When was the last time you showered? Keep that question in mind. The answer will come back round to you. As a woman, you live your life aware of scent, yours and other people’s.
Know how to take care of your body. In fact, this is why sometimes I think self-care is a deceiving way to string words. It comes with a lot of pressure to do a number of things from yoga, meditation, hydration masks to compulsorily sleeping for 8 hours, all of it enhanced with a sense of failure and guilt.
There is an overwhelming need to move past self-care and return to the basics of feminine hygiene. The lucky ones were taught by their mothers, aunts and sisters.
Being a woman is not without its challenges. We need to acclimatise to such a high standard of cleanliness that is practically religious. Here are critical feminine hygiene tips to remember.
- Get rid of body hair either through epilators, shaving or waxing. I propose professional hair removal. If you have facial hair, tweeze or thread it as soon as you step out of the shower when your pores are open. The hair on the body is largely a personal preference, but, at the very least, get rid of hair around your armpits for a fresher feeling and smell.
- Cleanse your face with the right products according to your skin type, and cleanse twice a day. I recommend two types of cleansers. One that meets the treatment needs of your skin for night time, and a gentler one for the morning.
- Exfoliate your face an average of twice a week, and your body once a week. If you make scrubs, use brown sugar. Its granules are softer and kinder to the skin. You can also use oatmeal, salt or ground coffee. Mix it with raw coconut oil. Remember that the treatment you give your face should be given to your neck.
- Shower twice a day: before bed and in the morning. Make sure that you rinse in between your thighs with warm water. You can buy a feminine wash and strictly use it externally around your vulva, especially when you are on your periods. Do not douche. Ever. No matter what it promises. And do not insert any cleaners. If you still have a strong odour, and by that I mean if it is not your natural scent, see a doctor. There could be an underlying issue.
Use the same method to wash in between your buttocks. Again, do not insert any cleaning agents or perfumes.
- Clean behind your ears, your earlobe and the outside crevices using a cotton bud. Don’t use a sharp object or any object really inside your ears. Let the doctor take care of ear wax.
- Always wash under your breasts when you bathe especially if you are well-endowed. If you sweat a lot underneath the breasts, you could use talc.
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Brush your tongue every single time. The tongue is what retains odour. If you want to do a breath test, lick the back of your hand, wait for it to dry and sniff it. That is what your breath smells like. Be sure to floss your teeth every night.
- Get a back brush and use it to scrub your back. There was once a debate on social media about whether or not you should wash your back when you shower. The answer is yes. That applies to your legs too.
- Scrub your feet with a pumice stone. You can also make a foot scrub. Treat yourself to a professional pedicure at least once a month. Ideally, though, teach yourself how to do a basic mani-pedi.
- Take care of your hands. Wash them before using the bathroom and after. Think about where your hands have been before you strip in the bathroom and it will change the way you think about feminine hygiene. Exfoliate them whenever you are scrubbing your body or your face.
- Change your underwear every time you shower. Do not repeat underwear. Try as hard as you can to resist the call of g-strings. Wear breathable underwear specially
made from cotton. Be sure that it has a cotton gusset. And train yourself to sleep without underwear and let her breathe.
Also, research on, and consider a probiotic supplement each day. The higher the billions of bacteria, the better. While at it, whatever amount of water you’re drinking right now, double it.
- Finally, you know those braids and weave sprays? Take advantage of them. Hair can stink up a storm.