Download: Do people shower too much?

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Many people can’t start their day without a hot shower. It wakes them up and leaves them feeling ready to face the day.

But is it necessary?

“People think they’re showering for hygiene or to be cleaner, but bacteriologically, that’s not the case,” Dr. Elaine Larson, an infectious disease expert at Columbia University School of Nursing, told TIME.

Larson studied the differences between cleaning and washing with regular soap vs. products with antibacterial ingredients. She found using antibacterial soap did not reduce the risk of contracting an infection.

Dr. C. Brandon Mitchell, assistant professor of dermatology at George Washington University, told TIME that most people over bathe.

He concluded showering daily isn’t necessary because over-washing can cause skin to lose its natural oils. It can also result in problems for the skins immune system-supporting bacteria.

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