Why do we shower so often? And how often should we take it?

Marketing by soap companies is the biggest driver of how often we shower today.

It’s something we all do: some do it daily, others more than once a day, and others less regularly. But in the end, who is right? How often should we shower?

This is a question that CNN International’s Harry Enten tried to answer on the Margins of Error podcast. But, first of all, to answer the question, it is necessary to understand the history of the bath, and how it has been seen over the years.

Today, about two-thirds of Americans shower every day. But it was not always so. Christians came to believe, for example, that the dirtier a person was, the more sacred he was. Also during the Black Death there was no bathing habit, and doctors advised against doing so, stating that hot water opened the pores, allowing the disease to enter the body more easily. In addition, well-known figures from past times, such as Louis XIV, King of France, did not bathe, with the king only bathing twice in 76 years. More recently, actors Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher generated controversy by saying that they only bathe their children when they are dirty.

The truth is, whether we like it or not, we tend to judge those who don’t shower as regularly, associating them with dirty, smelly people. But where did this stereotype come from? How did we go from so few baths, as in the past, to so many, as in the present?

a marketing question

If there’s one thing marketing can do, when done right, it’s change society’s mindset and ideas. Of course, this takes several dozen years, but that’s what happened in the case of baths.

As discussed in the Margins of Error podcast, it all started when soap started to have more affordable prices and when brands started wanting to sell it. Thus, companies created the idea that soap would be a luxury item, starting to create the idea in the population that the smell of sweat was bad and that soap was the sublime product that would address the problem.

This idea began to take hold, and people began to dislike the smell of sweat and to desire soap. They also began to wish to have bathrooms at home, as the idea that the bath would have to be carried out in a bathroom was spread.

People were therefore pressured daily through advertising, which told them that they were too sweaty, dirty or smelly, and without hygiene products and bathrooms they would be less healthy.

Initially, only the richest had such luxuries at home, but over time the scenario changed: in 1940, about 55% of American homes already had a bathroom.

But after all, how often should we shower?

There is no concrete number of times we should shower, it is up to each individual to decide which habits are most appropriate. There are even several factors that change the need for showering, such as the place where you live, the profession, the level of physical activity, etc.

But one thing is clear, the key is not to overdo the hygiene routine.

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