash my hair every day. Said it was better for my hair. Blech.

I'll take drier hair that smells great and doesn't feel oily.

This is also why I don't go camping.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'll take drier hair that smells great and doesn't feel oily."

According to the article, the excess washing is causing the oiliness.

MadisonMan said...

I shower every other day, unless I'm working out. I think you *should* ask yourself -- am I really dirty, do I need this?

Dad is down to bathing once a week, because his 90-yo skin is so dry.

My curly hair looks a lot better when it's a little dirty. All clean and it's fly-away dry.

Big Mike said...

I've worked with people like that.

jr565 said...

pheromones, baby. Stinky, underarm pit smelling pheromones.

Ann Althouse said...

I think people who wash their hair every day are really mostly doing it for the fluffiness -- not anything to do with dirt or oiliness.

Years ago, washing your hair once a week was the norm.

Many women went to the salon every week and had their hair "done." It was washed and "set." Then you had your ways to keep it up over the course of the week -- teasing, spraying and so forth.

Methadras said...

Natural oils? Really? How about not stinking like a rank homeless skunk? Besides, in certain climates, you should be bathing/showering daily to fight off fungal growth.

Jay said...

My goodness, I shower twice a day.

I can't imagine bathing once per week.

William said...

I think the real point of a shower is to wake up.

madAsHell said...

The trick is to rub on a little patchouli oil, and to grow your hair into dreadlocks.

Mary Martha said...

I think it depends on the individual (as so many things do). My dry skin and curly hair does not respond well to shampoo. My friend's oilier skin and hair needs it.

My dermatologist made it clear that my dry skin would be best served by using *less* soap - not more. I hop in the shower daily to rinse off but I don't scrub with soap daily unless I have been digging ditches.

My curly hair does better with less shampoo... again, I rinse it regularly, I just don't use shampoo every day.

ad hoc said...

Ann Althouse said:

Years ago, washing your hair once a week was the norm.

Many women went to the salon every week and had their hair "done." It was washed and "set." Then you had your ways to keep it up over the course of the week -- teasing, spraying and so forth.


Your post reminded my of something I had long forgotten - my mom getting her hair done in a bouffant style at the salon on Saturday, then later in the week putting in rollers for a few hours to keep the style. Does anyone even sell hair rollers anymore?

hogewash.com said...

I'm reminded of an exchange between James Bond and Tetyana Romanova in From Russia With Love. When she asked why Englishmen didn't use perfume like Russian men, he replied, "We bathe."

Anthony said...

While my skin isn't nearly as oily as it was when I was a teenager, my hair feels icky in the morning until I've shampooed, and if I skip a shower, by the end of the day my hair is distinctly greasy-looking and greasy-feeling.

Those dermatologists must be French.

Colonel Angus said...

Water is a renewable resource. Use lotion to maintain skin moisture. Both are valid reasons not to walk around smelling like rotten onions.

Lem said...

The idea is to preserve the skin's natural oils.

I know I can be cold and distant... but an Artic Refuge?

el polacko said...

once upon a time, there was something called the "saturday night bath" and nobody thought that there was anything unusual about that.

Schorsch said...

This is not "new". Steve Jobs was famously told he could not come to meetings at Apple unless he abandoned this idea. I had a roommate in college who idolized him. We emulated the success of Apple by telling him he couldn't come back inside the house until he bathed. I was willing to help with the hose.

Nomennovum said...

Oh, great. Soon we'll smell like the French.

chrisnavin.com said...

Was the writer of the article perhaps named 'Starchild?'

Nonapod said...

Beyond just not wanting to be smelly, my problem is if I don't take a shower in the morning I find it harder to wake up and psychologically start the day. I feel like a groggy scumbag all day.

lemondog said...

My skin itches like crazy in the hot weather and need to take a daily shower.

Anyone know the reason for hot weather itchiness?

Strelnikov said...

Stewie to Brian: I haven't bathed in the three weeks we've been here. (Lifting arm.) Tell me that isn't epic.

Palladian said...

It's weird to me that people here seem to think that "not bathing/showering every day" is equal to "not cleaning oneself". You can keep yourself clean and non-smelly without bathing/showering! Just cleanse "problem" areas of the body with warm water, a cloth and a little soap. Duh!

Strelnikov said...

