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Breaking a sweat during an intense gaming session is quite normal. Competitive games and even casual games can activate our sweat glands when we least expect it. Nothing wrong with a little sweat, right? Well…
The thing is, when sweat is mixed with dirt on your skin, it can create a buildup of bacteria. This bacteria can create problems such as an increase in acne, a higher risk of getting sick, and the possible risk of spreading germs. Thus, creating a domino effect for future health problems.
The best way to limit the spread of germs is by implementing a healthy hygiene routine in your life.
In this post, I share 11 simple hygiene tips that will keep you feeling fresh and looking your best while playing the games you enjoy.
Let’s get into it!
Wash Your Hands and Face
As of writing, new cases of COVID-19 are still on the rise around the globe. Handwashing with soap has been one of the most talked-about prevention methods for the virus. And it shows.
Hand sanitizer, while beneficial, should not be used as a replacement for washing your hands. Additionally, sanitizers will only suppress the bacteria for a limited time. Meanwhile, water and soap will eliminate everything from your hands.
How much time should you spend washing your hands? According to most governments/organizations, between 20 to 30 seconds. Remember to wash between your fingers and under your nails!
Cleaning your face in the morning and at night is also very important for your hygiene. Natural oils, sweat, and dead skin can cause bacteria to buildup on your face. A perfect breathing ground for acne to grow. Not fun.
There are a ton of products for cleaning your face and preventing acne on the market. I have tried many of them in the past, and I experienced mixed results.
Stay consistent and I promise you, your face will glow!
Clean Your Pillows
About 1/3 of our life is spent sleeping. This means we’re resting and rubbing our face against a pillow every night. What does this have to do with hygiene? Think about it.
Our face and hair hold natural oils that our body creates. Which, in turn, can get absorbed by the pillow you sleep on. However, in addition to the natural oils, your pillow will also absorb any bacteria left on your face. This can create acne known as acne mechanica.
My advice for reducing your chances of overnight acne is to clean your pillowcase at least once a week. For the pillow itself, I recommend a thorough wash every month or so.
If you’re really eager to sleep on a clean pillow, it might be time for an upgrade! Silk pillowcases have been shown to absorb fewer oils and dirt compared to cotton and linen. While pricier, users seem to be happy with the shift to silk.
I too will be testing out a silk pillowcase sometime in the future to see what all the hype is about!
Wipe Down All of Your Peripherals
We all use mobile devices and computers throughout our day-to-day lives. But have you ever wondered how many millions of bacteria are living on your devices?
I was thinking about this when I was cleaning my mechanical keyboard back in February. I did some research and found some shocking information regarding my computer peripherals.
CBT Nuggets, an IT firm, conducted an experiment just to see how many CFUs (colony-forming units) per square inch were on employee phones and computer peripherals.
The result? Way more than I thought! They found 3.5 million CFU/SQ. IN. on their keyboard, 1.6 million on their phone, and 1.4 million on their mouse. And, ironically, these items had more bacteria than your typical toilet seat. Yikes!
After reading multiple studies about bacteria on commonly used items, I now clean all of my computer peripherals and my phone once a week with a disinfectant wipe. A big improvement towards a happier immune system.
Avoid Touching Your Face
Out of these 10 tips, this is the one I struggle with the most. It is so simple to prevent, yet, I seem to touch my face very often when sitting at my computer.
We all know that touching frequently used objects in public places is bad. But how bad is it to touch our face with our hands?
According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), respiratory infections can spread via direct contact with bacteria. By touching people who are ill, or dirty surfaces, our hands become contaminated. Thus, causing a greater risk of infection when we touch our face!
Another study observed 249 people living their day-to-day lives during a 66 hour period. After the study had concluded, the research showed that these individuals touched their mouth/nose region over 3 times an hour. I suppose it’s just human nature.
If you have any reason to touch your face, use the back of your arm instead of your hands or fingertips. The most sanitary option I recommend is to thoroughly wash your hands before making physical contact with your face.
For the longest time, I was under the assumption that deodorant and antiperspirant products were the same thing—I was wrong. So what is the difference?
Deodorant is used to block body odour as well as reduces the buildup of bacteria on your skin. While an antiperspirant is used to reduce sweat (or perspiration) by blocking your sweat glands to the applied area.
If you’re most concerned about how you smell while gaming, go with a deodorant product. If you’re drowning in sweat, go with an antiperspirant. Easy as that!
Wash Your Dirty Clothes
Are your clothes sweaty, smelly, or dirty?
For the love of God, WASH THEM!
Depending on your daily activities, some clothes such as sweaters and jeans can be worn multiple times during the week. However, socks, underwear and undershirts should be washed after every use.
Check out Whirlpool’s general guidelines on how often you should wash your clothes in order to smell and look fresh during your day.
Take A Daily Shower
Whether you plan on showering in the morning, or in the evening, it should always be part of your everyday routine. Infrequent showering could result in more acne breakouts, increased body odour, and dryer skin (from my experience).
I personally shower close to bedtime so that my sheets aren’t tainted with my sweat or any other dirt that was in direct contact with my skin.
In terms of hair washing, it differs from person-to-person. As someone with oily hair, I wash my head every day or every other day to avoid greasy looking hair. Everyone’s different so a bit of trial and error might be your best bet to get the results you’re looking for!
Brush Your Teeth and Floss
I regret not brushing/flossing enough growing up. Having to deal with the cavities and dental plaque now really sucks for my oral health (and my wallet).
In case you live under a rock, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes. Somedays, if I’m really keen on having a clean mouth, I brush after every meal. You should also floss after meals to make brushing your teeth more effective.
Clean Your Play Area
In addition to personal hygiene, your battlestation should also be well-kept. A messy desk can reduce your ability to focus and may also make it more difficult to process information during pivotal moments of gameplay!
Sunday afternoons are when I do my cleaning around the apartment. When it comes to my battlestation, I vacuum the surrounding area, declutter and wipe down my desk, and use a can of compressed air to remove dust in hard-to-reach areas.
The end result is a spick and span environment that is perfect for a relaxing gaming session!
Use Lip Balm
Living your day-to-day life with chapped lips can be very uncomfortable—it certainly was for me.
I had a tendency to always lick my lips to keep them hydrated. However, it only made them even drier. This resulted in my lips feeling sore, which led them to bleed all the time. I couldn’t look at myself with how bad it was…until I started using lip balm.
Using lip balm throughout the day has made a tremendous improvement in the health of my lips. I recommend having a tube of lip balm at your battlestation as well as another for when you leave your home.
Shave When Necessary
If you currently have a beard that fits your look and are grooming it regularly, awesome! Keep doing what you’re doing.
But for those men (sorry ladies!) who prefer a clean shave—read on.
I tend to shave every two to three days or until I start looking scruffy. In regards to the equipment, I use a safety razor. Safety razors provide a more effective/smooth shave and are built to last compared to the standard shaving razor.
Additionally, razor blades are not only cheaper but are also more environmentally friendly. I’ve been hoarding my used razor blades and plan on recycling them at a local facility.
Lastly, a good quality shaving cream can help moisturize your face and reduce irritation when shaving. Do you like nicks & cuts? I sure don’t!