9 Common Hygiene Mistakes Millennials Make & Products That Can Help

Millennials have been taught to fear a lot of things, like stranger danger and that dude who likens your brain on drugs to a pan full of eggs. Millennials have also been taught to fear germs, and that's among one of the worst hygiene mistakes you can make. While it might seem counter-intuitive (germs = dirt = poor hygiene, right?) scientists are now finding out that the human body can't exist in a healthy state without a microbiome of bacteria.

In other words, there are as many bacteria in our bodies as there are human cells, and loads of them are actually good for you. These bacteria (or flora) need to be kept in a careful balance, and it turns out that the obsession with all things antibacterial can actually inhibit your personal hygiene.

The human body is pretty efficient when it comes to self-cleaning and taking care of itself. For a generation raised with Purell, antibiotics, bleached toys, and antibacterial soaps, millennials could be killing the good bacteria that helps them stay clean. One of the best things you can do for your personal hygiene is to choose products that support your body's natural functions rather than inhibit them, so with that in mind, here are the top hygiene mistakes that millennials make, as well as a few products that can help.

1. Waging A War On Oil


Badger Balm Unscented Cleansing Oil, $14, Amazon

Millennials have been raised to think that oil-free products translate to less acne, but certain dermatologists are now asserting that if your skin is too dry, it overproduces oil to compensate. “Our skin has a balance of its own natural oils, and we must remember that this balance is very important for healthy skin," says dermatologist Dr. Kally Papantoniou. "There are some great oils that should not clog pores and have healthy anti-inflammatory benefits to skin."

A light oil-based cleanser like Badger Balm unscented cleansing oil works by dissolving the residue and dirt on your face while simultaneously supporting a healthy, hydrated outer layer. Reviewers say that this stuff cleared up their acne better than anything else, and stubborn makeup doesn't stand a chance.

2. Using Antibacterial Soap


UpBeat Natural Soap Set, $18, Amazon

Loads of counties have already banned some antibacterial soap ingredients, and the United States is finally following suit. In addition to creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they also disrupt the natural balance of good bacteria that humans should have on their skin.

This set of three handcrafted UpBeat natural soap uses awesome skin-cleansing ingredients like coconut oil, kaolin clay, and activated charcoal. There's one for skin impurities, exfoliation, and sensitive skin, and reviewers have great things to say about all of them: "I Bought this on a 'treat yo self' kind of day, but using it has become an essential part of my skin routine."

3. Using An Antiperspirant With Aluminum


Freedom Stick Deodorant, $16, Amazon

There's a difference between deodorant and antiperspirants. Antiperspirants physically plug up your sweat glands with aluminum, keeping you dry, but because sweat is a natural detoxification process that purges the body of unwanted substances, it's not a good idea to clog that up. Aluminum has also been linked to lymph and brain problems.

A natural deodorant like Freedom stick deodorant is aluminum-free and instead uses ingredients like coconut oil and essential oils to fight bacteria and arrow root powder to soak up moisture. Best of all, people say it's the most reliable natural option they've ever used.

4. Cleaning Yourself Too Often


Mother Dirt AO+ Mist Live Probiotic Skin Spray, $50, Amazon

The more showers you take, the cleaner you are, right? Not so much. Excess showers strip the essential health-giving bacteria from your skin, which are there to regulate oil production, naturally fight body odor, prevent things like rashes and eczema, and protect you against harmful pathogens.

Mother Dirt live probiotic spray skips the harmful chemicals and instead has all the beneficial bacteria that thrives on skin to keep it clear, moisturized, and clean. It's amazing for clearing up rashes and breakouts, and some even use it as a natural deodorant, as the healthy bacteria controls the odor-causing kind.

5. Using Toothpaste With Fluoride


Natural Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Powder, $15, Amazon

When fluoride was put into our drinking water in 1945, it seemed like a good idea to prevent tooth decay. However, numerous studies have shown that it's dangerous to thyroid function, skeletal health, pineal gland function, and hormone regulation.

This teeth whitening powder uses activated charcoal to clean teeth, pull impurities out from the gums, and whiten your smile. It doesn't use any fluoride whatsoever, and it can be used daily as a toothpaste or a few times weekly as a whitening treatment. "Is it worth it? YES," says one reviewer. "I love everything about using this powder to clean my teeth."

6. Washing Clothes With Harmful Chemicals


Crystal Wash Laundry Balls, $50, Amazon

According to a population-based survey, the prevalence of eczema symptoms is up to 17 percent, and the Center for Disease Control agrees that all kinds of allergies are on the rise. Whatever the cause, tons of millennials have subtle skin reactions that may be happening from the harmful chemicals in laundry detergents.

Crystal Wash Laundry Balls are a safer alternative that uses no chemicals, dyes, perfumes, or detergents. Instead, they use natural minerals from the earth to get rid of stains and odors, all while saving you tons of money in the long run, as these things last for up 1,000 loads of laundry.

7. Exfoliating Too Harshly


Konjac Sponges, $12, Amazon

According to Dennis Gross, M.D., people often overuse the tiny granules, sloughing sponges, or hand-held devices, which leads to "excessive dryness, irritation, redness, and sensitivity." I'm a massive fan of Konjac sponges, because, when wet, they have a cake-like consistency that's gentle on skin while still removing any excess dirt or dead cells. This set of two is infused with activated charcoal, which helps to pull impurities out to the surface. It's also got a suction-cup hook for easy storage in your shower.

8. Skipping The Floss


SmarToiletries Professional Cordless Water Flosser, $40, Amazon

You're probably brushing upwards of two times a day, but according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, flossing is potentially more important than brushing. That's because it "removes bacteria that are the precursors of plaque, which if left to fester will turn into tartar that cannot be removed by regular brushing or flossing."

If all the reaching and hassle and sensitivity prevents you from daily flossing, try something like the SmarToiletriesportable oral water flosser. It uses three pressure mode settings to remove plague and bacteria from teeth, gumlines, and your tongue, and it's also entirely waterproof and rechargeable.

9. Disinfecting With Certain Cleaning Products


Greensentials Household All Purpose Cleaner, $15, Amazon

According to Nesochi Okeke Igboke, MD, MS, the things you touch on a daily basis are a breeding ground for bacteria. "These objects include the remote control, doorknobs, keyboards, smartphones, and shower heads." However, the toxins in everyday cleaning products have been shown to disrupt hormones, brain function, and skin health, not to mention promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.

Instead of sulfates, ammonia, or dyes, Greensentials household all purpose cleaner uses lemon and eucalyptus essential oils to safely and naturally rid your house of bacteria and viruses. It leaves a streak-free shine on all different kinds of surfaces, and it's safe to use around pets, babies, and pregnant women. Reviewers say it does a wonderful job of breaking up dirt, but with a fresh, natural, clean scent.

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