We’re more focused on handwashing and soaping away germs than ever before, which is important for hygiene and overall health. But the newest research shows we are probably soaping up the rest of our body too often for optimal skin health. This also affects the diversity of our skin’s microbiome, an important and complex part of the largest organ in our immune system.
To learn more about this new research about the skin’s microbiome, I recently interviewed James Hamblin, MD, board-certified physician, staff writer at The Atlantic, lecturer in public health policy at the Yale University School of Public Health, and author of Clean: The New Science of Skin.
Not too long ago, Hamblin got a lot of media interest and attention when he wrote about his experiment with not showering while doing research for his previous book. But as he started to shower less and use fewer products, he noticed his skin became less oily and his eczema cleared.
Dan Buettner: I remember you came over to my house for dinner. I think it was five years ago. And you told us that you were going to stop showering, and that raised eyebrows all around the table. Do you remember that?
James Hamlin, MD: I do. I guess that was right about then. It’s a real conversation starter.
DB: Well it made people lean in. So, are you done showering forever now?
Continue reading: Showering Too Much May Be Wrecking our Skin Microbiome – Blue Zones