Developing good hygiene habits and routines is highly recommended, but it’s also important to know the correct methods for keeping your body clean and free of infections. Some routines do more harm than good, and should be refined for health’s sake.
Cleaning your ears.
Don’t insert cotton swabs or Q-tips inside your ear to remove wax; these have been known to cause various injuries, including infections, punctured eardrums, and even hearing loss. Wash your outer ear with sponge and soap while in the shower and dry them properly with a towel. The washing gets rid of any excess earwax and the drying makes it impossible for infection-causing bacteria to thrive.
A good bubble bath is a good idea for unwinding at the end of the day, but don’t do this too often; many chemicals used in bubble bath take away the protective oils on your skin, leaving it dry and irritated, and may cause infections. In addition, avoid staying too long in the shower, especially when it’s a hot one. However, hot showers at night aid sleep because the cooling process afterward slows down metabolic activities.
Keeping your hands clean.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. Hand sanitizers are made for instances where soap and water are not readily available; don’t use them too often as long term exposure might pose health risks. Also, opt for paper towels rather than air dryers; towels help remove any leftover bacteria from washing. Sneeze into your elbow, not your hand; you’re likely to touch other people, money, keys, and surfaces before you get a chance to wash your hands, so it’s not advisable to sneeze or cough into them.
Washing your hair.
If you keep long hair, do not wash it every day. Doing this leaves your hair without protection, causing weak hair and brittle locks.
Caring for your skin.
Too much of a good thing is bad and this is true for lotions and other moisturizing creams, even for those with dry skin. Using too much too often will condition the skin to produce less nutrients to protect itself, leading to a drier skin; thus, causing a vicious cycle of needing more and more moisturizers for an increasingly drier skin. Another skin care routine to minimize is exfoliating; doing it too often damages your epidermis (outermost skin layer).
You should brush your teeth after every meal, but wait at least 30 minutes after you finish eating before you reach for the toothbrush. The enamel covering the teeth is weakened by food, especially those with citric acid. The wait time allows saliva to neutralize the acid and strengthens the enamel before you brush.