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It’s an awkward thing to discuss with a group of teenagers, but our high school music teacher handled it well. One day during choir practice she gave a little talk on cleanliness. We all knew of a few of our classmates who seemed to only shower once a month or less. Nobody really wanted to sit next to these people because of their body odor. At the same time we didn’t want to be offensive and blurt out, “You stink!”

Our teacher, in a matter-of-fact way, simply explained that one way our body gets rid of impurities is through our skin. That’s why, she explained, that a daily shower or bath is good for your health. She didn’t point fingers or make fun of anyone. She added, “And some people could use a little extra help by using deodorant every day.” That was it. Then she moved into class time.

Impurities and toxins, like urea and lactic acid, are continually (and imperceptibly) being released from your skin. It’s more obvious when you work up a sweat. The pores in our skin open up and release poisons that can be reabsorbed into the body or clog these tiny holes through which our skin breathes. You actually can make other organs in your body, like the kidneys, liver, and lungs, work harder when you don’t care for your skin.

Your Skin

But a good thing can go too far. As we move into the drier and colder seasons, we should be careful not to overdo bathing. Here are some tips to keep your skin healthy. Limit your bath time. Taking long, hot showers or baths too much removes oils from your skin that are good. Trying using warm water instead of hot water. Avoid strong soaps that can dry out your skin. They also can strip oil from your skin. As you grow older, your skin tends to produce less natural oils. Some people would benefit from a little skin moisturizer.

Of course there are other ways to care for your skin other than taking a daily shower. Eat a healthy diet, avoid smoking, get daily exercise, and drink adequate amounts of water each day. Breathing deeply will also help your skin stay healthy. By the way, you can also improve your immune system by ending your shower each day with cold water. It stimulates the production of white blood cells.

Take time to care for the largest organ in your body, your skin. The 20 square feet (in the average person) protects you from outside invaders, and regulates your body temperature. Daily bathing can stimulate your circulation and even relax your mind and relieve stress. And, not to forget, it just might be a blessing to the person sitting next to you.

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

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