How Long Should You Wait To Shower After Working Out
You're at work and 12:30 p.m. rolls around. It's lunchtime, but your late breakfast has left your tummy full and your body itching to get up and move.
A SoulCycle class is seductively whispering your name, but you know you're just going to return to your desk smelling like a day-old burrito.
Stewing in your own sweaty filth at your desk is probably the fastest way to lose your invitation to the office's annual holiday party.
Maybe you could just change your clothes, throw on a little extra deodorant, and spray yourself with an entire bottle of vanilla perfume until your stench is even remotely tolerable?
You know you've thought about it. But, honestly, how bad can it possibly be to skip a shower after a sweaty workout?
According to TIME, in terms of protecting yourself from illness, you really don't have to hop in the tub nearly as often as you think -- even after a gym session.
In fact, sweat itself is actually sterile. If you've ever wondered why your armpits smell so bad when you're sweating, while your legs are totally fine, it's because of good old bromhidrosis (the fancy medical term for B.O.).
Bromhidrosis is caused by secretion from your apocrine glands, which are located near your underarms and your groin.
But the sweat that comes from those glands doesn't immediately come out of you all smelly.
It's actually the bacteria on your skin, which mixes with the sweat, that creates those unpleasant odors. And the amount of bacteria on someone's skin varies from person to person.
So, basically, if you happen to not have as much bacteria chilling on your skin, you're #blessed, and you can wait longer than the rest of us to take your post-workout shower.
When you shower, basically nothing happens. You wash away sweat and dirt, but the bacteria count on your skin doesn't really change. Hence, you feel clean, but, biologically, you're the same.
Still not totally sold?
Well, your hair could use a break from the shower, too. Lynne Goldberg, a dermatologist and director of Boston Medical Center's hair clinic, told Business Insider that washing your hair too much can strip your luscious locks of oil and dry out your scalp.
So, what it really comes down to is being mindful of the key, stinky areas on your body: the pits and the groin.
Other than that, feel free to bask in your natural, day-old burrito smell for a day, or maybe even two. It won't hurt, I promise.