What's next? Brushing our teeth once a month? That would combine our new French odeur with British teeth.

elkh1 said...

Eew, that pungent smell!

Next they will tell us scratching in public is cool.

Maybe they try to tell us more of us will become homeless and should condition ourselves to live like one.

David said...
Oh, they're from New York?

They always love to act French, and love to slather themselves with French perfume.

Palladian said...

They always love to act French, and love to slather themselves with French perfume.

If only. It's mostly shitty American perfume these days.

Julie C said...

Althouse I remember my mom getting her hair done at the beauty parlor and not washing it for days. Thankfully we are no longer fans of the poufy hairstyles.

Nonapod - I also need a morning shower to wake up. I have no doubt that my hairdresser is right - just that I can't go there.

Also, maybe my sniffer is sensitive, but if a person standing near me hasn't washed her hair that day, I can smell it.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cremes said...

Showering every day doesn't mean that you use soap or shampoo every day. This idea isn't new and has actually had a bit of a resurgence lately.

Go to freetheanimal dot com and search for 'shampoo' in the search box. Then read the two articles that come up in the top 3 regarding his experiment. Take care to note his bullet points (e.g. 2 weeks for your body to normalize its oil output).

I haven't used soap in a long time and only get my hair shampoo'ed once per month when I get a haircut.

No, smartasses, I don't smell. Only my wife (and now the millions of people on the internet) are really aware that I don't use soap. She has no complaints and the rest of my family has made zero comments (and they *would* comment if they thought something was up).

Paddy O said...

I try to bathe once a week on Fridays whether I need it or not.

phx said...

My goodness, I shower twice a day.

Some people require three or even four times a day.

Amartel said...

Is this notion brought to us by the same people who are letting their little kids poop everywhere? Our betters, the elite?

Colonel Angus said...

Some people require three or even four times a day.

Sounds like some of my employees.

Palladian said...

Also, maybe my sniffer is sensitive, but if a person standing near me hasn't washed her hair that day, I can smell it.

News flash! Humans have natural odors! OMG! MUST CLEANSE!

rhhardin said...

People vary on how much bathing they need, and older people much less, as oils dry up.

Some not any. They come to resemble Dobermans.

A Doberman has self-cleaning fur and needs local cleaning only for actual foreign substances like pine tar [use olive oil on that].

No odors arise.

Salamandyr said...

If this becomes common, I'll have to start smoking again.

rhhardin said...

A bath was rare as a kid, as I recall. It was an event that you were told to do once in a while.

When the teenage oils hit was when serious daily showers came in as necessary.

Something grows in them.

rehajm said...

Colonel Angus said...
Some people require three or even four times a day.

Sounds like some of my employees.


Colonel Angus most likey is a: hog farmer, soap manufacturer, brothel operator.

rhhardin said...

Women might have a different problem.

Maybe the American daily shower was really to eliminate the bidet.

Some researcher without bathing facilities in the field for a month reported that she came to recognize a problem with permanently wet areas going unwashed, that her male companion seemed not to have. It came up in the women in combat debate, as one probably irrelevant side, as if no hygiene would be possible if you planned for it.

rhhardin said...

If you have a dog, anything salty gets cleaned for you regularly.

rhhardin said...

Dogs for women in combat.

MadisonMan said...

Also, maybe my sniffer is sensitive, but if a person standing near me hasn't washed her hair that day, I can smell it.

How do you know this?

Are you routinely asking people who don't smell if they washed their hair today (Gee, Your hair smells terrific!!!); or do you ask people that you can smell When was the last time you shampooed?

DavidD said...

30 years ago when I was stationed in Europe the joke went, "What's the difference between the French and Americans? Americans bathe every day and go to the grocery store once a week, while the French go to the grocery store every day...." I guess now the joke's on us.

Colonel Angus said...

Colonel Angus most likey is a: hog farmer, soap manufacturer, brothel operator.

Make no mistake, if I was running a brothel hygiene would be top priority. Cleanliness is next to godliness.

Colonel Angus said...

Reminds me of the joke where the blind guy walks by the fish market and says: Mornin ladies!

Julie C said...

Mad -

I have worked with people who have mentioned that they didn't wash their hair everyday. And that hair (especially longer hair on women) has a certain smell. I've confirmed it over the years with other people.

