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If you're running to Duane Reade to stock up on gels and goops more often than you'd care to admit, there's an easy way out of your hibiscus-scented body creme habits: Not showering. And it's trendy, too!
The New York Times talked to people who are breaking the shower-deodorant-repeat cycle, and it ends up most people's rush-out-the-door routine when sleeping through their alarm for work is actually some natural advocates' daily regimen:
Retention of the skin's natural oils and water conservation are two reasons [some] cite for skipping a daily shower. Some have concluded that deodorant is unnecessary after forgetting it once with no social repercussions, or are concerned about antiperspirants containing aluminum, even though both the National Cancer Institute and the Alzheimer's Association don't share those concerns. Shampooing as little as possible can help retain moisture in dry locks and enhance curl shape, argue adherents of the practice; for some men, it's about looking fashionably unkempt."
The silly thing is, they might actually be onto something. Not only did the people they interviewed claim to not smell—one even broke the news to family about his non-deoderanted ways after years and they had no idea—but showering removes good bacterias and germs from our skin which help to create our own antibiotics.
But, just like enjoying nice weather and being able to drive a car, going sans shower may actually be a better fit for our West Coast counterparts:
Elaine Larson, a professor at the Columbia University School of Nursing with a Ph.D. in epidemiology, cautioned that subway riders, gymgoers and others who come into contact with many strangers should consider soaping up. "If it's cold and flu season, you want to get rid of the stuff that isn't a part of your own normal germs," she said.Public transportation, exercise and crowded spaces? Sounds like we'll be stuck with loofahs, exfoliating beads and everyone else's germ infestations forever. At least if we get fed up and give deodorant-free lifestyles a shot, our persperated pits will be deep under a winter coat 'til April.
· The Great Unwashed [NY Times]