Rethinking Personal Hygiene: What Have We Been Doing wrong?
One thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is the importance of handwashing and sanitizing areas that are frequently touched. As people are more aware of hygiene now more than ever, I would like to believe that these newfound habits are here to stay even when the pandemic subsides.
While the standards of personal cleanliness have improved drastically compared to the 1940s (daily showers weren’t the standards in the West!), there are still little habits or ideas that we’ve picked up that may not be doing us any good. In fact, some of it is still normalized today that we have no idea that what we’re doing is actually pretty dirty. In this article, we’ll go over four hygiene habits we need to rethink!
Cleaning After Number 2
I don’t think anyone can deny that toilet paper isn’t the best way to keep your tush clean especially when you can’t see where you are wiping. For women especially, wiping from back to front can be a recipe for UTIs just because the anus and urethra are so close to each other. Another issue with toilet paper is that it can irritate your skin, and you really don’t want an infection in that area!
So what are the options? For starters, flushable wipes have been gaining popularity. They are softer than regular wipes and don’t have any harsh chemicals that irritate the skin. But another way to go about this is just using water. It cleans your area properly without leaving any traces of fecal matter behind!
Not Showering Before Bed
A lot of people love waking up to a good shower in the morning. It feels refreshing and you start your day feeling good about yourself. But one would argue that showering in the evening instead is one of the better ways to keep yourself clean! Think about it: after a day of work, walking outside and being exposed to soot, cigarette smoke and debris, you wouldn’t want all that sticking to your bedsheet and pillow case, would you?
Provided that you haven’t been sweating all night, washing your face in the morning with cold water and cleanser and showering after work is the perfect balance if you’re not up for showering twice a day (which comes with its own cons such as stripping off too much oils from skin).
We’re always washing out hands, but how many of us go to the extent of cleaning what’s under our fingernails? As we’re always touching things, these are the bedrock for bacteria. It’s worse when they remain wet from washing as bacteria breed with moisture. The best way to keep your nails squeaky clean is to clip them short and trim them regularly. Understandably, some professions may require you to keep long nails, so the CDC recommends that you scrub the underside of your nails using soap and water.
It’s great that you are exfoliating your skin twice a week. But if you notice that your acne problem persists, the problem may not be with the scrub you’re using, but rather the loofah! Leaving your loofah or bath sponge to “dry” in the shower after a scrub is a big no-no.
Loofahs start out clean but as it accumulates dead skin cells and left exposed in that warm, humid environment, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. You need to really dry them once you’re done with your shower and soak them in a diluted bleach solution weekly to kill the bacteria. Also, replace natural loofahs every month and synthetic ones every two months!