When it comes to personal hygiene, I think we can all agree that it's one area in our lives where skimping on time or effort probably isn't the best move. That's why it can be so helpful to get reminders about hygiene that we might sometimes overlook or may have pushed to the backs of our minds. And when I cam across an AskReddit thread about simple hygiene rules many people for get about, I knew I'd find a goldmine of helpful, diverse information.
Unfortunately there's a lot of misinformation out there about our health, especially when it comes to women's bodies. Often in the media, people talk about women's appearances as being synonymous with health or hygiene, when that isn't necessarily the case — and even if it were, it's not anyone else's place to comment on it anyway. One common instance of this is when we talk about how women maintain their body hair, such as whether or not they remove it from certain areas — and what's more, we sometimes conflate this with how "clean" or "hygienic" their decision is. In reality, of course, the removal of body hair or choosing to wear makeup or any other number of appearance-based decisions have nothing to do with our actual health or hygiene —and again, either way, we don't get to make those decisions for anyone other than ourselves anyway.
Even outside of women's bodies, our culture is quick to label talk about our anatomies or bodily functions as "too private" or "too gross," thus brushing things under the rug. This can be dangerous, not only because it leads to people being misinformed about their bodies and health, but because it contributes to unnecessary taboos and stigmas as well.
While certainly not everything you read on the internet is true, and you should always consult a medical professional when it comes to your health, this Reddit thread is actually an example of a situation where the internet can do a lot of good in answering "embarrassing" questions or giving advice — partially because it gives you a place to start for more research, but also partially because it opens up the conversation to topics our culture frequently shies away from.
As of right now, the AskReddit thread has been up for less than a day and already has over 2,000 responses. I pulled some highlights below, but be sure to check out the full thread at AskReddit for more.
1. Yes, You Really Do Need To Wash Behind Your Ears
Remember when you were a kid and your parents always reminded you to clean behind your ears? Yeah, it's actually important that you do that. Dirt and grime can build up back there, just like they can on any other part of your body.
2. When You're Brushing Your Teeth, Remember to Scrape Your Tongue
Cleaning your tongue can help remove toxins and bacteria, leading to more enhanced taste buds. It also removes the film of coating your tongue that can cause bad breath.
3. You Can Also Brush Your Tongue Instead Of Scraping It
Don't want to buy a tongue scraper? No problem — you can absolutely use your toothbrush to brush your tongue instead.
4. Make Washing Your Bedding Part Of Your Regular Laundry Routine
It's easy to forget about washing your bed sheets, especially because it's a pain to make our beds, but it's actually super important to keep up with it. Clean sheets and blankets not only get rid of the general dirt and gunk that we carry with us to bed, but is additionally important when you're sick or have food in your bed. Personally, I wash my bedding when I do my regular laundry, and it's made it very simple to keep up with.
5. If You Use Makeup, Thoroughly Wash Your Brushes Regularly
If you wear makeup, don't forget to wash your brushes! Not only is leftover makeup sticking to them, but oil and dirt from your skin can also get trapped inside them. Not washing your makeup brushes enough can even lead to skin irritation and breakouts. To keep your brushes and yourself healthy, give them a shampooing at least once every two weeks.
6. Never Forget The Importance Of Sunscreen
Even if you aren't spending the day in the sun, it's so important to wear sunscreen on a regular basis. Sun damage is no good, and it can sneak up on you when you're least expecting it.
7. Keeping Your Fingernails Clean Can Make A Big Difference
Even if you don't paint your nails, it's important to clean out the dirt from under them. If you find yourself being forgetful about this, it's OK to simply keep them trimmed short.
8. Clean Pillowcases Can Help With Skin Issues
Even if you don't feel like washing all of your bedding, it's a really good idea to make a habit of washing your pillowcases on a regular basis. Not only can clean pillowcases help with skin issues, such as acne or wrinkles, but the fresh smell alone can be quite welcome when you're finally resting your head after a long day. It's recommended that you change or wash your pillowcases at least once a week, although you might want to do it more frequently if you have oily or acne-prone skin.
9. Don't Forget To Clean Your Belly Button
Your parents were right about this one, too. Don't forget to clean your belly button in the shower!
10. Never Underestimate The Importance Of Sanitary Food Prep
Whether it's after you use the restroom, before you're cooking a meal, or simply when you're coming inside from being outdoors all day, it's so important to remember to wash your hands! Washing your hands throughout the day can make a huge difference in your health, and also the health of those around you, especially if you're preparing food for others. Don't skimp on this one!
So, there you have it! Be sure to check out more simple hygiene tips over at AskReddit, too!