Here’s Why You Don’t Need to Shower With Soap

What to know about getting clean.

Why? Regular contact with dirt and grime teaches your microbiome how to recognize friendly germs versus foes, Dr. Chutkan explains. She gave us some tips for swapping out our super clean lifestyle for one that’s filled with more bugs.

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Dirt doesn’t cause disease—but repeatedly killing off the good bacteria on our skin may actually harm our immunity. Think about that the next time you swap a little bit of dirt for some body wash.

9 Probiotic Foods That Aren’t Yogurt

What is one thing that most people do in terms of cleanliness that is unnecessary?Harsh hand sanitizers! Unless you’ve been hanging out on an Ebola ward, the vast majority of microbes on your skin and hands are not virulent germs that cause serious infection; they’re harmless bacteria that won’t hurt you.

What are some other ways we can “live dirty” in our everyday lives?Like I said before, rinse with just water in the tub or shower, and skip the antibacterial soaps and shampoos. Also, spending just one day on a farm can better your microbiome. So volunteer at a community garden, or simply sit in the grass at the park. Even little things can do a lot over time. Open a window in your house or car to let some good microbes in. Buy food from the farmer’s market that you know is grown in real soil, rather than produced in a factory. Try to keep in mind that in general, soil-derived microbes are good!

The Gentler Way to Kill Germs

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