One of the things that many grey nomads find most challenging about spending extended periods camping in the bush is the adjustments that have to be made to their personal cleanliness regime.
As conserving water supplies becomes an issue and the prospect of a cold water wash is less appealing, those long, luxurious daily showers become a distant memory.
It seems though that cutting down on good soapy washes may actually be better for your skin.
Dr. Mary Stevenson, assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Health in New York, told the Today Show in the US that ‘you should be showering, bathing or cleansing yourself every two to three days’.
She says how often you shower should depend on a number of personal factors, including your skin, age and activity level.
And she claimed that how you wash your body can be just as important as how often.
“What people tend to do is soap up their entire body, which is really not necessary,” she said. “You really only need soap in your armpits, your groin and your feet … places where you get stinky.”
This formula has previously been dubbed the ‘privates, pits, piggies’ method.
Apparently, soap is a detergent and breaks down the top layer of oil on your skin, which protects your skin barrier and keeps cells hydrated.
Over-soaping can strip these oils completely and leave you prone to sensitive skin.
“Using those more gentle products while you’re washing can be extremely helpful,” Dr Stevenson told the Today Show. “One kind of cheat sheet is to look at stuff for sensitive skin and for babies because usually, baby products are formulated for sensitive skin.”
And long, hot showers can be bad for your skin oils, according to Dr Stevenson.
“We like to say keep it to three minutes and keep it lukewarm,” she said.