Let’s Talk About the Hygiene Conversation Sparked by Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher

Photo: Getty/saulgranda
The internet was abuzz when it came to light that Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher don't bathe their two children (or themselves) every day. And then days later, Jake Gyllenhaal announced that he, too, doesn't love to shower regularly. While people's personal bathing habits are their own to live with and address, there has been some criticism on the matter, due to the fact that BIPOC individuals are often held to different standards than white people are.

As Roxane Gay writes, "People of color also have to think carefully about hygiene and self-presentation, as do people from many other marginalized groups. If a black parent made the statements celebrities have made lately about bathing and their children, they would soon receive a visit from Child Protective Services. This is not hyperbole; it happens, regularly and disproportionately."

So what do the experts say when it comes to how often you should bathe?  “Infants and elderly people have thinner, more sensitive skin, and baths should happen less frequently, with cooler water and they should use the most gentle cleansers made for sensitive skin," dermatologist Jennifer Herrmann, MD, previously told Well+Good. She added that excess cleanser disrupts the skin's microbiome. “The skin is stripped of natural oils and protective organisms,” she says. “This leads to dryness and can exacerbate many skin conditions from eczema to rosacea to psoriasis.” So if you are regularly showering, and are experiencing dry skin as a result, then take care to opt for a cleanser that is rich with hydrating ingredients.

Experts also suggest keeping your showers short (under 10 minutes!) and opting for warm—but not hot—water, which can strip the skin barrier. One pro tip to keep in mind: The skin barrier is vulnerable following your shower, so instead of rubbing skin dry with a rough towel, try putting on a fluffy robe to absorb the water instead. Or whatever works for you.

BTW: Here is a dermatologist's shower routine:

This article has been updated and information has been added since it was published.

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