Considering The Pros And Cons Of A Bidet Before Purchase

How often do you change your bathroom routine? For most people, bathroom habits don’t change much from their early years, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. Recently, there has been a significant rise in interest for the bidet, a bathroom accessory with several variations and benefits.

Understanding Bidet Designs

A bidet is a sanitation tool for personal cleaning. Rather than using toilet paper, a person uses the stream of water produced by the bidet to clean their hindquarters. The bidet comes in three iterations: standalone, modern, and shower.

The standalone bidet resembles a second toilet in the bathroom but without a toilet seat. Also, a traditional design includes a faucet, so a more accurate depiction is a sink toilet. Facing toward or away from the tap, you straddle the bidet and rinse your rear.

Modern bidets are attachments to your existing toilet. You will have several buttons on the side of the seat, and when pressed, a wand will emerge from under the seat to spray your hiney.

Finally, a shower bidet is a toilet attachment resembling a shower wand. Once you do your business, you take the wand down from its wall mount and clean yourself.

Benefits of Using Bidets

Records exist about the bidet as far back as 1726, but despite the history, many people are unfamiliar or feel icky thinking about the device. However, there are several advantages to using a bidet, some that extend the personal experience.

  • Hygiene:

Bidets are undeniably more sanitary than toilet paper or wipes. Even the most hygienic person will likely leave behind particles or bits that can lead to odor, infection, or irritation. A bidet sprays the area, washing away any remnants, making it a fantastic tool for older people or those who do not have the flexibility to clean themselves effectively.

  • Environment:

Over 36 billion rolls of toilet paper go to waste every year. Using a bidet can reduce that number significantly. Bidets limit the number of rolls needed and thereby the number of trees used for creating a product responsible for eliminating an estimated 27,000 trees daily.

  • Plumbing:

If you use a bidet correctly, the device rinses away the waste. Using toilet paper to dry your hind parts is unnecessary; instead, use small cloth towels and put them in the hamper after each use. By eliminating toilet paper usage, you limit environmental impact, and you ensure you have clear and clear pipes in your home.

Negatives of Using Bidets

Bidets have several pros, but that does not mean they are without any cons. Several negatives of using a bidet include:

  • Infections:

For the females out there, wiping is not a willy-nilly process. Cleaning yourself involves limiting exposure to certain sensitive and vulnerable areas. Unfortunately, if a bidet is not measured correctly, it can lead to overspray and the spread of fecal matter, which can lead to feminine infections.

  • Installation:

While some modern bidets install quickly without significant required changes to your existing bathroom or plumbing, others might need a renovation or bathroom overhaul, especially if looking for a standalone system. Make sure your budget can afford the potential costs.

  • Learning curve:

While the bidet is a straightforward and simplistic device, it still requires practice and patience. Bidet noobs will probably experience overspray and wet clothes. The only advice is to practice and have a spare pair of underwear and pants nearby.

The bidet is a useful and, in some respects, a traditional bathroom tool. However, despite its age, not everyone will enjoy the pressure washing of their rear. 

The Role of Oral Hygiene in Your Overall Health

Oral hygiene is vital to your overall health and well-being. While you might not see the connection immediately, there is a direct link between oral health and health in general. Unfortunately, many Americans do not take adequate care of their teeth and gums. Nearly 30% of Americans have untreated tooth decay, and over 92% of the population between 20 and 64 have cavities.

Like other areas of the body, the mouth contains countless bacteria, most of which are harmless. However, as the mouth serves as the entry point to the digestive and respiratory tracts, harmful bacteria, despite being few, can cause disease or illness.

Adopting good oral habits, then, has health benefits beyond the teeth and gums. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental appointments can reduce the number of harmful bacteria and resolve or treat dental issues before they evolve into decay and disease. While the relationship between oral hygiene and health seems strange, it is real and well-established.

How Inadequate Oral Hygiene Contributes to Health Concerns

When a person adopts good oral hygiene practices, the body's natural defenses are usually enough to combat any harmful bacteria that make it into the respiratory and digestive systems. Unfortunately, when a person does not use proper oral hygiene, harmful bacteria in the mouth can reach such levels as to lead to infection, tooth decay, or gum disease.

