7 Personal Hygiene Mistakes that Harm Your Health

Taking hot showers is tempting in the winter, but keep the temperature down because if it's too high it can remove your skin's natural protective barrier.
7 Personal Hygiene Mistakes that Harm Your Health
Nelton Abdon Ramos Rojas

Written and verified by the doctor Nelton Abdon Ramos Rojas.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

The personal hygiene routine you do everyday is important for both your appearance and your health.

We often think we’re doing the right thing, but you’re actually probably making mistakes that may be harming your health instead of helping it.

7 personal hygiene mistakes that are bad for you

1. Trimming your nails wrong

People sometimes use scissors to cut their nails. But remember that your nails are made up of layers.

So when you trim them with scissors, the structure of your nails is deformed, layers are broken apart, and they start breaking easily.

To prevent nail damage, use nail clippers. These make clean cuts that you can then later shape with a nail file.

2. Cleaning your nose with your fingers

woman's nose

It’s a very bad habit because there is a multitude of microbes on your fingers, and when they come into contact with the mucous in your nose, it can cause inflammation.

The best way to clean your nose it by using a small jar with warm water and salt.

This is how you do it:

  • Lean your head back and slowly pour the water through one of your nostrils.
  • Let the liquid come out the other nostril.
  • Repeat with the other nostril.
  • Then cover one, exhale forcefully, and repeat the other side.
  • The residue will be removed along with the water and you’ll be cleaning your nose out and thus preventing congestion, allergies, and sinusitis.

3. Using scented soap and bodywash in the shower

Showering every day is good for your health but be careful what kind of soap you use.

If you use too much soap or bodywash, you’re destroying your body’s natural defense against germs.

Your skin will be more vulnerable to different kinds of conditions and will get dry.

  • Pick fragrance-free soaps or those that contain glycerin: these are free of synthetic ingredients and help keep moisture in.
  • Avoid soaps with high acid content or high pH.

4. Showering and washing your hair in very hot water

woman showering with her eyes closed

Taking very hot showers can hurt your skin’s natural moisture. The perfect temperature for a shower is 110 degrees or less to remove dirt and bacteria.

If you go higher than that, you’re also removing your skin’s natural oil barrier, which is important if you want moisturized, soft skin.

Your hair is also damaged if you wash it with very hot water, since it makes your hair more porous, break more easily, lose its natural oils, and look dull.

“Take a look at this article: 4 Alternatives to Moisturize Dry Hair”

5. Improper dental hygiene

For impeccable personal hygiene, healthy, clean teeth are essential.

  • Brushing your teeth in the morning, after lunch, and before bed is advisable.
  • The problem is how you brush your teeth and how much toothpaste you use.
  • The right way to brush is up and down. If you use too much force or go left and right, you could harm your gums.

You should also brush from the inside out to get rid of all the plaque and use floss to remove bits of food that build up and encourage the growth of microorganisms.

Using too much toothpaste will make the bristles of your brush slide over the surface of your teeth too much, making it less effective.

The recommended amount is a pea-sized dollop.

  • The cleaning comes from the brush, not the amount of toothpaste you use.

6. Using too much conditioner, and washing your hair every day

woman washing her hair with shampoo for personal hygiene

Excess conditioner, even on dry hair, can adhere to your hair and leave residue that will make it look dirty and lifeless.

If it remains on your scalp, it blocks your pores and makes your hair grow more slowly.

  • The perfect amount of conditioner is a coin-sized drop. Apply it only to your dry ends.
  • Washing your hair daily may remove natural oils, leaving it dry and fragile.

7. Covering your mouth with your hand when you sneeze or cough

We’ve been taught to cover our mouth when we sneeze or cough.

Most viruses are transmitted through the air and their favorite way of spreading is through sneezes and coughs.

Covering your mouth with your hand isn’t the best option, since the virus found in the saliva of a sneeze or cough loves to live on your hands.

The best thing to do is to cover your mouth with a tissue and after using it, throwing it away.

If you don’t have one on hand, cover your mouth with your arm. This way if you rub your eyes or touch your face, you won’t be spreading infection.

And, if you correct these mistakes in your personal hygiene, your body and your health will thank you.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.