Most Americans didn’t bathe at all until the early 20th century. Just think of the smell. Personal hygiene has come a long way since then. Today, about two-thirds of Americans shower daily.

So grab your rubber duckies, kids. It’s time to talk about how often you actually need to bathe.

Bathing frequency depends on your skin, which can change season to season. For example, your skin may be drier in the winter due to the lack of moisture in the air.

Don’t damage the skin you’re in

Showering might be a major part of your daily routine. If that’s the case, experts suggest sticking to one a day max. If your skin feels itchy and sad, shorten your showers and avoid scalding hot water.

Most peeps shower with hard water. This can actually mess with the skin’s pH levels and dry you out. It sounds ironic (like rain on a wedding day) but it’s true.

The hardness of water is determined by its level of minerals in the water, especially calcium and magnesium. In more severe cases overusing hard water may crack and inflame skin and damage your hair.

Too much showering can wash away good bacteria and strip your skin of its natural oils. If you have psoriasis or eczema, this can cause a flare-up. It’s also a good idea to switch from antibacterial body wash to a calming cleanser.

Do you remember the great leg washing debate of 2019? That alone had the internet in an uproar. People tend to get very defensive when it comes to their personal hygiene.

If you go a while without bathing, dead skin cells, dirt, and sweat build up. This can lead to some less-than-ideal smells. When in doubt, do a pit check.

Smelling bad isn’t the only thing to look out for. Slacking on your personal hygiene can cause bacteria imbalances. This can cause dermatitis neglecta, a condition where plaque patches grow on the skin due to insufficient cleansing.

Dead skin cell accumulation may also cause hyperpigmentation — you might notice patches of skin that appear darker in some areas.

Last year, people voiced some serious opinions on the right way to shower. Some folks really think you need to scrub your legs with soap. Others like Taylor Swift think shaving cream “is like soap, right?”

Not to reopen that old shaving cream can of worms, but dermatologists say you should give your legs some one-on-one attention. This is particularly important for peeps with lymphedema. Shaving cream or soap running down your legs isn’t gonna cut it.

If you have a skin condition, talk to your dermatologist about your unique needs.

It’s totally possible to shower too often or not enough. Figuring out what’s best for you might take some trial and error. Start by showering every other day, or at least by limiting your daily showers to 5 to 10 minutes.

If you notice issues like dry skin or irritation, you prob need to cut back. If people can’t get close to you without wincing, it’s time to go chasing waterfalls.