Dick Bryant once said “When you feel good about yourself it carries over into your everyday life. If you can look in the mirror and like yourself, that’s the greatest feeling in the world” – and to help you look and feel good, we’ve compiled a list of easy yet effective personal care tips.
A Whiter Smile:
- It is estimated 165 million cups of tea are consumed in the UK each day. But did you know a cuppa can be beneficial for our teeth? This is because it contains ingredients that prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to them. [source: Tea.co.uk]
- As much as we enjoy a glass of red wine, and cannot be seen without our morning cup of coffee – both drinks are bad for our teeth, as they stain them. But this doesn’t mean you should avoid them. Instead, it’s advisable to give your teeth a clean after consuming such drinks. [source: Readers Digest]
- If it’s not possible to clean your teeth straight away, eat “detergent” foods such as apples, popcorn or raw carrots, as crisp and firm foods when chewed, help clean teeth.
- Chewing (sugar-free) gum after meals will provide you with instant fresh breath, but it’ll also help produce saliva which is a natural protection mechanism as it helps to neutralise plaque acid. [source: Daily Mirror]
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day – ideally first thing in the morning and last thing at night – using fluoride toothpaste. You should also take at least two minutes to clean your teeth, and to assist with this many modern electric toothbrushes now include a two-minute timer. [source: NHS.co.uk]
- Use the right technique when cleaning your teeth. Yes, there is a right and wrong way. The correct technique involves holding your brush at a 45⁰ angle to your gums and brushing with an up and down motion, using short strokes.
- Never rinse after brushing your teeth. Instead, the toothpaste residue should be allowed to sit on the surface of your teeth as fluoride strengthens the tooth’s surface making it more resistant to acid from foods. [source: Daily Mail]
- Are you brushing your teeth too hard? If you are, you could be causing permanent damage. Researchers from Newcastle University have suggested people should apply pressure equivalent to the weight of an orange at 150 grams when brushing their teeth. [source: BBC]
- Along with cleaning your teeth, brush your tongue for fresher breath. Cleaning your tongue helps prevent/reduce staining due to bacteria which leads to discolouration being removed. [source: Daily Mirror]
- Floss your teeth daily to remove more plaque and food particles from your teeth and between them. [source: Colgate]
- To get the most out of flossing it is recommended to start with roughly 18 inches of floss, and to wind it around your middle fingers, leaving only a couple of inches of floss to work with. The floss should then be held between the thumb and index finger, before gently being slid up and down between your teeth.
- Switch from a manual toothbrush to an electric one. Electric toothbrushes are able to reach areas manual toothbrushes can’t and therefore remove more plaque and bacteria. Due to the heads of electric toothbrushes oscillating more times per minute a deeper clean is also achieved.
- Change your manual toothbrush / electric toothbrush head every three months or sooner if the bristles have become sprayed, to ensure the toothbrush continues to remain effective.
Become Beard Free:
- Don’t shave first thing in the morning – allow your skin to settle and wake up as it can be very puffy first thing in the morning. Ideally, you should leave it at least 10 minutes after you wake up until you shave, as this will reduce the risk of nicking your skin.
- Prepare your face before shaving by using a deep cleansing soap-free face wash which should be rinsed off using warm water. This will soften and lift the bristles ready for shaving. [source: shave.com]
- Beat razor burn by ensuring your skin is always exfoliated before you shave, ensure your razor is sharp, and use a lubricating cream/gel when shaving. [source: manface.co.uk]
- Hold your shaver at right angles to your face and use your free hand to pull your skin taught. This ensures maximum contact with the skin, reducing the shaving time and minimising the risk of snagging. [source: menshealth.com]
- Despite many misconceptions, shaving against the grain isn’t an automatic no-no. In fact, with a light hand, great shaving products and the correct technique shaving against the grain can provide you with a smooth and long-lasting shave.
- If you’re using a manual shaver, make sure you rinse the blades regularly to prevent them from getting clogged with hair – making the shave smoother and significantly reducing the risk of cuts.
