There was a time in the distant past when personal hygiene was not considered a priority. Since many of our ancestors spent most of their time doing hard physical labor to meet basic needs, keeping their bodies clean wasn’t on top of their to-do lists. For them, spending time implementing self-hygiene routines wasn’t always practical.
Nineteenth-century settlers considered a weekly bath sufficient, provided there was enough water. The wealthy ones who had the time and money to spend on hygiene focused more on perfumes and powders than keeping clean.
Today it’s very different because many of us believe we need various hygiene products to get by.
We’re not saying that the nineteenth-century routine was a hygiene standard you wanted to hold. But what if we can shortlist the personal hygiene contenders to a simple five essential products you need to have at your disposal? Let’s begin.
Before the standard toilet paper, in the early 19th century, people used other types of paper, such as newspapers or catalog pages. And much before that, it was natural items like sponges, corn cobs, or leaves.
Some toilet paper manufacturers referred to it as “medicinal.” In the 1920s, Charmin would feature a silhouette of a woman on its packaging to associate toilet paper with femininity.
We haven’t always used a rolled-up material made from wood pulp to get our bodies clean, but there’s always been a necessity for it. If you’re ever concerned about the environmental impact, go for some of the recycled products on the market.
It’s possible you might be in possession of three different soaps in your bathroom, like hand, body, and face. But are all of those necessary?
Soap was, historically, simply a fat which was often from an animal byproduct, such as lard or beef tallow, cooked with an alkali to create a chemical reaction called saponification. As a result, a foaming substance, either liquid or solid, depending on the alkali, which helped remove dirt and grime.
Today’s soap, however, does not meet the traditional soap criteria due to the heavy use of modern ingredients like synthetic surfactants and petroleum detergents.
The real benefit of hand-washing comes in the scrubbing motion, which physically removes bacteria. So if you’re planning on going with just one soap, consider a castile soap.
The firm, white olive oil-based soap was first created in the early 1600s in the Castile region of Spain. The addition of brine made a pure soap suitable for use all over your body. It won’t dry out nor harm sensitive skin. Consider also using a bathroom hand dryer over coarse towels when drying your hands after cleaning with soap to further protect your skin.
Shampoo is very different from regular soap and contains ingredients designed to remove dirt, dandruff, excess oil, and buildup from the environment. Shampoo is also made to make your hair smooth, shiny, moisturized, and more manageable.
We’ve established that shampoo is a necessity, and unless you have a problem such as dandruff, or a particular hair condition you want to manage, it doesn’t matter whether you choose an expensive brand or the no-name one. The basic idea is to get your hair clean.
Expensive shampoos will claim to keep your hair healthy with the addition of vitamins, but it’s essential to keep in mind that your hair isn’t alive, and there’s only so much that those vitamins can do for it.
Sweating is a necessary bodily function that cools down our bodies when we’re hot. Like so many other natural functions, it is also considered distasteful.
Since the sweat glands responsible for the odor in the underarms are highly concentrated, most of us apply deodorant to reduce the amount of sweat we produce and cover up any potential odor.
You may imagine that deodorant is a fairly modern invention, though the first one was issued in 1888. Most deodorants today use a type of aluminum compound that closes the pores in your underarm skin, preventing sweat from escaping. Some aluminum-zirconium compounds also absorb the sweat that you do release.
Toothpaste is a dentifrice which is a product used to maintain oral hygiene. The ancient Romans utilized tooth powders made from abrasives like seafood shells, ashes, and animal bones. The modern version is an invention of the 19th century.
Many early toothpastes included baking soda as an abrasive and hydrogen peroxide which are still used in toothpastes today. Fluoride has been added to toothpaste since the 1950s to prevent tooth decay. Additionally, toothpaste may also include artificial sweeteners along with an antibacterial ingredient to avoid tartar, gingivitis, and bad breath.
The products mentioned above are absolutely essential to have in your daily routine. However, you can always take extra care by adding effects like sanitizers, dental floss, disinfectants, menstrual hygiene kits, and many more you can consider. Protect yourself from many diseases to ensure you live a long, healthy life ahead by taking care of your body. We hope you find this article helpful.