Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis poke fun at cleanliness debate

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Ashton Kutcher and Mila KunisImage source, Getty Images
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Ashton Kutcher began dating his former That '70s Show co-star Mila Kunis in 2012

To bathe or not to bathe? That is the question being widely debated this week after Hollywood couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis revealed they didn't fully bathe their kids every day.

"I wasn't that parent that bathed my newborns ever," Kunis told the Armchair Expert podcast last month.

"If you can see the dirt on them, clean them," added Kutcher. "Otherwise, there's no point."

The A-list couple's comments caused quite a stink with many people online, but they've now poked fun at the controversy in a new Instagram video.

The pair made light of the debate after several other celebrities and thousands of their social media followers waded in to the issue of how often parents should wash their kids (and themselves).

How did this all start?

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The couple married in 2015 and have two young children together

A debate about the cleanliness of the couple's approach was initially sparked in July, after podcast host Dax Shepard told his co-host Monica Padman that using soap every day rids the body of its natural oils.

"I didn't have hot water growing up as a child so I didn't shower very much anyway," said Kunis, referring to her childhood in the Soviet Union. "But when I had children, I also didn't wash them every day. I wasn't that parent that bathed my newborns - ever."

The Black Swan and Forgetting Sarah Marshall actress, who also provides the voice of Meg Griffin on Family Guy, added that she washed her face twice a day.

Kutcher said he washed his "armpits and my crotch daily" and threw water on his face after a work out "to get all the salts out".

Kristen Bell, who has two daughters with Shepard, later told The View: "I'm a big fan of waiting for the stink. Once you catch a whiff, that's biology's way of letting you know you need to clean it up... So, I don't hate what [Kunis and Kutcher] are doing."

Who else has waded in?

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Image caption,
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a retired wrestler, Hollywood movie star and shower enthusiast

Reacting at the time, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, said he was in favour of a daily shower.

"Nope, I'm the opposite of a 'not washing themselves' celeb," tweeted the wrestler-turned-actor. "Shower (cold) when I roll outta bed to get my day rollin'. Shower (warm) after my workout before work. Shower (hot) after I get home from work. Face wash, body wash, exfoliate and I sing (off key) in the shower."

Aquaman star Jason Momoa agreed with his daily shower stance, telling Access Hollywood: "I'm not starting any trends, I shower, trust me, I shower. I'm Aquaman, I'm in the water, don't worry about it. I'm Hawaiian, we got saltwater on me, we good."

Rapper Cardi B tweeted: "Wassup with people saying they don't shower? It's giving itchy," adding a suspicious-face emoji to her post.

"Before you lot even ask: in this house, we bathe," tweeted Queen & Slim actress Jodie Turner-Smith

However, actor Jake Gyllenhaal confessed he was finding "bathing to be less necessary", adding: "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."

Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews landed somewhere in the middle, commenting: "First of all, if you ain't been sweating, you don't need to shower. But I spend all day sweating, all the time, running and working out, and it ain't nice... So I've got to get clean."

What's Ashton and Mila's new video?

In a video uploaded to Kutcher's Instagram page on Wednesday, the pair can be seen in their bathroom while one of their two young children, out of shot, is in the bath/shower.

"You're putting water on the children?" Kutcher asked Kunis jokingly. "Are you trying to melt them? Are you trying to injure them with water? This is ridiculous. What's going on?"

Kunis tried to stifle her laughter at her husband's tongue-in-cheek comments, telling him: "We're bathing our children."

"That's like the fourth time this week," Kutcher responded. "Their body oils are going to be destroyed."

The actor captioned the video: "This bathing thing is out of hand. #KutcherBathroomTalks."

How often should you wash yourself?

Image caption,
"Hello? Could you tell me how often I should use this shower?"

Many people shower daily, however, if you're not doing anything too strenuous, you can shower every other day, not smell offensive and ensure your skin retains those vital oils that too much washing depletes.

There's no hard and fast rule for this although dermatologists agree that as a society, we shower too often.

All skin is different though and if, for example, you exercise every day, it's important to shower after each workout or you may start to smell bad in polite company.

Feet are the exception here. Experts recommend washing your feet with mild soap (especially between the toes) every day and drying them thoroughly afterwards.

With newborn children and infants, daily bathing can do more harm than good to their delicate skin. The American Academy of Dermatology says a daily bath is fine for children aged between six and 11, but that they don't necessarily need more than one or two a week, unless they get dirty, sweaty or go swimming.

But hygiene isn't the only consideration - bath time can also be a useful, fun and comforting part of the daily routine. Research has suggested that both bathing and steady routines can help with sleep.

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