Myths and facts about hygiene in Russia


Myth # 1: Avoid Public Toilets Wherever Possible

In fact, public toilets are not at all as dangerous as they are considered. Of course, various bacteria live in the toilets, but infection is extremely rare. In particular, intact skin is a major barrier to pathogens.

Myth # 2: Wash Your Hair Every Day
It is really advisable to take a shower every day, but washing your hair every day is not necessary. The frequency with which you need to wash your hair depends on several factors, in particular on the type of hair, condition of the scalp, hair length and so on. Frequent use of shampoo harms hair, as it deprives them of natural protection in the form of sebum.

Myth # 3: Dentists won’t be able to determine if you are flossing or not.
The dentist is hard to fool. Even if you use dental floss before a visit to the dentist, he will still find out the truth - you will be given bleeding gums. Plaque that forms on the teeth leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

Myth number 4: the more often you comb your hair, the better
Of course, hair needs to be combed, but do not do it too often. Frequent combing leads to weakening of the hair, makes them more brittle and worsens the appearance.

Myth number 5: antibacterial gel is a universal remedy
Despite the fact that the antibacterial gel contains 60% alcohol, there is nothing better than ordinary soap and water. Currently, there is an opinion that the excessive use of an antibacterial gel can lead to the development of resistance of microorganisms. If you care about clean hands, it is better to wash them with ordinary rather than antibacterial soaps.

Myth 1. "I wash my hands often enough."

According to the survey, men in Russia wash their hands on average eight times a day, women - ten. Not bad, considering that Italians and Dutch, for example, come to the sink only six, and Spaniards - eight times a day.

88% of Russians surveyed believe that they wash their hands quite often. But imagine how many times during the day you grab hold of the door handles, hold onto the handrails in the subway, take out money or just say hello. 66% of respondents think that other people do not wash their hands often enough.

Many compatriots do not see the connection between hand washing and disease. One clear example: last year I was vacationing in Sochi. When we settled in the sanatorium, a couple came up to me and out of kindness decided to warn: there was an infection all around, all children and adults were terribly sick with “intestinal flu,” but they did not tell tourists about this so as not to frighten the tourists. So it is better to purchase antibiotics and drink them for prevention. A terrible infection did not bother us, although I did not buy any medicine. And all because in the dining room there were always huge lines to dishes with food, but not a single line to the washstand. They washed their hands before eating units, the same faces, and dined everyone with dirty ones.

It turns out a paradox: we believe in our cleanliness, but do not trust others. Of course, you should not bring the desire for purity to misophobia. But is this not a reason to wash your hands after each visit to the toilet and before each meal?

Myth 2. "Hygiene is a personal matter for everyone."

If the Middle Ages stood in the yard, when some washed a couple of times during their lives, or if people were isolated from each other, then everyone would be able to decide how and to what extent to maintain cleanliness. But we live in a society, and personal hygiene is an important factor in communications.

We do not want to be near a person if it smells bad. We will not kiss with someone who has a stale breath. We neglect people in dirty clothes. The reverse is also true: we feel insecure if we have not put ourselves in order.

SCA poll: “To what extent do these situations make you uncomfortable?”

As you can see, most respondents are uncomfortable with social contacts if they have not washed their hair or brushed their teeth.

It's funny that Russians are most worried about their appearance and hygiene when they go on a date. 62% of respondents believe that when going on a rendezvous, you need to be super tidy. In Germany, only 28% of respondents agree with this, in the UK - 26%.

The first one. It is very sad when people start themselves so that it really begins to interfere with others' lives. And here we are talking not just about unpleasant odors, but about a hygienic disaster. It is even sadder that in our country it is extremely difficult to cope with such stuffies, but in practice it is practically impossible.

The second one. Although we do not live in the Middle Ages, it seems that many do not understand the concept of hygiene. This is not a fashionable haircut, but hair scorched by paint. These are not bleached front, but rotten back teeth. This is not trust in a sexual partner, but a belief in the myth that during menstruation you can not get pregnant.

Third - the best. What bothers me most is the tendency to preen just before a date. Especially for girls. You should always take care of your hygiene, regardless of whether you are going on a date or not, whether you have a man or not, whether you have a husband or not.

