Maintaining clean, healthy and good skin is vital and necessary as it enhances your total look. But one must not forget the finishing touches, like make-up and the H Factors: hair, hygiene and health. Good hygiene is a matter of habit: having a daily routine of bathing, applying deodorant, shaving, flossing and brushing teeth, and washing and conditioning the hair is crucial to your image.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and has a variety of essential functions. It protects and acts as a barrier, regulates body temperature, is a sensory organ and is also an organ of excretion. The skin makes Vitamin D in sunlight.
We sometimes get acne on our skin because of our hormones, the environment, school stress likes examinations, work stress, insufficient sleep or ingesting some type of herbs, supplements or medicines which may affect the skin. Do consult a doctor if the acne is bad and sometimes antibiotics are recommended.
You could visit a beautician for facials as she may be able to analyse your skin type, recommend appropriate products and how to use them correctly. Other services provided by a beautician include deep cleansing, removal of unwanted hairs, shaping of your eye brows and massaging your face to improve blood circulation.
As a daily routine, do cleanse your skin twice a day. Massage your face in an upward, outward and circular movement, but be gentle around the eyes and lips. For your neck, cleanse in an upward direction. Do not forget the sides of your nose where black heads / white heads can build up.
Cleansing helps to remove surface oil, impurities or make up. Use a make-up remover if you wear foundation, mascara and liquid eye liners. Some cleansers do not require you to rinse with water, so check on the type you buy. Toners help remove excess residue, so apply after you have cleansed your face. Moisturizers help to trap moisture in skin, and can be applied after toner and before putting on your make up. Some moisturizers contain sunscreen which protect the skin from harmful UV rays and help to prevent skin cancer. Use a scrub once a week as it helps to remove dead skin cells, renews skin and improves its texture. Do not scrub around the eye area. You could also choose to use a mask which could help blot up oil, draws out impurities or even hydrates the skin. There are many types like clay or a peel off mask. You can leave it on for 15 – 20 minutes, then use water to wash it off when it is completely dry.
Hair that is well cared for gives a good impression and can do wonders for your self-confidence. Hair is a complex cellular structure and will therefore vary from one person to another. Choose a shampoo based on your scalp type. Wash your hair at least once every 2 days. It is recommended to brush your hair first, then use warm water to rinse your scalp. Do wet your hair well so that you will use less shampoo and it will lather better. Don’t tip shampoo straight on to the hair, but spread it over your palms to get overall coverage. Massage it in gently without using finger nails and avoid adding more if there is not much lather as some shampoos work better that way. Do not pile the hair on top of the head where it will tangle or wash your hair in the bathtub as dirty residues are easily transferred. Do rinse thoroughly with cool water and make sure it is really well rinsed. Do wash the hair regularly as it clears out pollution, sweat and oil that can make the it smell. Use a wide toothed comb on wet hair as a brush will stretch and damage the hair shaft. Choosing a conditioner depends on your hair type. Massage in a small amount, but do not apply to the scalp, just to the hair ends. Using excessive conditioner can cause heaviness and that will lessen the hair’s natural bounce. Leave the conditioner on and wash thoroughly. Allow your hair to dry as naturally as possible. Do wash brushes and combs regularly in soapy water and rinse them well.
Ladies do remove any unwanted hair by plucking, tweezing, waxing, threading, bleaching, using an epilator or going for electrolysis or Intense Pulsed Light treatments. Remove from these areas – armpits, legs, excess in eyebrows and upper lip. If shaving, wet the area in which hair is to be removed first and work soap lather onto that area. It is quick, cheap and extremely easy. If you are using a hair removing cream, test cream on small area where hair is to be removed before working on the entire area. It is cheap and easy, but messy and has an unpleasant smell. Waxing can be done at home or in a salon, and the re-growth takes about four weeks. But hair must be long enough and it can be painful. Electrolysis and IPL are permanent but is time consuming and expensive. Make sure that the salon is accredited and that it uses sterile needles. Electric epilators pull hair out from the roots and though it is painful, it is easy to use and the results last for a few weeks. Plucking or tweezing is recommended only for the eyebrows.
When men shave, do use pre shave lubricant like shaving cream when using a manual razor blade. If using lather, apply it against beard growth and allow it to stay on for a minute. When using an electric razor, do not shave right after a shower. Start shaving on only completely dry skin. Use after-shave lotion as it helps to pep up circulation and closes pores. The astringent is good for oily skin. If you choose to maintain facial hair, adopt a daily trimming routine and wash regularly with a mild soap or shampoo.
Fresh perspiration produces very little smell in a healthy person as long as it evaporates off the skin. But our body shape and clothing can cause a build-up of perspiration and bacteria on the skin act on stale sweat to produce substances that smell. Thus regular washing and changes of clothing with the help of deodorant or anti-perspirant combats body odour. Chemicals in these deodorants and some soaps slow down bacteria growth. Choose a deodorant that lasts a whole day and it comes in different forms like creams, sticks, roll-ons and sprays. For the best action, apply the product to clean skin; not when you are already perspiring. Do not apply it right after your bath or shower when your skin is still warm either. Wait about 5 minutes to give your skin a chance to cool down before applying it.
We should bathe at least 2 times a day. Choose non-perfumed soaps if you have sensitive skin. After a bath, apply body lotion all over your body. Do not forget to apply lotion to your hands and feet as they tend to get dry easily, due to constant frequent washing and usage, and movement as well as friction of wearing of socks and shoes.
Nails can be kept neat, clean and short. Ladies if your wear nail polish, ensure it is not chipped or faded. Do wash socks or stockings after each use and if you find your legs tired or aching after a long day, prop your legs up for about 10 minutes. You could also soak your feet or hands in a tub of warm water with a few drops of essential oils like lavender or chamomile, or some drops of lemon juice to pep up tired aching feet. Use a pumice stone, foot file or foot scrub to remove all the dead cells and dry out your feet, toes and nails thoroughly.
Always clean your shoes after use and not when you want to use them. It is recommended to buy shoes in the afternoon or evening when feet are at their “largest”. Choose shoes with a comfortable fit. Avoid tight fitting shoes and air them out after every use.
Ensure your teeth are clean and free of food stuck in between, especially after a meal. You can brush your teeth in circular movements, massage your gums as well as your tongue. Dental plaque is harmful as it can cause decay, gum disease and halitosis. To remove plaque adequately, floss, brush and rinse mouth for a few minutes daily. Consult the dentist for cleaning, fluorinating and a check up every 6 months. Loss of teeth will affect your appearance, speech and chewing functions. You can also keep your breath fresh by drinking a lot of water and avoiding certain strongly flavoured foods before meeting people.