Showering after a hard workout (with shampoo and conditioner) is a common practice for most Americans. But what would you say if you were told you should ditch your soap and shampoo altogether?
That’s what some followers of the Paleo diet believe, including Sarah Ballantyne, a 39-year-old living in Atlanta who practices CrossFit and goes by The Paleo Mom.
In addition to following a Paleo diet, Ballantyne encourages people to stop using shampoo, along with other common hygiene products. Because apparently, the skin is healthiest when it’s covered in bacteria — and your soaps, shampoos and antiperspirants strip away this “healthy” bacteria.
Experts and dermatologists don’t entirely disagree. Dr. Ranella Hirsch, a dermatologist in Boston, told The Huffington Post that the skin’s healthy bacteria allows it to thrive so it can do its job — which is keeping the bad stuff out, and the good stuff in. Scrubbing it away prevents it from doing its job.
Ballantyne isn’t alone. Anti-soap activists exist, the sales of skin care products that protect and promote healthy skin bacteria are up, and Lenny Barshack, co-founder and board member of AOBiome hasn’t used body soap in three years (don’t worry, he still showers).
So, it it time to ditch your shampoo? Only you can be the judge of that. But if you are considering a move to the “dirty,” side, The Huffington Post has outlined what you need to know here.