Hygiene is paramount for health and wellness, but most importantly, to allow you to live with people around you.
Although you may try your best to remain clean and generally healthy, here are some practices you need to stop immediately and why you should. (You didn’t know you were doing some, by the way)
- Washing your face in the shower.
A common practice among many of us, washing your face in the shower is actually bad for your skin’s health.
Most showers, if not all, are hot, with some of us preferring extremely hot showers to relax and unwind and although your body’s skin can and will endure this adverse condition, your facial skin will not.
The heat and pressure from the overhead shower force the dilation of your blood vessels and capillaries which in turn aggravates your skin and may eventually lead to your capillaries being permanently broken or dilated. You can see this in the reddening of your skin or the occurrence of bumps on your face similar to acne, that are sometimes pus-filled.
To mitigate this: wash your face on the sink or regulate the amount of heat you’re using in the shower.
2. Handling your phone (especially between meals)
The surface of your phone is said to be dirtier than your toilet seat. We often place our phones on dirty surfaces or the ground, which is swarming with bacteria and other harmful organisms.
This situation is made worse when you’re handling your phone in between meals. Think of the times you’ve been at a fast-food joint and in between your meal (which you began without washing your hands), you picked your phone up to take a selfie or send a text message.
You not only transfer the germs and pathogens to your hands but you also ingest them as you eat which may lead to acute cases of food poisoning, amoeba and bacterial infections.
To mitigate this: Wash your hands before you eat and put the phone down until you finish your meal. It’s also polite.
3. Brushing your teeth and forgetting your tongue.
It’s early morning, but you’re in a hurry and you want to beat the morning traffic, so you brush your teeth and forget about your tongue. Making a habit out of this is risky behaviour, especially for those you’ll be interacting with.
Your mouth contains bacteria due to the adequate conditions present: there’s leftover food, it’s dark and it’s moist, which is why you need to remember to brush and scrape your tongue at least once a day. The bacteria is often hiding in the crevices of your tongue and in the layers, you create by not cleaning it daily.
Neglecting this often leads to foul-smelling breath (which is painfully dreadful for your workmates), a muting in your taste buds (since they’re covered in bacteria) and eventual gum disease and cavities.
To mitigate this: Brush your tongue too. Daily.
4. Sleeping with your makeup on.
It’s 3 AM, you just got back from a night of debauchery with your girls and you’re too lazy to take your makeup off so you decide to sleep because you’ll do it in the morning. Right?
Making common practice out of this can cause long-lasting damage to your skin. The clogging of your pores will result in the occurrence of blackheads and acne-related pimples and a general bacterial overload on your face. Leaving in mascara, for example, can make your eyelashes dry and brittle.
To mitigate this: Take off your makeup when you get home using makeup removal wipes or Micellar water.
I know, I know, it’s quite relaxing after a hard day at the office but we can’t really overemphasize the dangers and negative effects that smoking has on you and the people around you.
People who smoke are more likely to suffer from stroke, stomach and lung cancer, osteoporosis and heart attacks. Moreover, there are some unattractive features that come with smoking including stained teeth and fingertips and bad breath.
Aside from causing irreparable damage to your lungs, heart and reproductive organs, smoking destroys the environment around you. Littering of cigarette buds and matchsticks cause environmental degradation and the destruction of plant life. The release of carbon monoxide also impurifies the air around you and leads to passive inhalation for those around you thus affecting them as well.
To mitigate this: Work your way to quitting by reducing the number of cigarettes smoked on a daily basis.
At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to co-exist and lead healthy lives.