Having a personal care routine helps not only with hygiene but also with your overall well-being. Taking care of yourself makes you feel good, which reflects onto your physical health. However, despite years of practicing healthy habits, there may still be some things that we forget to include or perhaps deem unimportant, but may actually mean a big difference in the long run.
Here are some small, simple things that deliver positive changes, which you should consider adding to your personal care regimen.
Extra Care for Your Hands and Feet
In our effort to achieve smooth skin and a fair complexion, we sometimes forget to take care of our hands and feet, too. But just like any other part of our body, our hands and feet also deserve some TLC. Trimming and keeping your fingernails and toenails clean are, of course, essential, but these are just one part of the equation.
Take the time to have a manicure and pedicure at least once a month to keep your nails and cuticles healthy and looking their best. Hand and foot massages are also important to get the blood flowing — this is especially important for your feet, since they literally go under a lot of pressure every single day. You can also do home treatments, since these are often more affordable and you can do them more often, if you prefer. There are various products that can help give your hands and feet some pampering. Try Missha’s paraffin heating masks to smoothen and moisturize your dry, rough, and tired hands and feet.
Don’t Focus on Shampooing Your Hair
Believe it or not, shampoo is actually for your roots and not the entire length of your hair. This doesn’t mean that using shampoo or getting some shampoo bubbles on your hair is bad, per se; it just means that you have to focus on your scalp and roots when shampooing. For the rest of your hair, no need scrub vigorously. Just let the suds run down, massaging lightly as you rinse, and then apply conditioner.
You should also take into consideration your hair type when choosing and using a shampoo. For example, if you have dry or damaged hair, you may want to shampoo every other day. This gives the hair more time to absorb the natural oils from the scalp. Meanwhile, straight hair with thin strands may actually benefit from daily washings since the oil and dirt build up more quickly, which weigh down the hair and make it look limp.
Make Sure to Floss (and Floss Right)
Did you know that each tooth has five surfaces? And if you don’t floss, you’re not effectively cleaning the mesial and distal surfaces, or the sides of your teeth. Flossing is the most effective way to get the into this space between the teeth to dislodge fine food particles, remove bacteria, and “prime” your teeth for a more thorough cleaning with a toothbrush.
Depending on the size of the gaps between your teeth, you may benefit from either flat and wide dental floss or thin, fine ones. Just don’t resort to using sewing threads or similar materials since they really aren’t meant for flossing and may even damage your gums.
Flossing the right way also matters. Use around 16 inches of floss, guiding it between the teeth using the thumb and forefingers. Wrap the floss in a C-shape around each tooth and rub in a gentle up-and-down motion. If you see a bit of blood, it may be because your gums are inflamed. You can still proceed with flossing if this happens; however, if the bleeding doesn’t stop after two or three days, you might have a periodontal disease that needs immediate attention from your dentist.
Use Regular Hand Soap
According to health experts, antibacterial soaps don’t actually clean better than regular soaps. In fact, since most diseases like cold and flu — which most antibacterial soaps claim they can prevent — are viral in nature, making the use of these antibacterial soaps unnecessary and ineffective. There also isn’t any solid evidence that using these products can protect one from illnesses. Case in point: although soaps with triclosan, a popular antibacterial ingredient, have been proven to kill slightly more bacteria than those without, they haven’t been found to actually reduce transmission rates of infections.
Bottomline: it’s okay to not use antibacterial soaps (it will even save you more money!). Just remember to always wash your hands and do it properly: wet your hands (cold water will do), apply soap, lather your hands and make sure to include the back, the spaces between your fingers, and under your nails, scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse well, and dry them using a clean towel or paper towels.
There are many things that we take for granted or unwittingly forget when it comes to taking care of our bodies. Hopefully, these simple steps can help you toward achieving a more holistic, not to mention practical, personal care routine.