Personal hygiene varies from person to person. Like superstitious beliefs, you’ve heard do’s and don’ts about clean up routines.
Your daily practice is likely a compilation of advice from family, friends and workmates. Because you trust them, you think you’re doing your best at keeping clean.
We hate to break it to you but some of them are simply not true. We’ve listed down five common hygiene myths that deserve a debunk right now.
“You should shampoo everyday.”
The country’s humid air may have prompted your parents to nag you about shampooing hair daily, It’s become routine.
Jonathan from Queer Eye begs to differ. In an episode, he advised you shouldn’t shampoo everyday. “Imagine washing your shirt everyday,” he says. Over-cleaning, whether of hair or fabric, will take its toll. You can buy new clothes but you can’t replace hair.
You’d say Jonathan and the Queer Eye world are far from the Philippines. We have different climates and lifestyles. Considering that, experts say there’s no one answer to how often people should shampoo. Better to know your hair type and do a little bit of research before deciding on a routine. Tip: Have thicker hair? Lesser oil? The less you need to shampoo.
“You should use cotton swabs.”
After you shower, there’s a need to clean your ears with cotton swabs. Weird as it sounds, you actually shouldn’t use cotton swabs or Q-tips nor do you have to clean your ears everyday.
The only part of the ear that needs cleaning is the “pinna” or outer ear and only every now and then. Just a little soap, water, and a washcloth while showering. The ear canal doesn’t require intense cleaning because water already enters your ears whenever you shower.
Besides, using cotton swabs to clean the ear canal could harm your eardrums. Because it is so gentle, simple pressure can cause damage. Ear wax gets rid of itself unless there is a blockage, which should get you going to the doctor.
“You should wash your face more to get rid of acne.”
If getting acne prompts someone to say you should wash your face more, not only is the statement intrusive, it is also false.
Yes, washing is essential to get rid of germs, makeup, and excess oils. But too often takes away the natural and essential oils on your face. This can result to dry skin and flaking.
It’s also important never to use your body or bar soap on your face. They can be too harsh. The skin on your face needs more care than just getting rid of dirt and oil. Plus, the bacteria that resides on your body is different from that on your face. Trust us and stick to a facial cleanser.
“You should brush your teeth three times a day.”
You come across this every time on TV. Sure, brushing your teeth three times a day or after every meal is the way to go. However, a very busy schedule makes this easy to overlook. Don’t worry, no one’s judging you. There are other things you can do for dental hygiene.
Experts recommend brushing twice at the very least and flossing everyday. Flossing cleans the areas a brush cannot reach. Tooth decay-inducing bacteria can reside in the tiniest spots between your teeth, so flossing does more to remove plaque and food particles stuck there.
It’s also important to choose the right toothbrush. Make sure it fits your mouth just enough to reach teeth at the back. Also, go for a soft-bristled brush. Using a hard-bristled one can damage your gums. This should regularly be replaced every three or four months.
“You should go to sleep after sex.”
You’ve probably come across articles saying guys falling asleep after sex means they’re in love with you. Wrong. It’s actually more disgusting than romantic. There are post-sex habits you shouldn’t skip if you don’t want bacteria forming down there and giving you not-so-peaceful slumber.
First, make sure to wash your hands before and after doing the deed. Bacteria is easily transferrable and can hop from hands to other parts of the body, including that of your partner’s. Also, make it a habit to use the bathroom. Peeing after sex has been recognized as one of the most effective ways to avoid UTI.
After that, swish some mouthwash. This helps you get rid of orally-transferred bacteria and prevent infections like gonorrhea or chlamydia.
Lastly, change into fresh PJs. If you don’t wash your sheets regularly, bacteria can travel to your body parts. Sleeping naked maybe intimate but there’s nothing sexy about germs. You don’t want to sleep in post-sex filth, do you?
Hygiene practices can differ from person to person. The takeaway from all of these is always do your research. Just because you overheard a story somewhere doesn’t mean it’s true.
Art by Bryan Sochayseng
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