beauty . Skincare

Let's Settle It: Should You Be Washing Your Legs?

To wash or not to wash

Ah, the internet! Just when you thought things couldn't get any weirder, we get the news that people are actually debating about leg washing. And yes, we gathered that people actually have strong feelings about this. 

Leg-washing: Poll

poll created by Twitter user Conor Arpwel that asks the question received a total of 852,782 votes with 80 per cent saying 'yes' and the rest saying 'no'.

Leg-washing: Pro-side


And while the margin looks high — even Arpwel claims that he's also on the 'leg washer' side — it's still saying something considering that 20 per cent is still around 170,000 people. Interesting, right? 

The voice of the minority

The majority of voters claim that it shouldn't be up for debate as it is basic hygiene. However, those at the opposite end of the argument gave more than enough reasons to back their case. Some rely on practicality, saying that shampoo and soap make their way to the legs in the process anyway and the skin does have its ways of cleansing itself. 

Leg-washing: Skin self-cleaning


Others who also voted no say that leg-washing should be done occasionally (like if they got sweaty at the gym or are shaving) to avoid drying out their skin. Same goes for those with eczema, who supported the statement. 

But of course, the pro-leg-washing side of the story was quick to note that lotions and body oils exist to combat this very same concern. 

Leg-washing: Lotions & body oils


Science says...

Upon our research, we heard that a similar inquiry was done in 2017 and the proper authorities (a.k.a. dermatologists) have issued their say on the matter. According to this statement from Joshua Zeichner, M.D. Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, there's no need to directly wash your legs with a cleanser unless it got deliberately dirty. He said, "The cleanser that drips down your body is enough to remove most of the dirt and sweat that accumulates during the day."

Leg-washing: Scientific explanation

He also said that over-scrubbing or cleaning your legs, just like any other part of your body, can definitely lead to stripping the skin of its natural oils, destroying the skin barrier and even inflaming and irritating the skin. 

As for the discussion on lotions and body oils, it's quite a half-and-half situation. On one hand, those who don't shower daily have a bit more freedom to not use moisturising products on most of their body and just let their natural oils do their thing. But don't get us wrong. They are still recommended to do so for areas prone to easy chapping like elbows, knees, and heels. On a similar note, it is definitely advisable to wash your legs if you put any product on them to avoid clogging your hair follicles. Still, being gentle is key so no over-washing, soaping, or scrubbing. 

So which side of the leg-washing debate should you be on?

Now that we've seen the quips and the clapbacks, as well as the scientific proof, it's time to deliver our verdict. And it is safe to say that it's a tough call. At the end of the day, it's really up to you on what you consider hygienic, with skincare being a personal thing  — yes, even when it comes to leg-washing. Only you know how you go about your daily affairs and if you think your skin warrants a thorough (but gentle!) cleanse, then you do you. On the other hand, if you feel like too much cleansing is harming your skin and maybe even had a dermatologist advise a remedy, give that a follow. This has been a fun online debate that no one thought would blow up but hey, at least it's been educational, right? 

Still, to close this off, we guess you can forgive us for asking: which side are you on? 

While we're on the topic of skincare, have you heard of the newest fruit-themed beauty trend?