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Soap Dodger: Meet the Doctor Who Says We Have Been Showering Wrong

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When James Hamblin tells people he has not used soap in the shower for five years, they tend not to hold back in expressing their disgust. “It’s one of the few remaining things for which we feel fine telling someone that they’re gross,” he says. “It’s amazing to me, honestly.”

Yet despite people’s “clearly moralizing judgments”, Hamblin is no hygiene slouch. Even pre-pandemic, he made a point of washing his hands with soap. He is, after all, a doctor who lectures at the Yale School of Public Health and a medical writer and podcaster for the US magazine the Atlantic. At 37, he looks so youthful that he still gets compared to the fictional child doctor Doogie Howser.

But eschewing soap on your pits and bits does raise awkward technical questions, more on which after some context. Hamblin’s minimalist showering habits evolved gradually, after he relocated from California to a studio apartment in Brooklyn, New York, to pursue a writing career. He needed to save time, money, and space. Simultaneously, he says: “I started learning about emerging microbiome science and decided to try going all-out for a bit.”

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GettyImages-157671523.jpg

‘As I gradually used less and less, I started to need less and less’ … James Hamblin on cutting out soap and deodorant. Photo from enviromantic / Getty Images.

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Click the link below for the article:

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/soap-dodger-meet-the-doctor-who-says-we-have-been-showering-wrong

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