Health | Beauty

15 Hygiene Habits That We Were Taught And Need To Forget

BeautiSecrets / Harvard Health Publishing

Every thing you know about hygiene you've learned from your parents or other family members.

So challenging your beliefs may be hard, but I recommend that you carefully read this article and take these points into consideration.

I've been following these 15 "healthy" hygiene habits for decades, but I made an effort to forget every single one of them.

As a result, my skin feels healthier, my hair looks thicker, and I feel great. Forget these hygiene habits and you'll feel the same!

1. Applying too much moisturizer

The reason why we apply moisturizer is because our skin is dry, but the more moisturizer we apply onto our skin, the more our skin relies on it.

Your skin will decrease its production of natural emollient, which helps to keep your skin moisturized.

And the dryer your skin gets, the more likely it is that you'll get wrinkles faster.

2. Cleaning your ears with cotton swabs

It's healthy to have earwax because this waxy substance protects the ear canal from bugs or bacteria from getting in.

That being said, a buildup of it can be quite nasty, and something you definitely want to take control over.

It's common to stick a cotton swab in your ears and clean out the gunk, but don't. These swabs actually do more harm than good.

Some people have punctured their eardrums, gotten ear infections, pushed the earwax even further into their ear, and have suffered hearing loss just by trying to "clear out their ears."

Instead of making things worse, every time you take a shower gently turn your ear towards the water to naturally break away the accumulating wax.

3. Brushing your teeth after you eat

When a doctor friend of mine told me that I was brushing my teeth too often, I gasped. How could brushing your teeth be a bad thing?

My reasoning was that by brushing my teeth right after a meal I'm preventing plaque from accumulating around my gums.

Turns out, brushing your teeth after you eat a meal containing citric acid will only damage the tooth enamel even further.

You have to wait at least an hour for the saliva to neutralize the acid.

4. Air drying your hands

EVOKE / NY Times

You'd think the simple solution to preventing yourself from getting sick is to wash your hands, and it is, but only if you do that properly.

Electric hand dryers are masters at spreading around bacteria.

A 2016 study published in The Journal of Applied Microbiology discovered that high-powered hand dryers spread 1,300 times as many germs as paper towels, and standard hand dryers spread 60 times as many as a paper towel.

If paper towels are an option, use them.

5. Using antibacterial soap

If you have the choice between using sanitizer or just regular soap, always choose plain soap.

Hand sanitizer contains a cancerous substance known as triclosan, which replaces soap and water so that you don't have to wash your hands to get them clean.

You won't be seeing the effects it has on your body today, but there's no telling when signs of bacterial resistance or other health problems will appear.

6. Taking bubble baths

I know some people are obsessed with taking bubble baths, and I can see the appeal.

Dropping a bath bomb in a tub of hot water and relaxing for a few hours sounds great, but it can also be dangerous for your health.

These scented products contain harmful chemicals that affect the natural pH balance of your skin, which can lead to infections and skin conditions.

7. Spending too much time in a hot shower

This is something we're all guilty of and love to do, but it's time we put an end to this bad habit.

Hot showers strip protective oils on our skin and slows down our metabolism.

If you can't imagine living life without taking hot showers, take a shower at night. It'll relax you and help you get a better night's sleep.

8. Washing your hair every day

Just like how hot showers strip the protective oils on your skin, washing your hair with shampoo every day will do the same thing to the natural oils on your head.

When these oils are stripped away, your hair will appear oilier or flakier than it was before.

The common reaction to this is to wash your hair even more, but don't do that! Give your hair time to go back to its normal state before you completely damage your hair follicles.

9. Spraying perfume on our skin

Don't spray anything that's scented on your skin! Especially if it contains ingredients like acetone, formaldehyde, camphor, and phthalates.

These chemicals can directly enter your bloodstream and buildup over a period of time.

Many of these toxins are considered to be carcinogens that are believed to cause cancer.

Even praying perfume on your underwear can disrupt the area down there and may lead to an infection.

10. Resting your hands on your face

If you care about your skin, make sure your hands don't go anywhere near your face when they're dirty.

This is the most common way that people get zits or "unexplained" infections on their face.

The same goes for when you want to apply moisturizer on your skin.

Always make sure you're washing your hands before touching the cream and applying it onto your face.

11. Not replacing your bath sponge

Your bath sponge or loofah is great to exfoliate your skin every now and then, but it needs to be thrown out at least every three months.

They are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can lead to infections and different kinds of rashes.

Now I know what you're thinking: My loofah looks fine! That's because bacteria is growing in the nook and crannies of the bath sponge.

Buying loofahs made out of natural substances will ensure that you're cleaning yourself with something safe.

12. Never cleaning our cellphones

Can you think of the last time you cleaned your mobile phone? Most people can't.

In fact, your cellphone is most likely dirtier than a toilet seat.

Just think about it. Every time you touch a dirty surface, you touch your phone right after.

Then when you do wash your hands, it's likely that it comes in contact with your dirty phone again.

Frequently wiping down your phone will prevent bacteria from accumulating on the screen and transferring to your face and hands.

13. Washing your face after dripping in sweat

When you're hot, dripping with sweat, and need to cool down, the only thing that brings you comfort is splashing cold water on your face.

Now I'm not saying don't wash your face after a workout or a hot day outside, but the mistake that many people make is washing their face with only water.

Use a gentle cleanser to eliminate any bacteria on your skin.

14. The way you floss your teeth

I can bet that most people don't floss their teeth the right way.

If you just insert the floss between two teeth and then immediately take it out, you're doing it wrong.

You should guide the floss between your teeth, gently rubbing the plaque on the top of each tooth.

Make sure the floss doesn't penetrate the gums, or else you'll start bleeding. It should only glide around your tooth.

15. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase

If you're noticing more wrinkles on your skin, you'll have to start making some changes to your every day routine.

One thing you should do is this: Trade your cotton pillowcase for one made of silk.

The smooth material will prevent your skin from staying in a wrinkled position for hours.

Also, cotton pillowcases absorb the moisture in your skin and hair, and by now we all know the negative effects of dry hair and skin.

[H/T: Reader's Digest]

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