Also, some medicines can reduce the flow of saliva. Saliva plays a vital role in washing away food and neutralizing acids produced by bacteria. When saliva production is normal, it protects against the multiplication of harmful microbes, reducing the risks of illness and disease. Medications that may lead to reduced saliva or dry mouth include:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Antidepressants
  • Diuretics
  • Painkillers

Finally, studies suggest inflammation caused by periodontitis and oral bacteria can contribute to some diseases. Also, certain conditions can lower the body's resistance to infection, such as diabetes.

How Certain Conditions Link To Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can lead to minor and temporary illnesses and infections, but it can also contribute to diseases and long-term conditions. For example, studies link poor oral health to heart diseases like endocarditis.

Endocarditis is an infection of the endocardium — the inner lining of the heart valves and chambers. The condition usually occurs when bacteria from another location in the body spreads through the bloodstream, attaching to areas in the heart. Bacteria from the mouth can access the bloodstream and transfer to the heart.

Research also suggests a link between oral bacteria and other health crises. While the link is not clear, researchers note that stroke, clogged arteries, and heart disease seem connected to infections and inflammation caused by oral bacteria in some cases.

Also, poor oral health can cause pneumonia and pregnancy and birth complications, such as low birth weight. Oral hygiene can also play a role in the management of certain conditions, like diabetes.

Oral hygiene is a crucial aspect of your overall health. Maintaining good oral habits, such as brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist, can reduce the risks of bacterial infections and disease development. If you have any questions about proper oral care, contact your local dental practice.

Sandal Season Is Prime Foot Care Season

After hiding your feet in boots, sneakers, and heels during the long fall and winter months, the spring arrives to give your toes a chance to breathe. With more exposure to the sun and environment, you need to take extra care of your feet in the spring and summer, especially if you want to take full advantage of the sandal season.

Many people are self-conscious about their feet. Since feet are often covered, wearing open toes can make some feel a little exposed. Some people might feel their feet are unattractive or unworthy of sandals, but that's simply not true. With the right foot care regimen, all feet deserve a little time in the sun.

1. Soak and Exfoliate

All the time spent inside a dark shoe can lead to roughness. Also, the lack of a foot care routine in the winter — a common lapse among even the most committed foot lovers — can cause the development of calluses.

The first thing you need to do to prepare for sandals is indulge in a soak and exfoliation. You do not want to go right at rough skin; you want to let your feet soak in warm water for about 10 minutes to soften the skin. Only after soaking the skin should you apply an exfoliating cream to the entire foot. Follow the instructions of the product you use. If you would prefer a more automated method of exfoliation, you can purchase an automatic foot buffer or scrubber.

2. Moisturize

The skin on the bottom of your feet is thicker and requires regular and intense hydration. Dermatologists and podiatrists recommend using creams, butters, or balms after exfoliation treatments. Most professionals recommend applying a shea butter-type moisturizer on your feet before bed every night.

Before you use any products on your feet, you might want to talk to your podiatrist first. Your doctor can help you identify the best products for your skin, and you can avoid any potential risks, such as allergens.

3. Cuticle and Toenail Care

Many people go to nail salons and have their cuticles cut. Healthcare professionals do not advise the removal of cuticles. To ensure the healthiest cuticles, professionals recommend using cuticle oil every day. The oil will help moisturize scraggly and dry cuticles, helping the body shed dead skin and maintain a healthy appearance.

If you have yellowing or dark toenails, manicurists suggest using a whitening toothpaste on them. However, before attempting any DIY and cosmetic treatment, ensure the color change is not a result of an infection.

4. Pedicure Top Coats

Many people spend good money on pedicures. The problem with pedicures is they don't last long. To prolong a pedicure, professionals recommend applying a clear top coat on the second and fifth days after treatment.

Sunscreen is also the enemy of a long-lasting pedicure, which is why you should always carry fresh wet wipes. After applying sunscreen, use a wipe to clear away excess on your toenails.

5. Sandal Selection

Sandals made from synthetic materials are often cheaper than those made from leather. Leather sandals, however, are worth the upgrade.

