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Personal hygiene checklist

It’s important for your body to stay clean and healthy.

Particularly as you grow through puberty. During this time your body will begin to sweat more, your skin and hair may become greasier, plus hair will start to grow in new places.

There’s no need to be overwhelmed though, here’s a checklist for keeping on top of your personal hygiene.

1. Cleaning your teeth - once in the morning and once at night before bed

We don’t just brush our teeth to have fresh breath. Having good oral health prevents cavities or plaque from building up and results in a healthy smile.

You can also use floss get rid of plaque in between teeth. Read more about looking after your oral health.

2. Cleaning genitals

Make cleaning your genitals a habit. During puberty you may start to notice discharge from this area, which is normal, but if it begins to change colour, smell or itch then speak to a GP. This can be a sign of infection.

For boys:

Gently clean underneath the foreskin everyday when washing the rest of your body. Without regular cleaning, a build-up of a whitish-yellow substance known as ‘smegma’ can occur under the foreskin.

Smegma can look like pus to the untrained eye. If you have any concerns consult your GP.

For girls:

Avoid using fragranced products to clean the vagina. Products that are fragranced can affect your PH levels and cause irritation.

The vagina is really good at cleaning itself. You should still clean it regularly, but when cleaning use plain, unfragranced products.

Avoid douches too – douches flush water up into the vagina. Some people use this technique thinking that it will “cleanse” the vagina, whereas it can actually disrupt your natural PH levels.

There is no evidence that douching protects against STI’s or infections either.

3. Take a shower or bath once a day

This eliminates body odour; it’ll make you smell nice too. Wash your whole body and address any breakouts of spots with mild face wash.

When washing your hair:

Be sure to massage the shampoo into the scalp. If you’re using conditioner, focus it mostly on the ends of your hair, as too much conditioner can result in hair still looking wet/dirty.

Once you’ve applied shampoo and conditioner, rinse it off thoroughly to remove any excess product.

If you don’t rinse your hair thoroughly, hair products can build up on your hair or scalp. This could later result in dandruff or itchiness

4. Shaving your face

Ensure you exfoliate before shaving as this will remove dead skin and gives better results. Potentially preventing ‘shavers rash’ or skin irritation.

Replacing your razors blade every 7 days will prevent any skin infections from occurring.

Remember to ask for help if you need it. You may need supervision from a parent or carer at first for some support.

5. Applying deodorant

Use antiperspirant under your armpits once a day, or after any intense physical activity.

This will limit perspiration (sweating) and help to reduce body odour.

Top tip:

Some deodorants, such as body spray, do not prevent sweating. Make sure you use an antiperspirant deodorant under your arms, and not body spray.

6. Diet

A balanced diet is important for:

  • Boosting mood
  • Providing the body with vitamins and nutrients that we may lack
  • Healthy skin

Read our top tips for eating healthily.

7. Exercise

Exercise can make you sweat, which is good for the body. Sweating releases toxins, boosting the immune system. Just make sure you wash your body and apply antiperspirant after any intense exercise or sweating, as dry sweat can lead to body odour.

Click here to check out a few ways to get more exercise without really trying.

8. Maintaining healthy nails

Keep your finger and toenails at a manageable length, clipping and cleaning them when they look long or dirty.

how to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

Cross Hatch

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