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Personal grooming: more than just bathing

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Shot of handsome young man beginning to shave his face

By Beatrice Nakibuuka

Personal grooming habits are skills that help boost your inner confidence and maintain the overall hygiene of your body.

These are: bathing, washing hands after visiting the toilet, brushing teeth after waking up and before going to bed, trimming nails, keeping your hair neat, oral care, hair removal, taking care of your skin, as well as dressing, among others.

A person’s personal grooming routine is very important because it determines how you feel about yourself and how other people perceive you. Grooming is basically about taking care of one’s body and appearance.

Routines may vary from individual to individual, but often include similar basic steps.

Almost everyone has the same basic outline of a personal grooming routine each day to ensure they are clean and presentable to the world.

While taking care of one’s body, it is unfortunate that some people leave out some crucial parts of the body.

These are parts of the body that seem ‘hidden’; but may cause embarrassment if unattended to. Such parts may include the mastoid (area behind ears), eyes, neck, elbows, knees, tongue etc.

The teeth require dedicated attention and constant cleaning of at least twice a day. (Photo/The Mirror)

Oral care
While you can generally be complete, after all the other cleaning tasks for personal grooming just once a day, your teeth require more dedicated attention and you may have to clean them at least twice a day or after every meal.

According to Dr Sulaiman Kintu, a dental surgeon at Suham Dental surgery, brushing and flossing teeth ensures good daily oral hygiene.

Every morning when you wake up and in the evening before you go to bed, you should floss and brush your teeth or else you will have a build-up of plaque, tooth decay and an unpleasant smell. And do not forget to clean the tongue!

“Frequent flossing is very important because it keeps food particles from becoming cavity-forming plaque between your teeth and around your gums,” he says.

On the other hand, throughout the day, one should ensure to take water or chew gum, especially when they spend more time without talking. It is embarrassing when you are smart but as soon as you open your mouth, everyone turns away.

Most men do not care about having a lot of underarm hair.

Underarms
This is one of the most neglected parts of the body when it comes to grooming.

Most times, men do not care about having a lot of underarm hair.

Since the sweat glands in this area are very active, once coupled with overgrown hair, the underarms give off an unpleasant odour.

It is important that while bathing, you pay more attention to this area, shave as often as possible and always remember to wear a deodorant (anti-perspirant) to avoid sweating and bad odour in this area.

Perfume and cologne should be applied in small amounts in order to prevent an overwhelming smell.

Inner thighs
Inner thighs is an area that is sweat-prone and it is easy to get fungal infections there.

So you have to ensure that if you do any exercise, use some powder in order to reduce the sweating.

And after exercising, take a quick shower and clean this area attentively. The hair in that area should be managed well, just like in the armpits.

In addition, the undergarments have to be very soft and comfortable, preferable cotton.

Avoid synthetic undergarments, otherwise irritation allergies, rashes are likely to happen in the inner thigh areas.

Feet
Has anyone ever removed their shoes and the air around gets congested?

Feet are some of the ignored body parts, but if well groomed they will save you embarrassment.

Make sure the nails are cut properly so that there is no fungal infection, and your footwear should be well-fitting and cushioned so that corns and calluses do not develop.

Before wearing shoes, ensure feet are dry properly to avoid bad smell and fungal infections that come with dampness.

Socks and closed shoes should not be worn on all the time because your feet need air.

Belly button
Your belly button is prone to moisture accumulation because sometimes you do not clean it well, especially if the stomach is really heavy and the button is tucked in.

So, make sure you dry the belly button area well after bathing using a soft cloth or tissue.

This is also an area where a little bit of moisturizer should be applied to avoid dryness.

Face and cosmetics
Do you clean your eyes while washing your face? While washing the face, some people leave out the eye area, but it is important to gently pay attention to the eyes, especially in the morning.

You do not want to have a stranger tell you to clean your eyes! Eyes, while closed might collect discharge (for people with eye problems). If not cleaned, it will make one look careless.

