Puberty brings a lot of changes with it, including body odour. This means a little bit of adjustment to the hygiene routine they may be accustomed to.
Why is hygiene important? Firstly, it’s a nice feeling to be clean. However, it’s necessary to be clean in order to function socially. Generally speaking, you expect the person you’re interacting with to be clean (whether they are a friend or a colleague), and it reduces our risk of catching disease.
So, what does good teen hygiene look like? Generally speaking, teens should shower every day (maybe twice a day depending on the weather and their lifestyle), and wash your hair every other day. Use deodorant or antiperspirant before heading out for the day and re-apply as needed. Wear clean underwear and socks every day, and brush your teeth twice a day. Washing your face daily will (hopefully) help keep acne at a low, and some teens may also express interest in learning how to shave.
However, these are just general guidelines; your teen may need to adjust this routine to suit them. For instance, if they have dry skin, they may need to moisturise; or if they have greasy hair, they may choose to use dry shampoo to keep it looking fresh in between washes. If they have braces, they’ll have to adjust their oral hygiene routine to keep their braces clean.
Encouraging Good Hygiene
Be a Good Role Model
Start young, as children learn by observing. Be sure to practice good hygiene habits from a young age, and continue this into their teenage years.
Your teen may still need your help, even if they don’t show it. Offer to help them if they ask for it. Show them how to use deodorant and how often, and show them how to safely shave if they show interest in learning.
Look into Skin Care
Skin care can be a tough code to crack. What works for one person may not work for another, and acne can have detrimental effects on a teen’s self-esteem. Encourage your teen to try out a variety of different routines to see what works for their skin, and consider where their skin type is oily, dry or a combination of the two. Discourage them from picking at pimples or blackheads, as this can make it worse.
It’s Different for Girls and Boys
Girls need to know how to manage their periods and how often to change their pad or tampon, and both girls and boys need to learn how to clean their genitals. It’s likely that the topic will be an awkward one for them to discuss, so remember to be prepared for any question that may come your way.