Improving hygiene starts with washing your body efficiently, but not excessively.
According to the founder of the Digestive Center for Wellness, Robynne Chutkan, MD, you risk destroying beneficial bacteria that assist your microbiome in differentiating between good and bad germs when scrubbing your whole body with soap. Sandy Skotnicki, MD, also advises that excessive bathing or showering can lead to skin conditions like eczema.
So, what’s the best way to wash? Read on to find out the three most important areas of your body to focus on, the best way to clean them, and the best time of day.
Bacteria love armpits. They’re warm, moist, and typically dark. Some types of armpit bacteria produce the smelly compounds we generally refer to as body order (BO).
Keeping your armpits clean with warm water and mild soap helps eliminate this problem. If you’re out of soap, you can use shampoo. Antibacterial soaps can also be used to curb excessive body odor.
Sonia Batra, MD and co-host of “The Doctors,” says it’s a common belief that our feet get clean from the water and soap sliding down the body during a shower. However, this is not the case. Good foot hygiene is key to preventing odors and athlete’s foot.
It’s essential to wash the bottom, the sides, and in between your toes thoroughly to remove the dirt, grime, sweat, and bacteria that builds up there. Consider using a pumice stone daily for a good scrub.
Like armpits, the creases and folds of your groin are also a warm environment perfect for harboring harmful bacteria. They can lead to all sorts of undesirable problems, including infections, ingrown hairs, and odors.
Due to the skin’s sensitivity around the genital area, always use gentle soap and a washcloth for a thorough clean.
When’s the Best Time to Wash?
According to Dr Rekha Tailor, the best time to shower is in the evening. It removes the sweat, oils, dead skin cells, and other buildup on the skin from throughout the day. Showering just before bedtime cleanses your skin and preps it for proper overnight regeneration, as well as keeping that stuff from getting into your bed with you.
Keeping the Main Areas Clean
Bacteria thrive in warm, moist, and dark places, so be sure to keep your armpits, groin area, and feet clean every day. Once these areas are taken care of, all the rest of your body needs is a simple rinse. Use warm water and mild or antibacterial soap or shampoo for a thorough cleanse. Shower just before bed for valuable overnight skin renewal and more pleasant sleep.