Although most health experts agree that regular toileting and showers are vital to preventing infection and illness, a scientist from United States He made headlines for refuting that claim and announcing that he has not taken a single bath for five years.
In 2015, James Hamblin, who works as a professor at the prestigious Yale University School of Public Health, stopped showering for one purpose: to demonstrate that there is no “medical need” to do so.
The preventive medicine specialist explained the reasons behind his decision: “We spent two full years of our lives bathing. How much of that time (and money and water) is a waste? “, he asserted. “I know of many people who bathe very little. I knew it was possible, but I wanted to try it myself to see what the effect would be. “.
Five years later, he claims to be more than satisfied with the results: “Over time, your body gets more and more used to it so it doesn’t smell so bad if you don’t use deodorant and soap. And your skin doesn’t get as greasy when you stop using harsh soaps. Many people use shampoo to remove oils from their hair and then apply a conditioner to add synthetic oils. If you manage to break that circle, your hair will end up looking the way it did when you started using those products. “.
In conversation with the BBC, Hamblin explained that “The main thing is to understand that it takes time to see the effects, it does not happen overnight, it is not immediate. There were times when I wanted to take a shower because I missed it, it smelled bad, and it felt like I was greasy. But that began to happen to me less and less “.
He also explained that bathing excessively “alters a kind of balance between the oils in the skin and the bacteria that live. When you shower aggressively, you destroy ecosystems. They repopulate quickly, but the species become unbalanced and tend to favor the types of microbes that produce odor. Your ecosystem reaches a stable state and you stop smelling bad. You don’t smell like rose water… You just smell like a person ”.
“I have a smell of my own and my wife likes it. For other people it is not bad. Nowadays we hope that people do not smell anything or that they smell like perfume, cologne, body wash or else it means that they smell bad. If there is any detectable human odor, it is negative “he adds.
“I rinse when I need it or when I want it, just with water, quickly, especially when my hair looks as if I had just woken up or if I have something visibly dirty. But you can exfoliate, you can remove the oils just by rubbing with your hands and combing your hair occasionally. And that’s it”, Explain.
Additionally, he explained why he believes that showering is a “very modern” concept: “Before we didn’t used to have running water. Most people did not have access to running water until the last hundred years. It was something that maybe royalty could do, kings and queens, but that people could only do occasionally. Maybe they got into a river or a lake, but it wasn’t something we needed to do every day. “.
“It is a very new event in the history of humanity: that we have to spend so much time, money and resources in bathing and if that is combined with the knowledge that we have about the microbiome of the skin. I’m curious to think that maybe we are doing too much and it could be beneficial to cut back “, Add.
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