Will My Shampoo Backwash Keep Me Clean?

Simple questions need a simple answers…


So in a word, yes.

Kaiser Permanente dermatologist Paradi Mirmirani says that not only is shampoo run-off enough to clean the rest of your body, but plain ol’ water does the job just fine by itself. “I often tell my patients that they don’t need to use soap on all of their body,” she says. “Especially if they suffer from eczema or take medications such as statins that make them predisposed to dry skin.”

Your body produces natural oils that waterproof your skin and protect it from harsh weather and wind. If you overdo it with too much soap, the oil can get stripped away, which can dry out your skin. But before you swear off showers forever, it’s still important to scrub away old skin cells and unclog your pores once in a while. It’s also helpful to regularly wash the areas that make you presentable to other human beings. “The only exception where people might always want to use soap is in the underarms and genitals,” says Mirmirani.

Those are two areas that trap bacteria and can make you smell like a bag of old sprouts.