Your hygiene may not be something you give much thought to, but it's something others will think about when they're forced to take notice. Nonetheless, good hygiene is simply a matter of developing good habits and practices.

While you may think you know it all when it comes to personal hygiene, get ready for five men's hygiene facts you won't believe.

5: Facial Hair May Be a Female Repellent

A 2008 study in the UK had a group of women view a series of digitally altered photos of men. Each male had five different "looks": clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, light beard and full beard.

Participants rated the men on toughness, maturity, aggressiveness, dominance and masculinity. The men's photos were also rated based on potential for long-term and short-term (one-night stand) relationships.

Women rated clean-shaven faces lowest almost across the board, and these baby faces were a major turn-off when it came to the prospects of a long-term relationship.

A less scientific interview by an Australian razor company found that the ladies down under associate facial hair with sexual wildness, but the attraction largely depends on facial hair that's been trimmed or maintained.

4: Not Flossing Can Kill You

Let's be honest -- we all know we should be flossing daily, but few of us actually do. However, improving your flossing habits could improve your outlook when it comes to living a long, healthy life.

Studies show a healthy mouth may equal a healthy heart, and gum disease in particular seems especially related to heart disease. These studies indicate you're twice as likely to have heart disease if you have periodontal disease.

Artery plaque and mouth plaque are entirely different despite both being called "plaque." However, the connection seems to be that higher levels of harmful bacteria in the bloodstream cause problems in both the mouth and the arteries. Therefore, the presence of either kind of plaque is a strong indicator that the other type is present as well.

3: There's Someone for Every Body Odor

We have long wondered if -- and how -- females respond to males' scents. Although there's a lot of debate about the role of pheromones in human attraction, some studies have shown that these chemical signals you're sending out are providing information to potential mates about your immune system.

When isolated, men's sex hormones -- like testosterone -- don't seem to have any effect on women, regardless of ovulation.

However, it seems that chemical markers detectable through scent provide data about certain genes within our DNA. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are responsible for some of the coding related to fighting disease with the immune system.

There are dozens of variations of these genes, and women are most attracted to the scents of men with whom they have very dissimilar MHC genes. The more similar the genes, the less attracted women are to a particular man's smell.

Regardless, the stronger the actual scent was overall, the less attracted they were. So if your pheromones indicate you're a perfect match for a particular woman, she'll be less interested after her nose detects you've saved up a month's worth of pheromones on your T-shirt in an effort to impress her.

2: You Don't Need to Bathe Daily

Many of us believe we should bathe daily -- or even twice daily if we exercise in the afternoon. While we should bathe after getting especially sweaty or dirty, the expectation of taking a bath or shower at least once a day is a recent phenomenon.

Not that we should return to the (smelly) days of old, but in decades and centuries past, it wasn't uncommon for people to bathe weekly or even just monthly.

While you should bathe more often than 12 times a year, you don't need to shower every day -- no matter what the soap commercials suggest.

Most body odor is caused by bacteria breaking down the sweat from under your arms or in your crotch area. If you don't break a sweat, you're not going to smell bad. So skip the shower next time you spend a day waking late and watching reruns on your couch before calling it an early night. This holds true especially in the winter, when you're less likely to perspire.

1: Not Enough Hand Washing in the Bathroom

While it should be common knowledge by now that everyone needs to wash their hands after using the bathroom, 1 in 4 men still doesn't, according to one 2010 study of American hand-washing habits [source: Hendrick].

This marked an increase in hand-washing since a similar 2007 study, which showed men at that time washing their hands in the bathroom only 66 percent of the time.

Poor hand hygiene contributes to food poisoning, as it facilitates the spreading of salmonella and E. coli onto eating surfaces, utensils and the food itself.

Washing hands also cuts down on viral infections, such as flu and MRSA, a highly contagious staph infection. By washing your hands of viruses and bacteria, you prevent them from entering your body through nicks on your skin or by rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth.

You should wash your hands for 30 seconds, or the length of time you need to sing your ABCs -- at normal speed. Please don't zip through L-M-N-O-P.

Use soap or an antibacterial hand wash. Wash your hands before eating, preparing food, taking or giving medicine, and coming into contact with an infant or someone in poor health. Wash your hands after eating, using the bathroom, having contact with someone who's sick, blowing your nose or coughing, or high-fiving someone who's just blown his nose or coughed.
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1 Response
  1. eula_w Says:

    Now I know I really believe it. Thanks for this informative post you have shared. :)

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