How often should you shower?

Some people don’t feel clean without a long hot shower. But is a daily shower necessary—or even healthy?

“I think showering is mostly for aesthetic reasons,” says Dr. Elaine Larson, an infectious disease expert and associate dean for research at Columbia University School of Nursing. “People think they’re showering for hygiene or to be cleaner, but bacteriologically, that’s not the case.”

Larson’s research has shown the antibacterial soaps and cleaning products many people use in their homes aren’t any better than plain old soap at lowering the risk for infectious diseases. And when it comes to showering, all that scrubbing and exfoliating doesn’t amount to much.