When was the last time you changed the way you did something?
It probably wasn’t as recent as you thought it was because we all develop and become set in our own habits over the course of our lives. When it comes to washing our hands, face, and hair, they are no exception. Over time, our routines may evolve slowly, or we may develop new habits to completely replace the old out of immediate necessity. Some of these habits are helpful to maintain cleanliness and good health while others habits may be doing us more harm than good.
Let’s discuss nine common habits we all can reconsider when washing your hands, faces, and hair.
1. Not Washing Your Hands Long Enough
While washing our hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs, we don’t always remember to lather for the recommended guideline of twenty seconds. Twenty seconds of lathering can feel like an eternity, but it is necessary to get the full benefits and protection against germs. You’ve probably heard that singing ‘Happy Birthday’ from beginning to end twice is the perfect twenty second timer, but if that’s not a song that motivates you to lather longer, consider singing the chorus to one of your favourite songs twice to ensure a thorough hand washing.
2. Forgetting to Lather Under Your Nails
Our nail beds are a breeding ground for bacteria, and the longer your nails are,
the more bacteria will start to collect underneath them. When washing your hands,
make sure you lather under your nails when scrubbing with soap. It’s important to make sure we lather the harder to reach places just as much as lathering common areas such as the palms of your hands. We are constantly touching things with our hands, so it’s important to give equal attention to each part.
3. Using a Facial Washcloth Instead of Your Finger Tips
There are many tools and products on the shelves that are marketed to help wash our faces such as a washcloth or mesh sponge. However, using a washcloth or mesh sponge can irritate your skin. If they aren’t cleaned often enough, they can also collect and spread bacteria back onto your face. When washing your face, wet it with lukewarm water and use your washed fingertips to apply your cleanser and moisturizer accordingly.
4. Rubbing Your Face Dry
While we tend to focus on how we wash our faces, our drying techniques are just as important. Instead of rubbing your face dry with a clean woven towel, make sure you pat your face dry with it. Woven towels are breathable, absorbent, and gentle against your skin, and to get the most out of them, opt not to use your own force to rub your face dry because it will cause skin irritation. Instead, pat your skin dry to guarantee a gentler and kinder drying technique that will soothe your skin.
5. Forgetting to Moisturize Your Face After Washing
While washing our faces is important to keep our pores clear, it often dries out our skin. Everyone’s skin needs are different, so using a mild cleanser followed by a moisturizer each time you wash can help your skin retain it’s natural moisture. If you notice your skin is dry or itchy, then the cleanser you’re using is drying out your skin’s natural
6. Not Washing Your Face Enough
A common rule agreed upon by dermatologists is to limit washing your face to twice a day and after sweating. Washing your face excessively produces excess oil which can clog up your pores just as much as not washing your face routinely. Make sure that you remove all of your makeup when washing your face at night, as it can also irritate and clog pores when left untreated.
7. Washing Your Hair Too Much
To maintain a healthy scalp and hair, it’s recommended on average to shampoo at least once every three days. Your scalp is meant to have natural oils, and if you wash your hair too often, it will strip your scalp of those oils causing your scalp to dry out. Using a shampoo that has a blend of active and moisturizing ingredients will also be helpful to keep your scalp and hair clean and moisturized.
8. Shampooing Twice
Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to shampoo your hair twice before conditioning. Washing your hair twice can also strip your hair of its natural oils which will adversely affect the growth of your hair and trigger damage. Unless you’ve oiled your hair beforehand and feel like the oil isn’t washing out, you don’t need to wash your hair twice.
9. Rubbing Your Hair Dry
Much like your face, rubbing your hair dry is also not the most effective habit to have because it creates more frizz and breakage to your hair. Instead, use a woven towel to gently pat and absorb the moisture out of your hair without damaging or making your hair more difficult to style. If you prefer to towel dry your hair, make sure you wear it until your hair is still damp but not dripping to prevent your hair from drying out too much.
Habits Can Be Mended
Changing habits takes time, and it takes even more time to notice the benefits from the changes we made. With dedication and our desire to do better for our health, we can change any of our unfavourable habits. All it takes is a willingness to change.
Written by Eleni Zaptses
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