13 Foolproof Steps to Hygiene

By Lindsay Baumgartner

If you are a high school student, chances are that you have happened upon someone with terrible personal hygiene. If you haven’t, you’re probably the one. These 13 steps are a good start to making sure that people aren’t afraid to sit by you and don’t run in terror when you come walking down the hall.

teethWhen you wake up:

Step 1: Wash your hands

Think of all of the things you touched before you go to bed. If you don’t wash your hands when you wake up, all of the pervious germs are still there. That’s no way to start the day!

 Step 2: Brush your teeth for two minutes

During the night bacteria (plaque) builds up on your teeth- brush it off! It’s better to brush before breakfast because the acids in some breakfast foods we eat break down enamel and brushing too soon speeds up that process. If you have to brush after breakfast, wait thirty minutes.

 Step 3: Wash your face

While you sleep dead skin cells fall off your face, and when mixed with sweat and sebum they clog your pores and can even cause breakouts. Your body also sweats a lot during the night whether you know it or not. Start with a clean face. Do not wash with hand soap! Use a cleanser from the drug store that fits your skin type.

 Step 4: Moisturize with SPF

This step is not just for ladies. When you wash your face with soap and water your skin dries out. And, especially in Colorado, if you don’t moisturize afterwards your face will continue to be dry, possibly start to peel, and even break out. SPF is important because even if you are not tanning your skin is exposed to sun. The skin on your face is particularly sensitive and will burn easily, leading to wrinkles- yuck!

 Step 5: Take a shower

Wash you hair and body. As stated above in step 3, your body sweats all night and you need to wash the gunk off. Showering in the morning can also help you wake up if you find it difficult. It doesn’t have to be a 30-minute shower. Give yourself enough time to wash your hair and use body wash.

 Step 6: Put on clean undergarments and clothes

This step should be self-explanatory. You should wear clean underwear every day and showing up to school in dirty clothes does not help you prepare for the day ahead. Skip wearing your favorite shirt that has a pudding stain on it and try on the cardigan your mother bought you.

 Step 7: Brush or comb your hair

Brushing your hair in the morning is healthy. Especially if you decided to shower the night before or if you shower every other day, it helps distribute the natural oil from your scalp to the tips. Never brush your hair when it is wet though. When your hair is wet it is prone to breaking and tearing. If you have to brush, use a wide-toothed comb that won’t tear it.

 Step 8: Put on cologne/perfume and deodorant

The perfume and cologne is optional. Not everyone feels that they need it. Deodorant, however, is a must. During the day as teenagers we sweat and hormones bring on body odor. Neutralize the stink and the sweat stains with antiperspirant deodorant.

Before bed:

Step 9: Wash your hands

During the day you get all kinds of bacteria and germs and stickiness on your hands. And since you are planning on touching your face soon, get the gunk off. Touching your face with dirty hands can be one of the reasons you break out.

 Step 10: Put on clean pajamas

This is not necessarily a must, but if you’re going to go to the trouble to put on pajamas they might as well be clean.

 Step 11: Floss, brush your teeth, and use mouthwash

Flossing helps get extra pieces of food out of your teeth that may have gotten stuck during the day and promotes healthy gums. Brushing your teeth for two minutes gets off plaque or bacteria. And using mouthwash with fluoride in it will help with bad breath and reduce cavities.

 Step 12: Wash your face

If you are a girl, chances are that you put makeup on before you left the house- get it off! Your skin needs to breathe at night and wearing make up to bed not only clogs your pores but also can be a huge reason for waking up with a nasty pimple. Wash your face (not with hand soap!) with a nighttime cleanser or the same one you use in the morning.

 Step 13: Moisturize with no SPF

Your face does not need SPF at night. When you think about it, you won’t be awake to wipe off excess oil or won’t realize that you touch your face while you sleep. Especially if your hair touches your face while you sleep or you haven’t washed your pillowcase in a while, adding excess oil from SPF is only going to hurt your skin.

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