But what they think of us, what impression we make, is still secondary. The main mission of hygiene is to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. The health of the population of a particular country and the survival of mankind as a species depend on this. So doctors do not in vain recommend washing their hands more often during epidemics of influenza and SARS.

SCA employees involved in the Tork brand have developed the Clean Hands program specifically for kindergartens. In an accessible game form, the rules of hand hygiene are explained to the kids. According to doctors, such a simple and useful habit as washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases among children in a kindergarten or school.

Myth 3. “People have no problems with the purchase of hygiene products”

Today, you can easily purchase any hygiene product: from paper handkerchiefs to urological diapers. Huge selection and no shortage. But people still have difficulty purchasing hygiene items.

“What is the problem?” You ask. The problem is in the heads.

According to the survey, men and women in Russia feel uncomfortable when purchasing personal care products. 56% of respondents are embarrassed to buy condoms, 42% - antifungal agents, 16% - toilet paper, 45% - pads or tampons.

The topic of menstruation in Russia is generally forbidden. The normal physiological process that women are exposed to most of their lives is considered something shameful. Even the word itself is veiled in every possible way: “critical days”, “red day of the calendar” and so on.

23% of women in Russia prefer not to use the word "menstruation" in conversation. In Germany and Spain, only 5% of the fair sex avoids words.

Only one out of five women surveyed in our country can calmly discuss the cycle with their partner. The rest, at best, seek advice from girlfriends and mothers; at worst, they are simply silent.

Six out of ten male respondents admit that for them to buy a wife tampons or pads in a store is something beyond. In this matter, Russia is in the lead. Only Chinese men are more embarrassed. For comparison: in Sweden and Germany, only 29% of respondents said that such a situation makes them uncomfortable.

I can say from my own experience: the problem with the purchase of hygiene products does exist. A couple of times in my life I had to buy pads for my wife (I helped her with purchases when our child was very young). This was a real test for me. It seems that somewhere on a subconscious level somewhere in us lies the very division into male ones (girls are also often embarrassed to buy condoms, huh) and female things. I don’t know how else to explain it. This is wrong and even stupid. The sooner we get rid of such prejudices, the better.

There is again a paradox: personal hygiene products are available as never before, but people in the 21st century are shy of everything related to the body and physiology.

Myth 4. “There is no hygiene problem in my country.”

There is a stereotype according to which unsanitary conditions are something about Bangladesh or Mozambique, and we, they say, have nothing to worry about.

Indeed, according to the SCA survey, the level of public concern about the hygiene situation in countries such as India and Mexico is much higher than in Russia (65% and 48% versus 19%). But this does not mean that the Russians feel safe.

The study showed that the greatest discomfort among Russian residents is in public restrooms and transport. And women are more squeamish than men.

SCA: “Which of these places do you think is at your greatest risk?”

50% of Russians surveyed try not to use the bathrooms on the streets, 29% - in gyms, 15% - in restaurants, 9% - in hotels, 5% - in cinemas. At the same time, the majority of respondents both in Russia and in other countries favor toughening of sanitary norms and rules.

Myth 5. “Cleanliness in the house is a woman’s concern”

This is a cliche. A man is a breadwinner, a woman is a keeper of a hearth. A man scatters socks, a woman collects. Miners do not have time for cleaning and washing.

It's like that. The survey showed that the desire for purity in the nature of women. 9 out of 10 ladies consider themselves tidier than their life partners. And this is a global trend.

But why then cleaning is a typical occasion for domestic quarrels? 16% of couples in Russia regularly argue over house cleaning. Especially if both partners work.

Women want men to help them more with the housework: they clean the bathtub and countertop, put the laundry in the washing machine, go to the store to get the powder, and so on.

By the way, the purchase of household chemicals and hygiene products in all families lies almost entirely on the shoulders of women. For example, in the United States toilet paper is used in the fair sex in 60% of cases, in the UK in 70% of cases, in Italy in 74%, in China in 75%, and in Russia in 56% of cases. The same goes for personal hygiene items and baby diapers. Alas, girls, if you do not buy a satellite shampoo, it will be washed with laundry soap.

43% of Russians would like their husbands to help them to maintain cleanliness more. But only 10% of men in Russia are concerned that their loved ones take a lot of work around the house.