When I watch Mad Men and I look at Don Draper's hair, I can just imagine the smell: Bryl cream, cigarettes and sex! And probably only washed once a week.

bagoh20 said...

If I had to give up things, showering would be the last thing. Few activities are as satisfying, renewing and just plain pleasurable. I'd give up sex first, and I'd have to give it up anyway if I can't shower.

bagoh20 said...

They used to have a TV commercial here for the California Lottery that would show a guy getting in the shower and singing or yelling after supposedly finding out he just won the lottery. I always identified with that as exactly what I would do if I found out I just won millions. Just stand there with the water running over my head and walk out clean into my new life.

Strelnikov said...

"Dogs for women in combat."

Thread winner.

Sam L. said...

Well, I tried letting my hair grow out unwashed and myself unbathed for that 'mountain man' vibe, and was doin' OK til Sasquatch wanted to move in with me.

DanTheMan said...

Baghoh,
You'd prefer a shower over sex? You must have the world's greatest shower, or you're doing that other thing completely wrong!

AllenS said...

If I don't shower at least every other day, I can detect butt odors. Maybe I just have an acute sense of smell.

bagoh20 said...

"You must have the world's greatest shower, or you're doing that other thing completely wrong!"

My shower never has a headache.

AllenS said...

Back when I had cattle and had to put up hay, I'd take a shower and put Johnson's baby powder on my bottom before haying, and then after haying, I'd take another shower. During the summer there were times when it was a 3 shower day. You don't need to wash your hair everytime.

elkh1 said...

Hate to take public transportation in rush hours or take the same elevator with those body oil conservationists.

Remember it was for the environment to use only one square of toilet paper, and to conserve water not to wash your hands?

Eeeeew!

Palladian said...

Bryl cream, cigarettes and sex! And probably only washed once a week.

Ok, now you're really turning me on.

LoafingOaf said...

Palladian said...
It's weird to me that people here seem to think that "not bathing/showering every day" is equal to "not cleaning oneself". You can keep yourself clean and non-smelly without bathing/showering! Just cleanse "problem" areas of the body with warm water, a cloth and a little soap. Duh!


That reminds me of an old George Carlin bit where he said that, unless you've worked out or come into intimate contact with filth and garbage, you only have to worry about the four key areas: armpits, asshole, crotch, and teeth.

See 5:23 at this Carlin clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnmMNdiCz_s

LoafingOaf said...

cremes: I haven't used soap in a long time and only get my hair shampoo'ed once per month when I get a haircut.

It really varies by person. When I was a teenager, if I didn't wash my hair every day it would be visibly greasy by the next day. Thankfully that changed as I aged.

Rusty said...

I mudt be the only person here that does, like, real physical labor.
Got to shower everyday, because I sweat and the workplace is dirty. I must not smell too bad because no one has complained , so far.
my farts, on the other hand, have made people vomit.

Methadras said...

Nomennovum said...

Oh, great. Soon we'll smell like the French.


They still smell like that even after they bathe.

jr565 said...

Palladian wrote:

News flash! Humans have natural odors! OMG! MUST CLEANSE!

just because its natural doesnt mean it isn't potentially vomit inducing.

jr565 said...

Loafing oaf wrote:


"That reminds me of an old George Carlin bit where he said that, unless you've worked out or come into intimate contact with filth and garbage, you only have to worry about the four key areas: armpits, asshole, crotch, and teeth. "
And let's not forget the most important things to wash- your hands! Especially if you are using said hands to wash your crotch and asshole.
And even more so of you work in a hospital.

Christy said...

During ski season I'd shower at night and not even wash my face in the morning, just slather on a heavy moisturizer. The idea is to build up a protective layer of body oils before going out into freezing weather. That's as far as I'll go.

Firehand said...

In Oklahoma in summer?

Not a chance.

cremes said...

LoafingOaf: It really varies by person. When I was a teenager, if I didn't wash my hair every day it would be visibly greasy by the next day. Thankfully that changed as I aged.

When I first stopped soaping my hair, it was greasy. That stage lasted about a week and a half. Your body does adapt.

Number Six said...

Taking a bath only once a week !

Imagine doing that in hot weather. Imagine the stink. Imagine sharing a bus or subway car with several of those people.

My Mom told me that's why the poorest people were made to ride at the back of the bus. Because of the stink.