Here's What Happens When Two Women Stopped Showering for a Month
For many folks, myself included, waking up and is second nature. A quick shower, or longer if shampoo and conditioner are involved, plus washing my face, moisturizing, applying makeup, using deodorant, and doing my hair are all integral steps of my morning routine. But for these two women from TotalBeauty.com, that routine had to get a serious disruption when the pair didn't shower for an entire month. Yes, a month. Without showering.
Total Beauty editor-in-chief Jill Provost and editorial assistant Jessica Amaris bravely forwent all their beauty products. The one exception: Mother's Dirt AO+ Mist. This "live probiotic spray" promises to restore good bacteria to your skin....so you don't have to shower anymore. According to its site, you're supposed to spritz it anywhere you sweat, then mist your body at least once per day, whether it's after working out, at bed time, or after showering—meaning the product itself isn't totally anti-showering—in order to reduce your product and water usage.
The rules of Provost and Amaris' experiment were pretty intense: no soap other than hand soap, no "deodorant, shampoo, dry shampoo, lotion, lip balm, baby wipes, makeup or any other product that touches the skin or scalp." The pair wasn't allowed to get into baths, showers, hot tubs, or pools. They could use the Mother's Dirt mist all over their bodies twice or more per day, and rinse their face, underarms, and groin with water every three days. This was a big undertaking, considering the pair work at a beauty site and (naturally) love beauty products:
So, what was the drive between putting all these rules into place for a whole month? "It takes weeks for beneficial microbes to colonize and flourish," writes Provost. "To help speed along the process, I eliminate all variables that could endanger my fledgling flock," including conventional beauty products and items that contain preservatives or antibacterial properties.
In her detailed timeline of their no-shower month , Provost admits that the pair already smelled pretty rough by the second day and by third, she says she feels "disgusting." As for Amaris, who is an avid exerciser and works out at lunch every single day, this was a pretty bold experiment. By day four, she can be smelled from "around the corner"—yikes.
After a month of fielding complaints from their loved ones and colleagues, and feeling incredibly self-conscious, the pair finally ended their experiment. But while the responses from outside parties are interesting to read about, it's what they discovered throughout the process that is really intriguing.
Amaris initially suffered from a "major case of cystic acne," but she eventually had skin that looked "better than it has in months—not a single blemish. As for Provost, she experienced severe dandruff, considerable hair grease, and obviously a rather potent personal scent, but here's what's really interesting: her scalp psoriasis disappeared during the experiment returned once she began shampooing again. Her skin looked better, possibly due to the lack of makeup, and she adjusted her beauty routine to make it lower-maintenance.
I highly recommend reading the entire piece—it's fairly long, but it is seriously worth it. While you may never want to go a month-long shower strike, Provost's description (and photos) of what it's like is beyond fascinating.
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