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Shortly after Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher opened up about waiting until they see “dirt” on their kids before giving them a bath, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell admitted that they, too, don’t always bathe their children on a regular schedule. Now, it’s Jake Gyllenhaal who has shared his own controversial hygiene routine, which he says benefits his skin.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, the Nocturnal Animals actor explained, “More and more I find bathing to be less necessary, at times. I do believe ... that good manners and bad breath get you nowhere. So I do that. But I do also think that there’s a whole world of not bathing that is also really helpful for skin maintenance, and we naturally clean ourselves.”
But is Gyllenhaal’s hypothesis about not bathing being better for his skin legitimate? Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dustin Portela of Boise, Idaho, weighs in.
“Bathing daily is not necessary for everyone, but is not a bad thing either,” he explains to Yahoo Life. “If you are very physically active or have a Mike Rowe style ‘dirty job’ bathing daily is probably a necessity. If you are more sedentary a daily bath may not be necessary and could lead to skin dryness.”
Yet Gyllenhaal’s decision to bathe less isn’t inherently a skincare win.
“More research is needed to understand the effects on the skin microbiome,” he shares. “If someone has dry or eczema-prone skin they may benefit from less frequent cleansing so the skin is less likely to dry out. For the average person, however, a shower or bath is reasonable every 1-3 days. Longer than three days I would advise against. I personally shower daily and don't plan to change my routine.”
Whether you shower daily or not, Dr. Portela says you may not have to wash everything — especially if you have dry skin.
“Using a soap or body wash only on the armpits, groin, and buttocks may be all they need for cleansing the body,” he says. “Using a cleanser on the legs, arms, and trunk is not always necessary and they may just focus on the areas which can contribute to body odor, and just allow the water to rinse other areas.”
Hopefully, Gyllenhaal suds up after his dirtier acting scenes — but in between, he may be able to get away with just a few weekly rinses.