“The most important house to clean is your own body.” – Marina Abramovic
We all know the importance of cleanliness, and most of us think that by showering with soap, we’ve prevented potentially harmful bacteria from making us sick. Most days, you likely go through the motions on autopilot. As soon as your alarm buzzes in the morning, you get out of bed and head to the shower for your daily cleanliness routines. But do you really make a conscious effort to clean every inch of your body? Here are some body parts that you should clean more often to keep them healthy and safe from harmful bacteria:
Here Are 5 Body Parts You Need to Clean More Often
You likely wash your hair regularly, but have you heard that using less shampoo is better for you? Daily shampooing apparently removes the natural and beneficial oils that make the hair healthier. Here’s a fun time comparison: Several decades ago, the New York Times advised women that it’s best to wash the hair twice a week, as opposed to once a month, based on the recommendations of specialists!
While a lot of people use shampoo to clean their hair, most don’t pay special attention to the scalp. The many sweat glands of this area will form flakes if not properly scrubbed and massaged. This is why your head itches if it’s not clean.
Ideally, you should spend two minutes scrubbing your scalp to get rid of the dead skin cells that build up every day. You should also massage your scalp to help increase the blood flow that gives your hair needed nutrients. But how often should you shampoo? It depends on your hair type, as too many shampoo chemicals can also be bad for the hair. If you have oily hair, you might need to shampoo every other day.
2. Belly Button
The navel or belly button is perhaps the most disregarded body part when it comes to cleaning. Bacteria easily build up in this dark, moist area. Some people’s belly button can smell really bad because of the accumulation of sweat and dirt. In some cases, the smell may be a symptom of a bacterial, fungal, or yeast infection, or the belly button might have a wound or bruise that has remained untreated.
It’s quite simple to clean the gunk out of your belly button. Use a soft washcloth to gently massage your navel and use table salt to disinfect the area. Don’t use creams or other skin care products because these might leave residues that may cause more buildup.
3. Behind your ears
There are skin folds behind your ears that have a high concentration of sebaceous glands. These glands collect sweat and secrete sebum, so you’ll need to scrub and wash this area properly. The area behind your ears can smell like cheese because of bacteria growth. While this is normal, as your skin goes through the biological process of renewing itself, the odor won’t be pleasant – especially if other people smell it too.
Sometimes, blackheads also form behind your ears when it’s not clean or residues remain from shampoos and soaps. Before you shower, you might also want to swab this area with cotton soaked in white vinegar to kill the bacteria or germs. If you wear earrings, regularly remove and wash these too.
Your tongue is like a sponge. It absorbs bacteria from the food and drinks you put in your mouth. If you’re not conscious about cleaning your tongue, you might develop stinky breath because of the bacteria buildup. A study says that 50 percent of halitosis, also known as bad breath, is due to tongue residues.
A simple remedy? Clean your tongue whenever you brush your teeth. Using the same toothbrush, reach the back of your tongue and gently scrape outwards towards the tip. If you have a sensitive gag reflex, using a tongue scraper would be better than a toothbrush.
In addition, you might want to gargle with a mouthwash after your clean your mouth. Choose a mouthwash that has cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) in its ingredients as it can reduce bacteria buildup by 34.5 percent more than other types of mouthwash, as per clinical research.
Most people don’t scrub their feet when taking a shower but experts say this area must be cleaned as often as you wash your face or brush your teeth. It’s easy for the feet to come in contact with fungi and bacteria, which can lead to calluses and other skin irritations.
Apart from giving your feet TLC in the bathroom, apply lotion or moisturizer every day to maintain the suppleness of the skin. Don’t forget to pay attention to the areas between your toes, as well as the heel and ball of your feet. These are the areas that dry faster and dry skin might lead to an infection.
Trim and file your toenails every two weeks. Experts also recommend rotating the shoes you wear to air them out since the feet can sweat and leave residues.
As a matter of good hygiene and wellness, mere positive thinking isn’t enough. Always take a few extra minutes to focus on cleaning these often-overlooked body parts. It’s not too late to develop this positive habit in your routine and you’ll feel loads better after. Cleanliness is next to godliness, after all!