Basic hygiene

I was thinking about something I view as a human right. It was not something I was taught at school other than maybe washing my hands. 

Sometimes people did not have an opportunity to learn about their body and personal tips to being clean and fresh.

I have seen many that don’t have the resources to stay as clean as they would like. Don’t judge them, you can see if hygiene products would be helpful to them if so make them a personal care kit. That is small and fits in a back pack. They are many community resources. Some community buildings have public showers and some have ones wheel chairs can be brought in to. There are many food banks that will let you pick out personal care products. Many places have services to help people meet their basic needs. Being clean is a basic human right, many don’t have the opportunity to take good care of themselves.

Washing involves being able to have access to water and an ability to have basic cleaning tools.

Basic tools:

  • Soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss for in between your teeth
  • Cloth or something to scrub your body.
  • Towel to dry yourself
  • Nail clippers
  • Brush or comb
  • Toilet paper or a way to clean after the bathroom. You can use a container with some warm soapy water too.
  • A way to wash your clothes.
  • Shaving gear (razor, soap or shaving cream)
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Menstrual cup, pads or tampons

Thinking about this as I write this blog, that is a lot to carry if you are not living in a stable home.

Brushing your teeth and flossing

Is something that dentists recommend to do twice a day. I had to be taught by my dental hygienist as an adult how to floss

Brushing your teeth helps to scrub off plaque and massage your gums. It also keeps bad bacteria down that can cause tooth decay. When I did not have a toothbrush I used a wet cloth to wipe the front and back off my teeth. It is better than not cleaning to brush your teeth. You need a small amount of toothpaste on the wet toothbrush. They use the example of the size of a pea.. Not everyone knows what a pea looks like.

Shampooing and conditioning your hair can be done with or without a shower. You will want to wet your hair all the way through to wash it.  If you have a dirty job or greasy hair you might want to clean your hair once or more a week. With long hair it will be hard to wash often. If you have fine short hair you might only need to use an amount of shampoo the size of a dime or if your hair is long or really thick you might need to quarters worth.

You would rinse your hair after shampooing really well, put a small amount of conditioner in your hands, less than used for the shampoo, then rub your hands lightly so it coats the palms of both hands. Using too much can make your hair lifeless and flat. I will sometimes use a comb to get it all the way through my hair. With long hair start an inch or 2 away from your roots and apply between your hands down to the ends of the hair. If you have really short hair you can try to go a bit always from the ends. Learning how long to leave the conditioner in before rinsing with water is a trial thing. About 1 to 2 mins for a regular conditioner and longer for the deep treatment ones. Those ones often come with their own instructions.

Washing your full body is kinda a personal choice, some people clean more than once a day other wash a couple times a week. If you have heavy body odor or if you’re having a menstrual cycle, if you have bowel or bladder challenges or a job that makes you feel grungy, shower more. You can spot wash with a cloth and soap and water your armpits or other areas that need refreshing. Soap and warm water can dry your skin out if you’re bathing or showering lots.

Clipping your finger and toe nails is an as needed thing pending on how fast they grow, personal preferences to what length you enjoy. I recommend cleaning your nails daily with soap and a nail brush. So much bacteria and germs build under the nail. When you clip toenails they recommend cutting them straight across to help reduce the chance of ingrown nails.

Shaving/hair removal, whether it is your face or all over shaving is very personal choice

photo taken by me, Electric razor, wet shavers and a wax hair removal.

You can search YouTube for tips that suit you.

If you are going to shave you can use razors, or electric razors. If you’re using a wet razor or straight classic razor you will want to warm and wet the skin, then lather it with gel or shaving product. Only use regular soap if that is all you have, it can dry and irritate skin with its harsh ingredients. Electric razors can be done on dry skin before your washing. 

Wax you will follow the instructions on the product. Having a warm bath or a nice wet warm towel applied to the area you want to remove hair is often more gentle than just ripping it off cold dry skin. It gives the follicles time to relax and expand. Not all products are to be used with water that is more a sugar wax thing. 

Keeping body odor down might mean the use of deodorant/anti perspirant, crystal deodorant, or you can apply talcum powder. Some people have medical problems that make them sweat more or smell less then they want no matter what products. This might be something the doctor can help with. Always wash your areas you are applying products and put it on clean dry skin. Be mindful of heavy perfume and chemical products. Some can harm you and the scents can be very hard on anyone around you with scent allergies or that get migraines or other adverse health problems from any scents. 

Menstrual products can be complicated to buy, knowing the right products for your body can be so frustrating. Menstrual cups can be very helpful if you don’t mind inserting a cup into your vaginal canal. They are easy to clean and are way more convenient than caring around pads or tampons that you need then be able to dispose of in a sanitary way. Whatever your choice of products, read the package. If you’re buying for someone else, find out the brand they like or take a photo of the package. If they don’t know what they need try to gently find out if they need ones for heavy or light flow and if they need something for nighttime. It is normal to buy menstrual care products for others. It is just part of life!

I hope that this week’s topic gave you some ideas on personal care. Have a safe week, now that we are getting settled into our new home I feel I will be able to get back to  weekly topics. Recovering from Covid and getting settled has left me a bit drained.

Type to you soon!

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