The “Brokeback Mountain” star joined a growing list of celebrities revealing that they aren’t stoked about soap on Thursday when he told Vanity Fair that he’s not really into bathing every day.
When asked by the magazine if there’s anything “revelatory” about his bathing rituals, the “Spider-Man: Far from Home” villain’s response was anything but mysterio.
“I always am baffled that loofahs come from nature. They feel like they’ve been made in a factory but, in fact, it’s just not true. Since I was young, it’s amazed me,” he said, before adding: “More and more I find bathing to be less necessary, at times. I do believe, because Elvis Costello is wonderful, 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.”
Although there are many interesting tidbits in this loaded quote — like the 40-year-old actor’s apparent denial that synthetic loofahs exist — people on Twitter latched on to Gyllenhaal’s stance on sudsing up.
The “Donnie Darko” star certainly isn’t alone in his opinion.
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher recently revealed that they soap down only their essential areas every day, and just wash their kids when they see dirt on them. Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell also admitted they weren’t that bubbly about regularly bathing their children.
“[I’m a] big fan of waiting for the stink,” Bell said. “Once you catch a whiff, that’s biology’s way of letting you know you need to clean it up.”
In recent years, it’s become more common to argue that using soap daily strips your body of essential natural oils.
Some experts back up that claim.
“You can just rinse and just wash your bits. So we’re not saying don’t shower,” Sandy Skotnicki, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Medicine, told CTV News in 2019. “When you’re just sitting in an office all day, are you dirty? The answer is no.”
Dr. Ben Barankin, the medical director at the Toronto Dermatology Centre, told HuffPost Canada in 2019 that 80% of germs and bacteria that cause odor “will be cleaned off just by water itself.”
Barankin also said kids, before puberty, don’t need to be bathed regularly, and that people should look to their individual lifestyle to determine how often they should lather up.
“If you’re just sitting at home, or not running around all day and breaking a sweat, and not wearing tight or polyester clothing,” Barankin said, “then you can go days without showering, and that’s fine.”