Discovering Personal Hygiene
Learning teen hygiene best practices should start during adolescence when your body begins changing. As you experience new things about your body, you’ll need to add to the hygiene basics you’ve learned since childhood. Washing your hands and showering regularly isn’t enough anymore! What are 8 personal hygiene best practices for teens?
When your body grows and develops, a new kind of sweat gland forms in your armpits and genital areas. The type of sweat made by this gland feeds skin bacteria, and the combination causes body odor. This can happen on your skin or on the clothes that you wear. It’s important to shower or bathe often and to change and wash clothes that directly touch your skin, like underwear.
Washing your skin and clothes clears bacteria buildup, preventing extreme body odor. The fewer dead skin cells, sweat, and body fluids there are for bacteria to eat, the less smelly you’ll be. In addition to staying clean, you can use an antiperspirant, deodorant, or an antiperspirant deodorant to reduce body odor and sweat.
You might notice that your feet smell, even if this has never happened to you before. Even if you don’t play sports, you could have smelly feet. When you shower, pay special attention to your feet. Clean them thoroughly, and always make sure they’re totally dry before putting your socks and shoes on. If you have more than one pair of shoes, alternate which ones you wear. If you think your socks are making your feet stink, switch to cotton socks.
You probably learned about dental hygiene when you were younger and first started brushing your teeth. You need to continue taking care of your mouth and teeth by brushing twice a day, flossing, and making regular dentist appointments. Doing this will help you have good breath, healthy gums, and strong teeth.
A big part of puberty for young women is getting their period. Learning to manage your period might take a few months, but it will become a natural part of your month. Experiment with pads, tampons, and underwear designed to absorb period flow. Wash your genital area frequently and learn how to get rid of used period supplies hygienically.
Body Hair and Shaving
It’s normal to grow hair in new places during your teenage years. If you want to shave this new hair, learn how to do it safely. Young men and young women can use any combination of traditional razors, electric razors, shaving cream, soap, or other shaving products. Never dry shave; this can cause skin irritation.
There’s no rush when it comes to shaving. Go slowly, especially when shaving a curve or angle, like behind your knee or around your chin. You might cut yourself if you move too fast, but fear of nicking yourself shouldn’t keep you from shaving.
Don’t begin shaving until you feel like you’re ready to. There’s no right or wrong time to begin shaving your body hair.
Your face might start getting oilier than it did when you were a child. Your forehead, nose, and chin, in particular, are prone to becoming oily and clogged. This area is known as the T-zone. You can wash your T-zone with a non-comedogenic cleanser to prevent buildup and acne. Try not to touch your face at all, and if you have to, wash your hands first. The fewer germs and bacteria on your face, the less you’ll run into skin problems.
Keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed to avoid ingrown nails. Use clean nail clippers and cut straight across instead of along the curve of your nails. Biting your nails is an easy way for bacteria and germs to spread, so try to avoid doing this.
During your teenage years, your hormones are more active than usual. There are glands on your scalp that produce oil to keep your hair shiny and healthy, but these glands produce extra oil during puberty. Your hair can get too oily, even greasy if you don’t wash your hair enough. Try washing it every other day to keep your scalp from accumulating too much oil.
You can find a shampoo designed specifically for people with oily hair. Wet your hair with warm water and use a little shampoo to work into your hair. If you’re trying to clean the oil off, you don’t need to scrub or rub very hard. If you use hair styling products, look for ones that claim to be “greaseless” or “oil-free” to avoid adding unnecessary oil to your scalp.
Staying hygienic helps you stay healthy and adds to your confidence. If you find that you can’t control oily skin, acne, ingrown nails, or other hygiene-related issues, talk to your healthcare provider for advice.