When it comes to personal hygiene, we all have different habits, so hearing what other people do or what magazines recommend can have us questioning if we are doing things right. Despite what you have heard from your friends or co-workers, there are several hygiene myths just aren't true, and it’s time to put these rumors to rest. These incorrect assumptions may have persisted for some time now, but that doesn't make them any less inaccurate.
With so much information circling on the internet, it's no surprise that many misconceptions about our health and our bodies get perpetuated. One scroll through Pinterest and you might be led to believe some false promises or bogus facts that may have you second-guessing your morning regimen. It can be difficult to separate fact from fiction without some expert help.
HEALTH MYTHS TO BE AWARE OF
Questioning your routine? We’re here to help you separate fact from fiction. Here are some of the most common hygiene myths to be aware of as you evaluate and develop your self-care habits.
1. You Shouldn't Moisturize Oily Skin
If you have oily skin, you might think it's best to shy from moisturizers, but your skin may be too dry, which is why your body is trying to naturally produce more oil. "Oily skin requires moisturizing just as much as dry skin. "Using a light moisturizer for oily skin will curb sebum production within skin glands."
2. Not Brushing or Not Flossing, Damages Only Your Teeth
So you haven't been to the dentist in a few years, no big deal, right? Wrong. Oral hygiene is more important than just protecting against cavities and gum disease. Poor oral health can harm your heart health and increase your risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer's disease, according to Mayo Clinic. So please, maintain the twice a day routine.
3. You Should Shower Every Day
Showering daily is more of a social norm than an actual necessity. Too frequent showering can dry out your skin and your hair, and it can strip your skin of its natural oils and immune-system supporting bacteria, according to Time. Everyone has their hygiene, but don't feel obligated to believe everything you hear from your friends or from what you see on the internet.
While there are plenty of reasons why someone might choose to shower daily, such as personal preference, help waking up in the morning, or a regular workout routine, there is no health benefit to showering every day. Showering too much can negatively impact your skin.
Normal, healthy skin has a layer of natural oils and good bacteria that protects the skin from dryness and germs. Over washing your body with soap and water, particularly if hot, can strip your skin of this layer, leaving it dry, itchy, irritated, or cracked and at risk of infection or allergic reaction. For individuals with conditions like eczema or psoriasis, this can also lead to flare-ups.
On the other hand, though, bathing too little can result in body odor and a buildup of dirt, oils, and dead skin that can lead to clogged pores, acne, and other bacterial or fungal infections. While there is no hard or fast rule on how often you should bathe, showering every other day or a few times a week is typically enough for most people to maintain good health. It’s important, however, to take your skin type, activities, and bath products into consideration when developing your routine.
4. Deodorants and Antiperspirants Cause Breast Cancer.
In the early 2000s, a few studies suggested a link between antiperspirant or deodorant and breast cancer. The authors of these studies and other scientists theorized that chemicals found in these products, including aluminum and parabens, are absorbed by the skin, especially after shaving and deposited in the lymph nodes. However, according to both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute, there is no strong evidence linking these products to breast cancer.
5. It's Better to Pop a Pimple
"The truth is, even though it feels really good to pop it, a lot can go wrong when we start picking," says dermatologist Heather D. Rogers, MD over email. "We often pick too much creating a bigger wound for our body to heal. And when we squeeze we can push some of the pus deeper into the skin, causing more inflammation."
No matter how tempting or satisfying it may be to pop a pimple, don’t do it. Though it may seem like a “quick fix”, popping a pimple can cause more to pop up, as well as lead to worse blemishes and scarring. When you puncture the skin of a pimple, you release all of the oil, debris, dirt, and bacteria in it, which can spread to other pores and lead to a bigger outbreak. Squeezing a pimple may also force its contents even deeper into your skin while introducing even more dirt and bacteria from your finger to it. This can cause your skin to look more red, inflamed, and swollen. The best way to get rid of a pimple is to keep your hands off of it and let it be.
Some myths you may already have suspected, and some might surprise you, but the more you know, the better you will be to taking care of yourself the right way and perhaps it will even take away some of your worry. Check out for part 2 of Common Hygiene Myths you shouldn't believe.