How Disgusting Is it if You Don't Wash Your Legs in the Shower?

A simple Twitter poll has caused a huge divide online. On Thursday, writer and editor Conor Arpwel asked: “Do you wash your legs when you take a shower?” More than 600,000 people responded, with 80 per cent currently saying yes, they do (the poll is still on-going).

Do you wash your legs when you take a shower?

This leaves 20 percent (roughly 120,000 people) who don’t wash their legs when they’re in the shower — a statistic which prompted horrified reactions. One reply reads: “Do you only wash half your car?”, while another says: “Everyone who voted no, think about all the toilet seats you’ve sat on and wash those thighs!”

However, a number of repliers seemed to think that the soapy run-off water does a perfectly good job of keeping their legs clean without requiring them to lean down and do it themselves, and others suggested that legs which are prone to break-outs or skin conditions like acne might actually benefit from a lack of aggressive scrubbing.

But what about the hygienic concerns? Is it actually bad for you if you neglect your legs in the shower?

“Unless your legs are visibly soiled, you don’t actually need to wash them directly with a cleanser,” Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told Women’s Health back in 2017. “The cleanser that drips down your body is enough to remove most of the dirt and sweat that accumulates during the day.”

He added: “Over-washing or over-scrubbing the legs, just like with any other part of the body, can strip the skin of essential oils, and lead to skin-barrier disruption and inflammation.” However, a gentle lather and rinse isn’t likely to do harm, he says. So those 80 per cent who do wash their legs in the shower can feel just as vindicated as the 20 per cent who don’t.

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