What is Hygiene, Exactly?

What is Hygiene, Exactly?

Merriam-Webster defines “hygiene” as “conditions or practices (as of cleanliness) conducive to health.” So, what does that mean? To most of us, it means brushing our teeth twice a day, taking regular showers, and swiping on some deodorant before leaving the house. For most of us, good hygiene is second nature.

When we consider someone to have bad hygiene, it might mean they smell bad or have greasy hair (though we’d never say that to their face). Sneezing without the cover of an elbow can be considered bad hygiene, as can leaving crumbs behind on the kitchen counter after making a sandwich. 

This latter case is one of environmental hygiene, which involves keeping the surfaces and objects you touch as clean as you keep yourself. Environmental hygiene is an often-forgotten aspect of our personal cleanliness, but think about it—washing your hands only goes so far when you then run that same hand across a crumb-ridden counter. 

Good hygiene not only keeps us feeling better inside and out, but also prevents disease in ourselves and others. In fact, lack of cleanliness is cited as the direct cause of many hygiene-related diseases and conditions, and hygiene promotion is considered the most cost-effective health action to reduce disease of any sort. You don’t want body lice? Then don’t re-wear dirty clothes. Not a fan of filling cavities? Floss once a day. For a hygienic life, it’s the little things that add up. 

And for many people, a hygiene routine is not something that can just be done in the morning and then checked off the to-do list. People who tend to sweat more than others during the day need to have items on hand to ensure that the cleanliness lasts. After a long day at work, or a night out, hygiene needs to be re-upped. So taking products to go can be a key to feeling your best, regardless of what the day throws at you.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our awareness of hygiene heightened. Suddenly, we were using hand sanitizer every five minutes and giving someone the evil eye if they even sniffled. But by looking at how effective mask wearing was for stopping the spread of the virus, you can see just how important it is to cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. Personal hygiene is also beneficial to those all around you.

And while hygiene may seem very physical in nature—wash your face, brush your hair, cut your nails, dust your room—good hygiene is also a key aspect of staying mentally healthy. Some even consider meditating a form of mental hygiene. The bottom line is, if you feel clean, you feel confident. If you feel confident, other people will notice this and think positively of you. From a mental standpoint, once those teeth are brushed, bed is made, and moisturizer is applied, you feel so much more comfortable in your skin and ready to tackle whatever the day holds.

At Fresh Body, our entire mission is to promote personal hygiene by making it easier than ever to achieve a clean, confident life. Our products will keep you clean from your head to your feet and everywhere in between (yes, we mean everywhere). Hygiene is important for feeling your best self and helping those around you stay healthy, so it should be intuitive and stress-free. Our aim is to make it easier to practice good, healthy habits.

And that’s one word that comes up in almost every definition of hygiene: practice. Taking care of your hygiene one day and not the next—or not keeping it up as the day moves along—will never lead to the full and proper benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Keep up your hygiene practices daily, get into a routine, and soon enough, feeling fresh and ready for anything will come to you as naturally as that sneeze you’ve learned to cover. Practice makes perfect! And in the case of hygiene, practice is the key to a clean mind and body.

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