PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis said during a recent interview they don’t shower every day and don’t bathe their kids daily, they opened a shower of social media reaction. While those who shower daily might initially react, “Gross!”, Dr. Charles Mount, who heads up the Dermatology Department at the Allegheny Health Network doesn’t take issue with their practice.

“I think it’s okay to miss days bathing or showering,” he tells KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. But…he also says, “I think it is perfectly fine to bathe and shower every day as adults. Not wanting to have any body odor that would affect us socially or professionally. It’s all a valid concern. So, you know, doing all the right showering, bathing, once a day. It’s okay.”

All the right showering?

Dr. Mount explains overdoing your shower can actually harm your skin if you are in the shower too long and use the wrong soap. “That honestly is a bigger problem that can dry out your skin and cause other problems,” he says.

When it comes to the duration of your shower and the water temperature Dr. Mount says, “You know, usually I advise folks to do less than 10 minutes and make it not super hot, you want to do more of a lukewarm temperature.”

He says for the open surfaces of your body like your chest, arms, and back you don’t need to use soap, water will do the job. However, he says there are areas that need soap. “Your skin folds in your hands and your feet so armpits, creases the skin, the groin, the buttocks, those places need soap every day to get odor and other excess oil skin debris out of those anatomic locations,” he explains.

As for the best type of soap to use? “A good rule of thumb is the better it smells the potentially more irritating it could be for your skin. The fragrance and the dyeing the soap producers use, fragrance is good for your nose,” says Dr. Mount. “The dyes are good for your eyes, we like the way they look and smell, but your skin doesn’t care about the smell. That fragrance is a potential irritant and for some people, a potential allergen. I personally love Dove sensitive bar soap, because it has one potential contact allergen in it.”

When it comes to your hair he says some people need to wash their hair daily but others can go days. Shampoo, Mount says, is a matter of trial and error but like body soap the more basic the better.


WATCH: How Often Do Children Need To Bathe?

So what about the actors saying they don’t bathe their children daily? “This is a very common discussion that I have with parents and actually all patients,” pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Preiss tells KDKA.

The answer she says is simple if they get obviously dirty or stinky give them a bath. “There is really no reason to bathe a child every day,” she adds.

In fact, she says there is a health reason not to bathe your child daily. “It actually robs the skin of essential oils that are healthy for the skin, keeps the skin from cracking,” Dr. Preiss says. “Also, you’re removing healthy bacteria that actually help prevent infections. So if you bathe, a child, every single day you’re going to lose all those immunity benefits.”

So how often should you put them in the tub?

“Every other day, every third day is probably more appropriate,” Dr. Preiss explains.

Now, that rule of thumb does change as your child gets older. “Classically you’ll actually get notes from fourth and fifth-grade teachers who will say, hey, parents, your kids need to start wearing deodorant,” she says.

At that point, the older children might want to get in the water more frequently but follow the adult showering guidelines.

Dr. Preiss suggests when it comes to soap you might want to avoid the fun scented stuff. “Pick the ones that don’t have a lot of scents and additional chemicals in them,” she says. “Dove unscented soap is probably the best soap to use in general for children.”

Bathing infants follow the same guidelines as their older siblings. If they get messed up beyond what wet wipes or washcloth can remedy then a bath may be called for. Otherwise, every few days or once a week will work.

Again as strange as it sounds too much water exposure can wash away needed nutrients in the skin.