Many of us believe we should bathe daily -- or even twice daily if we exercise in the afternoon. While we should bathe after getting especially sweaty or dirty, the expectation of taking a bath or shower at least once a day is a recent phenomenon.
Not that we should return to the (smelly) days of old, but in decades and centuries past, it wasn't uncommon for people to bathe weekly or even just monthly.
While you should bathe more often than 12 times a year, you don't need to shower every day -- no matter what the soap commercials suggest.
Most body odor is caused by bacteria breaking down the sweat from under your arms or in your crotch area. If you don't break a sweat, you're not going to smell bad. So skip the shower next time you spend a day waking late and watching reruns on your couch before calling it an early night. This holds true especially in the winter, when you're less likely to perspire.
Your skin is actually home to bacteria that are beneficial to both your skin and your overall health, and no benefit is derived from stripping these and natural oils from your skin [source: Saint Louis].
You don't need to shampoo daily either, and doing so may even lead to scalp dryness or irritation. But as we'll see in the next section, you're probably expediting your trips to the bathroom as it is.