What Happens To Your Skin If You Don’t Shower?

There is an ongoing debate about the amount we should shower – some people do every day, others once a week. But what happens to your skin if you don’t shower?

Aside from possibly becoming too stinky to be around the general public, not showering can have effects on your skin. Let’s have a look at what might happen.

What Happens To Your Skin If You Don’t Shower?

What Happens To Your Skin If You Don’t Shower

The insistence that we all shower every day, without fail, is often pushed by shower product manufacturers, believe it or not!

By telling us that we will be too hideous to be around other people if we do not use their products every day, they often manage to sell more products.

This being said, there are downsides for your skin if you literally decide to never shower again. Read on…

  • Dirt can build up. Especially if you have an outdoor, physical sort of job, you can get covered in all sorts of things that would better being washed off.
  • Germs can accumulate. If you never wash off your skin you can end up with health issues – particularly if you work in a health care environment or with children.
  • Smell. Human beings do emit odour, there is no doubt about that. If you don’t shower for a while, these odours can become unpleasant.
  • Infections can happen. Because of the bacteria we have already mentioned, you can be at risk from something more serious than a bit of B.O if you never shower.
  • Dermatitis Neglecta. This condition literally means “dermatitis from neglect”, and it can cause unsightly brown scaly patches on your skin.
  • Skin breakouts. Especially if your face is already prone to spots, not washing it for ages will potentially cause even more spots to appear.

How Long Can You Go Without Showering?

Obviously, the jury is out on this one. Different people have different showering requirements, and that is absolutely fine!

Some people, to put it not so delicately, are smellier than others. These people tend to feel uncomfortable if they don’t shower often, because they worry about what people think of them.

Other people can go for days without washing, without becoming offensive. This difference is due to diet; day to day activities such as jobs; and even genetics can play a part.

The other problem with not showering is the build up of bacteria, which can cause skin and health problems.

Every day, our skin gets bombarded with germs, bacteria and other environmental nasties. Our skin is very good at keeping this stuff out!

However, in order to keep everything running smoothly, you have to wash off this dirt once in a while.

If you don’t, it can build up on your skin and cause health issues as well as obvious hygiene problems.

The flip side is that if you shower too often, this can also cause your skin problems! Too much washing can leave it dry and gasping for moisture, and can affect the natural oils that your body produces.

It is generally recommended that you shower every 2-3 days, for optimal balance between cleanliness and good natural health.

What Happens If You Don’t Shower For Months?

What Happens If You Don’t Shower For Months

Body odour

Sweat helps you cool off, of course, but it can also mix with the bacteria on your skin and cause unpleasant odours.

Not showering for months will undoubtedly produce a fairly strong smell that, although it might ensure that you get the elevator to yourself, won’t win you many friends!

Dead skin build up

Skin, like hair, sheds every day. These dead cells are removed by showering, bathing and exfoliating, and this helps your skin look lighter.

Not showering or bathing will lead to these skin cells building up on your skin, and can make it look tired and dull.


Bacteria can cause acne, as we all know, and a build up of bacteria can cause extra breakouts.

You should keep an eye on your showering and washing habits, especially if you naturally have acne-prone skin.

Skin irritation

Skin problems like eczema can be exacerbated if you do not shower as often as you could.

Bathing and showering delivers essential moisture to your skin, helping to prevent problems like eczema.

Germs and bacteria

Because the skin is bombarded with these things on a daily basis, washing regularly is essential.

If you don’t clean off the bacteria that naturally find their way onto your skin every day, you may find yourself with health problems.

Greasy hair

Assuming you are not washing your hair separately, not showering can also have an effect on your hair.

Build up of natural scalp oils makes the hair look greasy and hard to style, so it’s not just your body odour that will make people think twice about sitting next to you on the train!

What Is Ablutophobia?

Not everyone who doesn’t shower every day is just lazy, or too busy to think about it – some people have an actual phobia of showering.

Ablutophobia is an anxiety disorder, which can manifest in a fear of showering, or even stretch to all forms of washing.

This is fairly common in toddlers – probably because bath time usually comes before bedtime, and no toddler ever wants to go to bed!

However, sometimes this showering anxiety can spread into adult life, where it can cause real problems for sufferers of this disorder.

Ablutophobia can extend to even washing hands, which can lead to health problems. Sufferers can be ostracised because of being dirty, which can lead to social anxiety too.

The best way to treat any anxiety disorder is with therapy, specifically cognitive-behavioural, to encourage a new narrative about the phobia.

Final Words

So there you have it. Whether you scrub yourself shiny every single day or leave it a few days in between washing, you know that showering is good for your skin.

Just don’t say we didn’t warn you about being too smelly to hang around with other human beings!

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