If a man does not want to help with homework, let him help with the purchase and installation of equipment. A dishwasher, washing machine, slow cooker and a robot vacuum cleaner do wonders. Caring for household appliances is easier and more interesting than washing the apartment. ,)

Here are some interesting data revealed by the SCA study.

We suggest you add statistics and conduct a mini-experiment. Keep track and record during the week how many times a day you wash your hands. After seven days, after calculating the average value, you will understand whether you pay enough attention to personal hygiene.

Share your results in the comments. And let's discuss what, in your opinion, needs to be done so that public places in our country become cleaner and we worry less about our health?

Daily gaskets need to be changed several times a day

It's true! Any gasket, even “breathable”, creates a warm and moist environment that is ideal for the development of bacteria. Wearing one pad during the day can lead to the development of inflammatory diseases in the intimate area, the appearance of an unpleasant odor, irritation, and itching.

Before changing the gasket, it is recommended to take a shower, use a bidet, warm running water or special napkins. It is also advisable to change the laundry whenever possible.

You can’t try to get rid of your natural smell in the intimate area

It's true! Masking the smell with a variety of fragrances is a bad idea, as in the end the smells mix and create a specific amber. Only proper hygiene of the intimate area will help get rid of the smell.

It is also important to consider that the skin and mucous membrane in this area are very sensitive, and the use of flavored products not intended for intimate hygiene can cause an allergic reaction.

Do not practice vaginal showers

It's true! The fact is that the healthy microflora of the intimate zone has an acidic environment, which is formed by beneficial lactobacilli. This acidic environment does not allow pathogens to survive and multiply. But when a woman uses a vaginal shower, a healthy microflora is washed out, the pH is violated, and the “gate” for infections opens.

If itching, profuse discharge or smell appears, you should immediately consult a gynecologist or dermatovenerologist, and not try to solve the problems yourself. In this case, the vaginal shower is extremely dangerous, as it can lead to the development of complications.

Products in the photo: moisturizing gel lubricant, Sesderma, Lavender intimate hygiene gel milk, mi & ko, soothing intimate hygiene gel, Eveline, intimate hygiene cleansing spray, Uriage, soft gel for intimate hygiene, ORGANIC SHOP, gel for intimate hygiene Natural, Nivea, means for intimate hygiene Intimo Neutral, Dove, a refreshing agent for intimate hygiene with rose water Feminel, Oriflame

You can wash with an ordinary shower gel or soap

It is a myth! Instead of the usual cosmetic products, it is recommended to use products that do not contain alkali. Keep in mind that ordinary soap or shower gel will wash off not only dirt, but also beneficial bacteria, and for a while will change the pH of the skin and mucous membranes. This will be enough for the development of pathogenic bacteria. To prevent this from happening, it is important to use special tools - this will help maintain a normal pH of the skin and mucous membranes and a healthy microflora.

As a rule, the composition of such gels, mousses or foam includes lactic acid. Some products even contain lactobacilli. It is desirable that they also include moisturizing, healing, softening components, for example, aloe vera or chamomile extract.

In addition, the product for intimate hygiene should not contain dyes and flavors.

You need to wash after each trip to the toilet

This is a controversial statement! On the one hand, this is true, and it is advisable to wash after each trip to the toilet. But, on the other hand, many women make the mistake of believing that they need to wash as often and intensively as possible.

The intimate zone is a delicate place where there is a microworld - a useful microflora that preserves the health of the skin, reproductive organs, mucous membranes.

How to wash often, but not harm the microflora? It is enough to rinse the genitals with warm water for a minute and at the same time do not rub the skin. If this is not possible, then you can use napkins for intimate hygiene. And it is enough to use gels for intimate hygiene and other special means in the morning and in the evening.

Women in position and nursing mothers need to wash only with special means for pregnant women

It is a myth! Now available for intimate hygiene specifically for pregnant women. But in composition, they practically do not differ from ordinary gels. Both types of products contain almost the same set of components: lactic acid, aloe vera, panthenol, chamomile extract.

A woman should be able to properly care for herself and prevent the development of infections due to poor hygiene, but pregnant women should be especially careful.

Everything is interconnected in the body, and improper care can cause inflammatory diseases that can negatively affect the course of pregnancy or the quality of breast milk.

