Question from New York Magazine

Q&ACategory: QuestionsQuestion from New York Magazine
Anonymous asked 7 years ago
Hi there, I’m a science writer for New York Magazine, reaching out with a question about the American daily shower habit. Here’s the gist: In light of the California drought and recently imposed water restrictions, it seems like a good time to ask the question – do we shower too much? And could weather events like this severe drought potentially change the way we think about showering frequency and cleanliness? So far, the responses I’m getting back from researchers is that we probably do shower too much. From a microbiology standpoint, there’s certainly no need to shower every day. However, apart from social conventions, there is one obvious reason to shower frequently: body odor! I wondered if you’d be game to answer a few questions about showering and body odor for me. I’d very much appreciate it! I think it might be easier if you email back with your responses – will include my questions below. Thanks! Melissa Dahl Senior writer, nymag.com o: 212.508.0576 c: 916.803.8740 @melissadahl Qs: Can you tell me, in simple terms, what causes body odor? What is it, in other words, that causes us to stink after several days without a shower? How many days, generally speaking, do you think people can go without showering before they start to smell? Maybe an obvious question, but are there body parts to wash in between showers if you’d like to start showering less frequently – say, just twice a week instead of every day?
1 Answers
drarmpit answered 7 years ago
Hey Melissa, I answered your question via email. Hope that answers your questions. Best, Chris