Leather soles, uppers, and foot straps have more give than man-made materials. The extra breathability reduces the risks of blisters and other potential foot problems.

While foot care is essential all year, most people take special care in the summer, when it is time to showcase your toesies. The above routine is a healthy and fundamental foot care routine. If you want more information, talk to your podiatrist or another foot health professional.

Shampoo as a Body Wash Alternative?

You are standing in the shower after a hard day's work, enjoying the warm water as it runs over your head and over your shoulders. After a few moments of basking in the warmth, you reach for your body wash only to realize you forgot to replace the empty bottle with the new one underneath your sink. 

You could get out of the shower, trudge over to the cabinet under the sink, and grab a new bottle, but that all sounds like so much work. As you are mulling the idea over, tiring yourself out with the thought of the longest short walk ever, you notice the sleek, shiny bottle of shampoo. You think to yourself, "why not?" 

Shampoo and Body Wash Are Essentially the Same, Right?

Shampoo is not the same thing as a body wash. While the products share some similarities, each has a designated use, hence the different names. Body washes typically contain milder ingredients and detergents than shampoos. Shampoos can use somewhat harsher ingredients because the hair is not as sensitive as the skin.  

Depending on the type of shampoo you purchase, the product might not feel good on the skin. Many low-cost shampoos can feel slimy, oily, or greasy on the skin, and they tend to dry out or irritate active skin cells. More expensive shampoos might not be as bad because they can contain aloes and other moisturizers. 

Body washes are designed for the skin. Therefore, most products, even low-cost options, have hydrating and moisturizing ingredients and effects. That said, you will probably notice some repeating ingredients across your shampoo and body wash bottles.

Will Shampoo Cause Problems if Used as a Body Wash?

You should use body wash for your body and shampoo for your hair. However, in a pinch, you can probably use shampoo. Shampoo is not an ideal body wash because it is meant to retain your hair's essential oils and minerals, which can result in a somewhat slimy or sticky body wash.  

Additionally, shampoos are more like detergents than body washes and have a higher acidic pH level. The higher pH can irritate, dry out, and even dull the skin if you use shampoo too often. You can even find some people recommending shampoos in place of dishwashing liquids and other detergents, which should indicate their incompatibility with skin. Still, the occasional use of shampoo as a body wash is likely Ok.

Is It Best To Stick To Body Wash?

Ultimately, shampoo is not a replacement for body wash long-term. Shampoo is meant for your hair, and even then, a conditioner is occasionally recommended to prevent damage.  

Body wash is specifically created to help cleanse and treat the skin. Most washes include hydrating and moisturizing ingredients to benefit the skin, keeping it smooth and healthy. Still, there is no shame in using shampoo once in a while, especially when the bathroom sink is so far away. 

How do you feel about using shampoo as a body wash? Have you ever had to make the substitution?

How Often Should You Wash Your Pajamas

Pajamas. The comfortable apparel people wear to relax and sleep is a staple in many households. Many children wash up after dinner and partake in a nightly routine that includes changing into a colorful sleepwear set. Even many adults still wear complete pajama sets to settle into bed.

While pajamas are a clothing staple, people don't tend to give much thought to when the items are laundered. Some people have strict rules: PJs must be washed after every use. However, others take a more laid-back approach with a simple smell test.

Who is right? How often do pajamas need to go in the wash? For such a simple question, the answers are varied. The answer likely comes down to hygiene and personal preference.

Expert Opinions

According to the American Cleaning Institute, pajamas do not require regular washing. When sleeping, you are less active, less likely to sweat, and unlikely to experience any spills or stains. The ACI suggests washing every three to four wears. Good Housekeeping is a little more lenient than ACI, suggesting one wash per week is sufficient.

However, Martha Stewart, America's domestic guru, recommends washing after wearing bedwear once. For many Americans, daily washing of pajamas seems extreme; according to a Twitter poll, 46% of participants wash their PJs once per week.  

Based on the wide range of opinions, it appears there is no "right" way to wash your pajamas. Essentially. How often you launder your nightwear comes down to personal preference and hygiene.

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Necessary Washing

Do you get a shower before bed? Do you sweat while you sleep? What material is your sleepwear? All of these questions contribute to identifying a perfect washing routine for your pajamas. 

