While scrubbing yourself down with a nice, thick lather in the shower is great for everyone who might smell you in a day, you might ultimately be doing yourself a disservice by being oh-so squeaky clean.
Just ask Robynne Chutkan, MD, the founder of the Digestive Center for Women and author of The Microbiome Solution. She recently told ABC News that your hygiene standards could actually be problematic because all that scrubbing strips away good bacteria that are important for things like skin health and even immunity. In fact, Chutkan suggests that you're better off literally crawling with microbes.
But given your druthers, Chutkan recommends choosing mild soaps over antibacterial soaps and harsh shampoos, and -- get this -- recommends only washing your armpits and groin region with soap every day, unless you've been rolling around in mud. This may (hopefully) sound crazy to you, but Chutkan argues merely rinsing the rest of your body while you bathe will suffice, and likewise, maintain the bacteria in your microbiome that could help prevent acne and eczema, according to the report. Sorry, loofah, but it was fun while it lasted.
"Dirt doesn’t cause disease -- but repeatedly killing off the good bacteria on our skin may actually harm our immunity," she said. "Think about that the next time you swap a little bit of dirt for some body wash."
Well, there you have it, folks. Being a little dirty is actually good for you. Hate to say it, but it seems like Pig-Pen had it right this whole time.
h/t ABC News
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and wouldn't stop using soap if you paid him. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.