12 Personal Hygiene Mistakes You Are Probably Making

by Unbelievable Facts4 years ago

7 Obsessively cleaning the ears using cotton swabs.

We all know the satisfaction of twirling cotton swabs inside our ears. You might think you are doing a good job of keeping your ears clean, but you may actually be doing more damage than you may realize. That is because the ears are self-cleaning, and you do not need to remove or prevent the buildup of earwax.

In most cases, earwax naturally migrates from deep within the ear canal to the outside. However, some people produce more earwax than others, and it can get drier and harder the longer it stays inside the ear canal. In those instances, the earwax may need to be manually removed, but using cotton swabs is not the way.

In fact, inserting a cotton swab or any other object in the ear can push the earwax deeper into the ear canal, which makes it harder for it to pass naturally. When chunks of earwax block the area near the eardrum, it can cause painful ear infections. There is also the risk of injuring the ear canal and eardrum.

Earwax or cerumen actually serves many purposes – it acts as a natural moisturizer, traps dust and dirt, absorbs debris and dead skin cells, and keeps bacteria and other organisms from reaching the inner ear. Having earwax does not mean you have poor hygiene. Therefore, you do not need to obsessively clean the ears. (1, 2, 3)

8 Sharing makeup products and not cleaning makeup brushes.

Have you ever played dress-up with your bestie and casually used her makeup to glam up? If not, you may have at least used your friend’s lipstick or lip balm while out clubbing. Women love their makeup, and sometimes they may share it with their friends. However, using someone else’s makeup product can be a serious mistake!

Though you may not realize it, makeup products such as foundation, lipstick, compacts, and so on can harbor all kinds of germs. The bacteria that live on your skin often get transferred to your makeup. If someone else uses the same makeup, the bacteria can then infect that person. Diseases can spread this way. You may end up with eye infections, cold sores, or acne. At worst, you may even end up paralyzed!


If that sounds farfetched, here’s the story of Jo Gilchrist. Back in 2015, the then 27-year-old Jo ended up in the hospital after experiencing excruciating pain that was caused by a staph infection. She contracted the disease after using a friend’s makeup to cover up a pimple. As it turns out, her friend was carrying the bacteria that causes the infection. Jo lost all feeling in the lower part of her body, and will spend the rest of her life bound to a wheelchair!

Another common makeup-related mistake is never cleaning the brushes. Your makeup brushes not only have the product residue on them, but they also harbor oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. That makes them the perfect spot for bacteria to thrive. Using dirty makeup brushes can cause fungal infections, acne, and many other skin problems. That is why experts recommend washing makeup brushes every 7 to 10 days. (1, 2, 3)

9 Using hand dryers in public bathrooms.

You might think hand dryers are more eco-friendly than paper towels, but they are certainly not more hygienic! A study conducted by the University of Connecticut revealed that hand dryers are actually a whirlpool of fecal matter. According to experts, flushing an open toilet can cause bacteria and microscopic bits of poop to be flung as high as 4.5 meters or 15 feet into the air. The same bacteria and fecal matter can get sucked into the hand dryers, and the same gets transferred to your hands when you dry them. Research has also shown that jet air dryers disperse 190 times more viruses than paper towels.

That is why experts always advise against using hand dryers. Paper towels not only dry your hands faster, but they also cause friction, which dislodges any remaining bacteria from your hands. If you don’t have access to paper towels, you should just let your hands air dry. (1, 2)

10 Never replacing your loofah.

Those who love exfoliating their skin use the loofah pretty much every day when showering. What they don’t do is replace that loofah often. In fact, most of us are guilty of using the same loofah for weeks and months without ever realizing why it is wrong.

Loofahs are spongy, porous objects with numerous nooks and crannies. When we exfoliate, dead skin cells get lodged in the loofah, which also stays damp throughout the day. That creates the perfect environment for bacteria to proliferate. The longer you use the loofah, the more bacteria it accumulates.


Using the same loofah for long can cause a host of skin problems including fungal infections. Moreover, loofahs are harsh on the skin, and regularly using them can cause your skin to become damaged or irritated. (1, 2, 3)

11 Not changing pillowcases often.

How often you change your pillowcase can determine the quality of your skin. Much like the rest of your body, your hair and face collect dirt, oil, and various air pollutants throughout the day even though you may not be able to see them. Of course, washing your face and hair does a good enough job of removing these particles, but it is not enough. The leftover microscopic irritants get transferred to your pillowcase.

If you use the same pillowcase for weeks and months, it is most likely covered in dead skin cells, oils, sweat, and bacteria. Prolonged usage can lead to rashes, itching, acne, and various other skin problems. A dirty pillowcase can also attract dust mites and bed bugs. That is why experts recommend washing the pillowcase once every week. (1, 2)

12 Shaving pubic hair.

While some people shave their pubic region for aesthetic purposes, a large number of people do it for hygiene. However, experts say that shaving pubic hair can actually be risky. Humans are the only mammals to have long and coarse pubic hair, and there is a reason for it.

The hair actually protects the highly sensitive area from friction during intercourse. Moreover, the apocrine sweat glands use the hair follicles to release sweat. Removing pubic hair can not only mess up the natural process, but it can also make you more vulnerable to STDs such as HPV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. (1, 2, 3)

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