The body produces oils and sheds skin throughout the day and evening. If you take a shower in the morning like most people, the debris, oil, and dead skin from the day can transfer to your PJs while you sleep, which means you might want to wash them more often.

You cannot forget about bacteria. Bodies also collect a fair share of germs throughout the day, and some of these bacteria can survive on clothing, including pajamas.

You can wash your PJs less frequently if you shower at night before getting into your nightwear. Additionally, if your pajamas are made from wool or other materials that resist moisture, you can probably adhere to the once-a-week washing rule.

However, do you get night sweats? For people who frequently sweat while they sleep, you might want to take the Martha Stewart approach for washing pajamas.

Finally, it is important to note that smell is not always an indicator of cleanliness. While a pair of PJs might smell fresh, they can still have dead skin cells, bacteria, or other debris lingering in the fabric.

Clean PJs and Sleep

While the wash frequency might be a personal preference, keep in mind that clean pajamas can improve your sleep. Think about how comforting it is to lay down on fresh, clean bed linens; the same applies to clean pajamas. 

While experts might not agree on how often you should wash your nightwear, it seems like all agree you shouldn't go longer than a week. How often do you wash your PJs? Leave a comment.

Are You Washing Your Hair Too Often?

Between hair gel and an active lifestyle, shampooing is necessary to keep pores clean and hair strands bouncy. At the same time, washing too often can make hair look tired out. How can you tell if you’re washing your hair too often?

How Often Should Women Wash Their Hair?

The truth is that your hair (and your scalp) has different needs than everyone else’s. Some hair looks phenomenal shampooing daily. Other women only need to wash their hair once or twice a week! Your ideal routine can even change depending on the time of the year or even how stressed you feel.

Generally speaking, people who have fine-textured hair need to shampoo more often than ones with coarse strands. For many women, washing hair 2–3 times a week is perfect.

How Can You Tell If You’re Shampooing Your Hair Too Often?

Is your shampooing schedule a little too intense? Check for these seven warning signs.

1. Dry or Flaking Scalp

Just like other parts of your skin, your scalp needs to stay hydrated. Flaking means it’s too dry. This can happen if you’re washing too frequently or using a shampoo that's too harsh for your scalp.

2. Tangles

Shiny, healthy hair lets a brush slide through easily. If you frequently run into tangles in the morning, your strands are probably too brittle.

3. Dull or Frizzy Hair

Overdoing shampooing strips your hair and hair follicles of natural oils. This leaves strands looking frizzy and dull instead of vibrant and bouncy.

4. Split Ends

It’s normal for hair strands to eventually develop split ends as the tips dry out. With a healthy hair care routine, this should take a long time to happen — like three or four months. Are you seeing lots of split ends a few weeks after you visit the stylist? Either you’re washing too often or drying your hair too aggressively.

5. Breakage

Does it seem like you’re losing a ton of hair? Trust me, I've been there. The good news is that your hair isn’t actually falling out. It’s just breaking because the strands are too brittle. This can happen because of over-washing or rough shampooing.

6. Faded Color

Don’t tell anyone, but I dye my hair (gasp)! Isn’t it frustrating when that gorgeous color only lasts a week or two before fading? If that happens to you, you may need to dial back the shampooing and use a shampoo specifically designed for color-treated hair.

7. Oily Hair

Believe it or not, one of the signs you’re washing your hair too much is oily hair! When your scalp feels like it’s under attack, it increases oil production to compensate. Shampooing less often can help balance things out again.

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How Can You Keep Your Hair Healthy?

The first thing you should experiment with if you're running into dry, brittle or dull hair is to wait an extra day to shampoo. Here are other tips that can help:

  • Towel off gently
  • Don’t brush when you hair is still wet
  • Use leave-in conditioner
  • Choose a moisturizing shampoo
  • Get plenty of antioxidants and nutrients for hair health

Washing your hair is a good thing. A soft massage with shampoo feels refreshing and exfoliates your scalp gently, keeping skin cells from clogging your pores. Just keep an eye on the appearance of your hair strands from time to time to make sure you're not overdoing it.