Gently use a wet cloth and clean the eye corners and all-round the eye.

For the women that use make-up, Emily Subira, a beautician, advises that the make-up should be light and formal, not overly done.

“Applying layers of makeup will not only change your entire self, but also clog the pores. It is also important to keep track of your facial products’ expiry dates,” she says, adding that the make-up should be washed off before bed time.

Use a quality hairbrush to comb your hair. (Photo/Beauty Answered)

Unwanted hairs
It is important to shave off excess hair whenever necessary. Women may shave or wax their legs, underarms, and bikini area, but some find it unnecessary to shave legs, neck or arms.

Men often shave their facial hair and may use a trimming tool to remove hair from their ears and nose.

Eyebrows can also be groomed by waxing or using a pair of tweezers to pluck out stray hairs.

Subira says for men, a well-trimmed beard boosts your style and facial profile.

Therefore, depending on how fast your hair grows, you can go to the barber every two to four weeks to have the excessively long whiskers, neck beard and cheek encroachment removed.

Remember that facial hair can dry out skin, and irritate hair follicles; so, beard oil or balm is ideal.

Dressing
Dressing is also an important part of personal grooming. Clothes should be clean and free of stains, holes, and wrinkles.

Properly fitting clothes look decent. Wearing clothing that are too big or small in size can make a person look unkempt.

Clothes boost your confidence and help you attain a more positive attitude; therefore, it is important that you choose clothes that are specific depending on the occasion.

If you have no event and you are simply readying for a day around the house, choose a comfortable, well-fitting, and clean outfit.

A tasteful way of dressing earns you respect and conveys an air of maturity and attentiveness to detail.

Your shoes are included in the dressing; always remember to wear clean and comfortable footwear because the type of footwear leaves an impression on you.

Whether you choose to wear heels or low-heeled footwear, ensure to keep them clean for a better impression.

Dressing is an important part of personal grooming. (Source/BINUS)

Hair and scalp
It is important to wash your hair at least twice a week if it is very oily, and after two weeks if you have dry hair.

While washing, gently scrub the scalp to remove dirt or dead skin that settled there.

Hair and scalp are cleansed using a mild shampoo massaged into a lather; it is then rinsed away with any dirt and oils.

Remember to apply hair oil afterward to provide it with the necessary nourishment.

Use a quality hairbrush to comb your hair so that it does not break. Avoid scratching your head in public.

Neck
Most times, people tend to ignore their necks when they wash their faces. But this is one body part which is very important to wash.

The neck might accumulate a lot of dead skin; so, one has to gently scrub it with a natural scrub at least once a week.

If you put on weight, the neck becomes darker, so one has to exercise regularly to keep the weight under control.

Nails and cuticles
Keeping nails short and clean is also part of being presentable. It is socially acceptable and fashionable for most women to have medium-length nails.

Regardless of length, be sure that nails are evenly trimmed, clean, and, if painted, are not chipped or scratched.

Keeping nails short and clean is also part of being presentable. (Photo/Brooklyn)

Skin
Skin care typically consists of using products designed to clean, exfoliate, moisturize, and improve the appearance of the skin.

Keeping your skin healthy and elastic is ideal for fighting the effects of aging and maintaining your appearance.

After bathing, many people apply a full-body moisturizer for softer and supple skin. Lotions and oils keep your body wrinkle-free for longer.

If you want to maintain healthy skin, drink plenty of water and keep your diet healthy all the time.

Ali Male, a counseling psychologist at A to Z Counselling Services, remarks that although it is important to appear neat and attractive, it is equally necessary to be groomed in the way we talk, move around, sit, and present ourselves. This should include our having good dining manners.

“Dining etiquette is all about how you eat and behave at a dining table.

“It includes table manners, restaurant etiquettes, wine etiquettes, business etiquettes, and conversation tips among others,” he says.

Your level of grooming will often create an impression of yourself and oftentimes will help you avoid unnecessary embarrassments in the presence of other people.

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