The *exact* right amount of soap to use in the shower, according to a dermatologist


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Photo: Getty Images/Andrii Bicher

From what I’ve learned over the years, there are two camps when it comes to how much shower product to wash yourself with: The conservative, and the extra. I fall into the former camp, and my boyfriend is in the latter—which causes drama in the bathroom because it means having to refresh our supply of body wash way more often than I personally think we should.

In the pursuit of being right (so sue me), I sought the advice of dermatologists to see what the professional-recommended amount of shower product is. The good news (at least, for me): A “less is more” approach is the smart way to go.

“Use [enough body wash] until there’s good, visible lather over the body,” says Robert Anolik, MD,  a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “The amount is a variable based on the size of your body.” For a more specific, measurable amount though, he suggests a shot glass full of your body product—”Just like the volume of sunscreen you should put on your body when headed to the beach.”

Connecticut-based dermatologist Mona Gohara also errs on the conservative side when it comes to your head-to-toe cleansing regimen. When using a body wash or foam, she suggests using only “enough to fill your palm.”

If you’re working with a bar of soap, though, it’s probably easiest to just follow Dr. Anolik’s advice of using enough to lather with. Whichever way you go though, if you’re following derm’s orders, you won’t need to replace your shower products once a month like I do (thanks to an over-user, cough-cough).

BTW, this is how long you should spend in the shower, according to dermatologists. And here’s advice for how to shower based on your specific skin type. 

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