Do you think of personal hygiene as a chore? Nonsense. Managing your grooming is integral to self-care and crucial to protecting your health.
What should you do to ensure you remain fresh, healthy and ready to greet the world with your best face forward? Brush up on these nine hygiene tips for fall.
1. Up Your Oral Care Routine
Admit it: You’ve fallen into bed without polishing your pearlies a time or two. While it’s OK occasionally — we’re all human — try your best to avoid doing so to keep bacteria from doing their worst overnight.
Taking care of your teeth isn’t a purely cosmetic act. Researchers have discovered a link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s, and reducing your risk of one lowers the other. They also associate the bacteria that causes gingivitis with coronary disease, and heart trouble remains the No. 1 killer worldwide.
Ensure you brush your teeth twice daily and floss once. It’s best to make your before-bed job the full deal, complete with flossing, brushing and rinsing. If you have braces, take the time to remove your bands and gently go around each bracket and wire before polishing the surfaces.
2. Keep Your Mitts Clean
You probably sang “Happy Birthday” in your head roughly 42,843,639 times during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now isn’t the time to stop humming. Hand-washing is vital to reducing your risk of infectious disease.
While you’re at it, scrub under your fingernails and keep them trimmed. This area is twice as bacteria-laden as the rest of your hands, and the problem worsens if you have long or artificial nails. Whatever you do, please keep them out of your mouth — use a nasty-tasting polish to help you break the habit.
You should also keep hand sanitizer with you when you don’t have a sink handy. Some tiny models clip to your keychain. Invest in some for your backpack, briefcase or fanny pack you use for exercise.
3. Learn How to Cough and Sneeze
Do you cover your mouth and nose with your hand when you cough or sneeze? If so, thank you for preventing aerosol spread — but you’re still not doing your best to avoid infectious disease. All those germs go right onto your paws and the next thing you touch. Before you know it, they’re everywhere.
Cough or sneeze into your shoulder instead. Your shirt will absorb the germs, and you don’t shake hands with that.
4. Practice Hands Off
Remember the pandemic advice to keep your hands away from your face? Continuing this practice is a good way to prevent infectious diseases — and more.
Are you pimple-prone? Touching your face can increase your breakouts as the bacteria from your hands get into your pores. You could also push dirt and debris in further, causing your skin to clog and a zit to erupt.
5. Clean Your Devices
Do you take your cellphone with you in public bathrooms? Of course, you do — who can do their business without a little entertainment?
However, every flush releases a toilet fume of bacteria and viruses, and most group facilities lack closing lids. All that germy gunk coats your phone.
While you’re at it, hit your keyboard, remote controls, wall switches and doorknobs with antibacterial spray or cleaning wipes. Remember how germy hands can be?
6. Replace Your Air Filter
Although this isn’t strictly a personal hygiene tip, it affects your susceptibility to illness. It’s also part of keeping your environment clean — swap out those used air filters.
These puppies do more than trap pet hair and dander. They also reduce the bacteria and viruses in your indoor air. The U.S. Energy Department suggests swapping yours out every month or two during the cooling season — the same goes for winter.
7. Change Your Underwear
Do you wear the same clothes day in and day out? Hey, it’s OK to make a pair of jeans do double-duty, and blazers stay clean in between dry cleaner trips. However, you should launder those garments that lie closest to your skin. Otherwise, bacteria and viruses can proliferate, upping your illness chances. The problem compounds if you’re female and prone to bladder infections.
8. Manage Your BO
Most people can manage body odor by keeping their skin clean and armpits shaved, applying deodorant daily. Other factors that impact your aroma include the foods you eat — garlic is a classic example — and hormones. Many women can tell when they’re ovulating by changes in how they smell, so start some mindful tracking if you’re trying to get (or avoid getting) pregnant.
You might need to go beyond bathing and deodorant if you have tough-to-beat BO. Medical procedures include Botox injections, electromagnetic devices that destroy underarm sweat glands, prescription medications and surgery. Don’t feel embarrassed about talking to your doctor. Bad BO can hinder your career progress — do it for that coveted promotion.
9. Clean Out Your Makeup Drawer
How long have you been using that mascara wand? You should toss it every four to six months to lower your risk of eye infections from bacteria buildup.
The rest of your makeup drawer could use a fall cleaning, too. Eyeliner, foundation, concealer and brushes should be recycled every year. Lipstick needs a toss every eight months, while blush and eyeshadow can go about a year and a half.
Make the Most of Fall Hygiene Tips
Taking care of your hygiene is essential. The difference isn’t only cosmetic — it can improve your overall health. Follow these nine hygiene tips for fall. You’ll feel healthy and fresh, and your colleagues will thank you.
Photo by Anna Savelieva -pexels.com