How to Be Head-to-Toe Clean

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America is the land of the free and home of the brave. But when it comes to hygiene, we also tend to be the home of the over-obsessed. Americans tend to overdo bathing, hair washing, and teeth brush, resulting with dry skin, dry hair, and bleeding or receding gums. 

Here, we've provided a guide to help you remain fresh and clean without going overboard.

Washing Your Hair

So, how often should you really shampoo? According to the Academy of American Dermatology (AAD), it depends on your hair type and the level of oil on your scalp. While one person may need to wash daily, another may not. And when it comes to shampoo or conditioner, less is more. The average person should only use an amount that equals the size of a quarter. If you have shorter hair, a dime-sized amount will suffice.

Washing Your Face

For the average person, the AAD suggests washing with warm water and a mild soap twice a day at most-once in the morning and once at night. Over washing will result in drying out your skin. What's more, if you have acne, over-washing can result in irritation and inflammation of your skin.

Oral Care

As Americans, we obsess about how our teeth look. But what practices are really best for oral health (and not just for cosmetic appearance)? The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests brushing with a soft toothbrush and using toothpaste that contains fluoride. Additionally, flossing at least once a day can help prevent gum disease and cavities.

Washing Your Body

Soaps and shower gels remove dirt, body oils, and bacteria. Additionally, they prevent odor and infection. But heavy use of these products can over-dry the skin, causing flaking, itching, and irritation. If you're prone to dry skin, choose a mild cleanser and bathe or shower with cooler water.

Hand Washing

Want to really stay germ free? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), simply washing your hands with soap and hot water for 30 seconds and then drying them with a paper towel can prevent 80 percent of transferrable diseases.

Foot Care

Washing your feet well and regularly can help prevent foot maladies such as ulcers, sores, and foot fungus. This is especially important if you have diabetes. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) suggests that you:

  • Wash your feet in warm, not hot, water. Don't soak your feet, because your skin will get dry.
  • Before bathing or showering, test the water to make sure it's not too hot.
  • Dry your feet well. Be sure to dry between your toes. Use talcum powder or cornstarch to keep the skin between your toes moisture-free. 

The Final Word

Assess your current habits honestly. If it seems as though your routine is excessive, try to follow the guidelines set forth by credible health organizations. Remember, there is such a thing as "too clean."

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