Vitamin-C Showers: Money Down the Drain

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Vitamin water is back; no, not the kind you drink, but rather the kind you bathe with. Vitamin C-infused showers were all the rage a couple years ago, but now, along with anti-bacterial door knobs and bedroom light therapy, they're making a comeback.

The purpose of filtering your water with the vitamin isn't to ward off germs and bacteria. Instead, the shower head and attached filter deploy powdered Vitamin C into the shower stream to supposedly neutralize the chlorine in the water and promote healthy hair and skin.

Because the current shower that deploys only water is no longer good enough? Really? How have we managed all this time without this thing?

The trend made its debut about two years ago as part of "wellness suites" in hotels like the MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas, intended to help guests take their "healthy lifestyle" on the road. The hotel also features antimicrobial door knobs and counters in its wellness suites. Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio have also embraced the "wellness" features in their lofty penthouse suites.

That's all well and good, if you have the extra moolah to splurge on a new shower (the top rated shower heads and refill filters cost roughly $60 to $99 on Amazon, and $120 up on the sleeker, more trendy-looking ones), but does the regimen actually work? And what exactly is in those shower cartridges?

According to one website that sells them, the cartridges are filled with "100% organic, environmentally friendly, pharmaceutical grade Vitamin C." That ought to keep the organic minds at ease.

What we know about Vitamin C and its long-time touted health benefits isn't pretty. When it comes to treating and/or preventing colds, the vitamin falls flat. In cancer studies, researchers have come up short in finding the supporting evidence on the "miracle" vitamin.

A boost in the improvement of hair and skin isn't surprising, since Vitamin C could help build collagen, which, in turn, strengthens hair and prevents skin from getting dry and flaky, but numerous studies have shown that added Vitamin C has very little effect on the body. Basically, what you get from your daily fruits should be enough to meet your V-C needs. So the vitamin's track record is flaky at best, and replacing your shower head to douse yourself in the powdered stuff is questionable and seems more like a gimmick than a health requirement.