A specialist should choose an intimate hygiene product

This is a controversial statement! On the one hand, a woman may well choose a gel or mousse for intimate hygiene on her own. But on the other, for this she needs to understand which components should be part of such a tool, and which should not. Special gels and mousses for intimate hygiene have appeared relatively recently, while not everyone knows why they need another cosmetic product on a shelf in the bathroom and how to choose it.

The receptionist often sees the consequences of improper care of the intimate area, so he can give personalized advice and recommend the most suitable gels, mousses, foams. It will also help determine which remedy is needed: for normal or especially sensitive skin. Today, manufacturers often produce two types of products.


Of course, ancient people rarely washed and survived, and the vagina is a self-cleaning system that does not need excessive hygienic efforts, but nevertheless, surface contamination and gland products from external genitalia must be eliminated regularly. It is recommended to wash at least once a day, and preferably after each visit to the toilet or (during menstruation) with each change of tampon or pad. Do not forget that for intimate hygiene you need to give yourself a separate towel and change it more often.

Plain water is enough

Water perfectly washes away liquid secretions, particles of mucus and dust, so in most cases you can do without soap or gel to cleanse the external genitalia. The surfactants in their composition are primarily intended for the breakdown of fat molecules - and when overused, they destroy the protective hydrolipidic film of the skin. Soap is recommended to clean the perianal area, especially immediately after visiting the toilet, but the genitals can be rinsed with plain water.

Front to back

This rule, probably, will seem obvious to many, but still let’s talk about it: the movement of the hand when washing should always be directed from front to back. The vaginal flora is safe for the intestines, but the intestinal for the vagina is not, so you need to try not to "bring" the bacteria from the anus to the genitals. This applies to the use of toilet paper, and to hygiene regarding sex toys: nothing should get into the area of ​​the vulva or vagina after anal contact.

Without fanaticism

No need to use antiseptics or antibacterial soap on a regular basis. An antiseptic without alcohol can treat the skin after epilation or other injuries, but this is the case when there are indications for its use. In the usual daily routine, intimate hygiene should not be excessive, the human body produces many secrets, including those with a certain smell, and this does not mean that it is not clean enough.

Forget about such a procedure as douching: it does not bring any benefit, but it can easily destroy a finely balanced microenvironment of the vagina, in the presence of infection it is also a sure way to “drive” it into the organs located above. There is evidence of a relationship between douching (it is also called “douching”) with pregnancy complications and even the risk of cervical cancer, not to mention infections and inflammatory processes. The mucous membranes inside the body do not need to be cleaned at all, so we repeat once again: you need to wash only what is located outside, and then without a washcloth.

If soap, then neutral

Intimate hygiene is just the case when it is better to use baby soap or gel if you think that plain water is not enough. The more aggressive the soap, the higher the risk of overdrying the skin and mucous membranes and disturbing the microbial balance - all these factors can lead, for example, to activation and excessive reproduction of bacteria, which we normally have few. As a result of secretions, it may become larger or an unpleasant odor appears - and in attempts to “better” clear everything, you can further aggravate the situation.

We have already said that the microflora can change, for example, when changing the brand of condoms or excessive sweating in the heat. If you have been diagnosed with thrush or gardnerellosis, do not panic and think that you have become infected - these are opportunistic infections, that is, their pathogens are always present in the body. It is worth thinking about what factors could provoke such a malfunction, one of the possible ones is too aggressive hygiene.

Pharmacy products are not a marketing move

There are also special products for intimate hygiene. Firstly, they are soft, often with moisturizing ingredients and without unnecessary fragrances, which can cause irritation or an allergic reaction from the mucous membrane. Secondly, the acidity (pH value) of such products is at the level of the best suitable intimate area.

True, it is worth talking about the choice of such a tool with a gynecologist. Most often, acidic (low pH) or neutral. The neutral ones are designed to simply replace the soap, that is, serve as a hygiene supplement to the water. Gels with higher acidity help in the treatment and prevention of a certain type of vaginosis or vaginitis, Tatyana Rumyantseva notes that in some women they can cause discomfort, so they should be used on the recommendation of a doctor.

This diversity does not end there: there is also an alkaline (high pH) intimate soap. According to Oksana Bogdashevskaya, it is prescribed, for example, with recurrent vaginal candidiasis (thrush) or other conditions characterized by a sharp increase in the population of lactobacilli, that is, normal vaginal microbes. In this case, the medium becomes too acidic, and alkaline soap helps to correct it.


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