What better time to be reminded of the importance of personal hygiene and care than during a pandemics? Sure, there are days when we feel like skipping care altogether and would rather be like Peanuts’ Pig-Pen for a day because we have other things to do. However, consistency is key, especially having in mind that personal care can greatly affect both our health and looks.
It’s needless to say that hygiene is also a part of self-love because when you’re all squeaky clean you feel good about yourself, so it benefits your self-confidence as well. Still, to be able to reap all the health benefits it provides, it’s necessary to pay attention to the personal care products you choose as well as paying attention to their ingredients to avoid anything toxic and harmful from making its way into your beauty care. A good example of items that you shouldn’t buy is those with artificial colours and fragrances.
The Basics of Hygiene and Care
There’s no doubt that poor hygiene leads to poor health. If there’s one thing that has been constantly emphasized during these times of coronavirus, it’s the importance of washing hands to prevent the virus from spreading.
What we can conclude from this is that maintaining proper hygiene by washing our hands isn’t only good for ourselves but for others as well. In addition, areas you should particularly pay attention to are those prone to odours and fungal infections, like the feet, armpits, and genital area.
Feet – Some people are more prone to foot odour than others. Besides carefully choosing the shoes and socks, opting for breathable materials (ex. leather and bamboo) and washing your feet regularly and drying them thoroughly is also important. Make sure you apply anti-bacterial foot powder, and of course, cut your toenails every other week.
To prevent itching, choose personal care products, like body cleansers with a pH balanced dermatologist formula that gently cleanse the skin. If you happen to notice any itching, rashes or flaky skin, these are signs of a contagious athlete’s foot, so make sure you get adequate and timely treatment.
In the case of inactive sweat glands, you could end up with a different problem: hardened skin and cracked heels. The way to go about it is to exfoliate the areas with suitable products that contain active ingredients that are essential for the removal of hardened skin.
Armpits – Bacteria and fungal infections thrive in moist areas. This is why it’s crucial to gently wash your underarms with a mild soap to also prevent the odour that’s a result of the growth of smelly bacteria. Remember to shave regularly, as that way you’re also cutting down on bacteria, as well as applying a deodorant spray after every wash.
Genital Area – While it’s necessary to keep this area clean daily, you should also make sure you don’t overdo it so that you don’t get the opposite effect. You should be especially careful if you’re using douches that aren’t pH balanced and have artificial scents. It’s easy to get BV (bacterial vaginosis) when your pH levels are imbalanced, so make sure you choose these products carefully.
Now, when it comes to your looks, there are two areas that deserve to be your main focus: your hair and smile.
Teeth – There is nothing more attractive on a person than a beautiful smile, however, it’s not all about the look of your teeth but their hygiene too. Regularly brushing your teeth is crucial for preventing decay as well as for avoiding issues like tartar, gum disease and halitosis (bad breath). So, consider a good toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, dental floss and antibacterial mouthwash your essentials.
Since tooth health is closely connected to heart health, maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial to avoid any serious health issues as well. Also, apart from remembering to brush often, avoid making brushing mistakes. In case you still have bad breath no matter how much you brush, you might want to add a tongue scraper in your essentials too.
Hair – As one of the important features that people immediately notice about you, your hair requires regular washing – two to three times a week preferably. This will keep it clean from grease, dirt and debris, and as a result will also stimulate the production of natural hair oils.
To maintain a healthy hair glow and avoid any damages or breakage, you should look for shampoos and conditioners that are suitable for your hair type and hair condition if you have any (think dandruff). Your best bet is using natural products without any synthetic scents. You should also mind how you wash your hair – for the best outcome, wash the roots, gently massaging the scalp, and let the shampoo run down to the ends.
Once you’re done, be as gentle as you can with the drying, because hair is most prone to damage when wet. Dab with a soft towel to remove excess water, and if you dry with a hairdryer, set it on the lowest setting. While it’s okay to use heat styling tools every now and then (such as straighteners and curlers) try not to overdo it.