- Leave the lip until last as the hair there is thicker than other parts of your beard. The longer the shaving foam is left on the lip hair, the softer the bristles will become – making it easier to shave. [source: Fashion Beans]
- Post-shave care is as important as the pre-shave preparation as it helps to protect your skin. After you’ve shaved, you should rinse your face in warm water before applying an after-shave balm or moisturiser which will sooth the skin of any redness or irritation, as well as protect the face. [source: King of Shaves]
Ladies, Hair Today…Gone Tomorrow:
- Shower or bathe before shaving as this will make it 60% easier to shave as showering loosens the hair. But don’t spend more than a couple of minutes in the bath or shower, as too long can cause the skin to shrivel. [source: femalefirst.co.uk]
- Exfoliate before you shave to remove dead skin cells which can clog up your shaver. Not only will these ensure you get a smooth shave, but it’ll also help your shavers last longer.
- Change the direction you shave depending on where you are shaving. For example, if you’re shaving your legs you should start at the ankle and shave upwards, but when shaving underarm you’ll need to shave in various directions to follow the flow of the hair. [source: About Style]
- Don’t use just soap and water when shaving as it’s likely to damage your skin and lead to irritation, due to ordinary soap removing natural moisturisers from your skin. [source: Cosmopolitan]
- During the summer months, shaving can help you to achieve the perfect tan as it’ll remove dull, flaky skin which reduces the healthy glow. However, if you’ve caught too much sun and you’re suffering from sunburn allow your skin to recover before shaving again. [source: Gilletvenus.co.uk]
Have a Good Hair Day:
- Improve the shine of your hair with the help of flat beer. Simply shampoo your hair as normal, and then coat it from root to tip with flat beer, before rinsing and conditioning as normal.
- Give your hair a proper wash, which involves massaging your scalp with the tip of your fingers in a circular motion at least five times as this will help to properly cleanse it.
- Having your shower too hot can damage your hair due to making it dry and brittle, as it strips protective oils. Ideally, your shower should be slightly warmer than your body temperature. [source: healthmeup.com]
- When it comes to towel drying your hair, don’t be hard on your hair. Rubbing the hair vigorously won’t necessarily dry it any quicker, but it will damage the hair.
- Comb rather than brush wet hair to reduce the stress your hair is put under and to reduce the risk of damage to your hair, whilst still removing any tangles. If you do opt for a brush, go for a natural-bristle brush which will be much softer and more flexible – meaning less damage to your hair.
- A healthy diet isn’t just good for your body, but it’ll also benefit your hair too. Fresh fruit and vegetables, protein and red meat will all prove beneficial to your hair if included in your diet, whilst drinking six to eight glasses of water a day will help to boost your hair follicles growth potential.
- Keep your hair healthy and allow it to grow quicker by getting it cut regularly. Ideally, you should have your hair cut every six to eight weeks, although this will ultimately depend on your hair type. [source: GoodtoKnow]
- Tackle dandruff not only by using an anti-dandruff shampoo but by brushing your hair more regularly, using a lighter conditioner and rinsing it out thoroughly. [source: Grooming Lounge]
- Choose your styling products wisely and avoid products that leave a build-up in your hair. A build-up of hair products can not only result in your hair looking unclean, but it can also lead to limpness and breakages.
- Men, if your hair is thinning help it look thicker when styling it by switching to a matte product, which has the added benefit of making it more manageable to style too. [source: Fashion Beans]
- Avoid frizz by blow-drying your hair from root to tip – and this will also help reduce the shredding of hair cuticles. To further protect your hair when blow-drying, use a styling product such as a serum. [source: Loreal Paris]
- Where possible avoid excessive heat on your hair, as too much heat will dry out the hair and cause split ends. Two ways to help minimise the heat your hair is exposed to is to use the cooler settings on your hairdryer and to use curling tongues that don’t need to be heated.
- During the summer our hair can easily become sun-damaged. If this has happened, restore your hair with a homemade remedy made from half a cup of honey, 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 – 2 tablespoons of egg yolk. Apply the mixture to your hair for 20 minutes before rinsing.
Taking the time to slightly change your personal care routine with one or two of the tips above can make all the difference to how you look and feel – giving you the confidence to go out and attack the day. If you have any other personal care tips which you swear by, share them below in the comments.