How often do I have to bathe or shower to stay clean?

How often you have to bathe or shower to stay clean is a judgment call that depends on what you mean by clean.

Advertisements of soap and deodorant companies imply that you should bathe daily or even more frequently.

In some parts of the world, it’s common practice to bathe only once a week or less, with regular rinsing of the odiferous body parts considered otherwise sufficient.

It may simply come down to local custom. If you’re with people who bathe once a month, they presumably won’t be offended by your stench if you do the same. However, if the people around you bathe every day, you may feel like you reek if you go two or three days without a shower.

What do we say? If your bathing regimen removes the dirt and dead skin from your body, and you’re happy with the way you smell, then stick with it. We’ve been conditioned by years of marketing ploys to worry unduly about smelling bad.

In fact, the term B.O. was coined by an advertising man in 1919 in order to sell Odo-Ro-No, one of the first deodorants. Wrote a wise marketer long ago:

“Advertising helps to keep the masses dissatisfied with their mode of life, discontented with ugly things around them. Satisfied customers are not as profitable as discontented ones.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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