We go about our daily lives adhering to standard practices of hygiene: brushing our teeth, washing our faces, shampooing our hair, you get the drill. But we’ve forgotten about the not-so-habitual “other” practices that doctors continuously recommend us to do each day.
Although these nine hygienic procedures take additional time, it is important to incorporate them into your weekly and monthly routines so that they do eventually become habitual. After all, it’s important to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to sustaining a healthy lifestyle.
Nine: Cleaning your ears. Have you ever looked at your headphones to find the speakers covered in earwax? As a result, you reach for a cotton swab to rid your ears of that waxy yellow gunk. However, cotton swabs actually push earwax deeper into your ear canal leading to a buildup. Instead, opt for an over-the-counter earwax removal solution, like Murine or Debrox, to loosen the wax and ultimately break down the buildup. You’ll be hearing better in no time.
Eight: Sleep without underwear. Sleeping without underwear allows men and women’s crotch area to breathe after many hours of wearing underwear and boxers and locking in moisture. Allowing this area to dry out is a great health measure recommended by gynecologists.
Seven: Change bed sheets once a week. Rolling around in bed each night, our bodily oils, bacteria, and dead skin begin to set on our sheets. Although they may not appear to be dirty, it’s important to change your bed sheets or wash them at least once a week to avoid funky smells and to maintain a sanitary sleeping environment. For women who tend to sleep in their makeup at night, it’s especially important to wash pillowcases, as foundation and mascara will most likely rub off on them.
Six: Cleanse makeup brushes. Ladies, it’s crucial to clean your makeup brushes at least once a week, as brushes harbor excessive amounts of bacteria, dirt and oil and can ultimately induce acne breakouts and blemishes. To avoid clogged pores and whiteheads, use warm water and baby shampoo to thoroughly clean brushes before allowing them to dry completely. For convenience purposes, do this before bed.
Five: Sanitize tweezers. Tweezers can be used for everything from removing splinters to plucking unwanted eyebrow hairs and ingrown hairs. You may not think about this often, but tweezers tend to harbor germs and bacteria and can cause minor skin infections if not cleaned properly. To quickly sanitize your tweezers, place them in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Leave them in there for up to 15 minutes before drying them. Voila!
Four: Change contact case once every one to three months. According to the CDC, more than 30 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses. How many of these individuals actually take the time to thoroughly clean their cases, where lenses are stored overnight for sanitizing purposes? To avoid bacterial eye infections, not only should we clean our lenses that sit in our eyes for several hours every day, but we should also actively be cleaning the cases with solution and replacing them every 1 to 3 months.
Three: Replace razors. If you cut yourself while shaving or your razor appears to be slightly rusty, change immediately. In an effort to keep skin healthy, clean razors after every shave with hot water and allow them to dry fully. If properly maintained, you won’t need to change them often.
Two: Floss teeth everyday. We’ve all heard the dentist spiel: floss your teeth once a day. Flossing removes plaque between teeth and keeps our gums healthy, preventing gum disease later down the road. To avoid leaving your next dentist appointment with bloody gums, choose to floss when you have two minutes of extra time, before heading to work or hitting the sack.
One: Change toothbrushes every three months. To have fresh pearly whites, ditch your toothbrush every three months or as soon as the bristles begin to wear, as it won’t be as effective in getting rid of plaque. If experiencing symptoms of strep throat or throat soreness, take precaution and buy yourself a new brush too.