Grooming techniques are, in many cases, things that you learn, either from magazines and websites, professionals, your parents, your friends, or even through your own experimentation. Some of the things that you might be doing incorrectly or that you're not doing, but should be, are things that aren't necessarily intuitive and you really can't be expected to just know what they are or why they're important. But even though most people have to learn quite a few grooming tips from other people, there are still some feminine grooming tips no one ever taught you of which you should probably be aware.
It's important to remember that not everyone learns the same set of grooming, hygiene, or self-care tips, so what one person might have learned early on could be completely new to you and vice versa. And there are nearly always questions that people feel embarrassed to ask for fear of sounding dumb or ill-informed, even if they're not about sensitive topics, like vagina care, pubic hair, and the like.
Grooming correctly isn't just superficial or vain. The way that you look and feel are often connected. If you're confident that your hair looks glossy and gorgeous or your skin is glowing, it's not a stretch to say that you might also feel more confident facing the world as well. Not only that, but your hair and skin can also tell you things about your overall health. Even if you think you have grooming down pat, there might be a few things that you could still learn.
1. Water Matters More Than You Think
In this case, I'm not talking about how much or what kind of water you're drinking, but the water that's used on your body. "Washing your face or body in hard water can lead to skin havoc," Mary Irwin, a celebrity and editorial makeup artist, tells Romper by email. "Hard water contains calcium, magnesium, and iron, which can lead to dry skin. These minerals can also dry on the skin, which leads to clogged pores, flaking, and itching. A water filtration system is your best bet to fight this. If you can’t get one for your whole house, you should definitely get one for your shower."
Plus, Irwin also says that the humidity of the air is important to consider as well. Running a humidifier at home can help ensure that you get enough moisture.
2. Printer Paper Can Be Awfully Useful
If you struggle with how or where to part your hair, you might be surprised to learn that a sheet of printer paper might be able to help. Glamour reported that a hairstylist once taught the staff there to hold a sheet of paper up to their faces, first covering one side and then shifting it over to the other. The half of your face that you prefer is the side you should part your hair on so that your hair falls toward your less-preferred side.
3. Dry Brush Before Showering Or Shaving
Dry brushing has certainly become more popular, but you still might not know all the details required to do it correctly. If you're dry brushing with just a brush, you should do so before hopping into the shower to rinse away all the sloughed off skin cells and such. Start at your feet and brush up toward your heart. If you're going to dry brush with body oil, however, Margo Marrone, founder of The Organic Pharmacy, told Goop that it's best to wait until after showering. And don't press too hard, it shouldn't scratch your skin too much.
4. Keep Some Sunscreen Wipes On Hand
Sunscreen is super-important (which probably comes as no surprise), but if you're often on the go or forget to put on the cream itself, wipes can be a good option. Total Beauty noted that sunscreen wipes that provide protection from harmful ultraviolet rays make applying sunscreen quick and easy. Stash some in your bag, a suitcase, and elsewhere so that your skin never has to go without.
5. Be Gentle When Washing Your Face
If you thought you needed to scrub your face forcefully in order to effectively cleanse it, you actually could be doing yourself some harm. Harsh scrubbing and pulling on the skin isn't good for it, as the aforementioned article from Glamour noted. Gently massage in circles, use plenty of water so that products don't pull at your skin, and rinse well.
6. Go Easy On Your Hair
"Pulling too tight can cause strain on our hair follicles, which in turn can cause a receding hair line," Maria Halasz, the managing director and CEO of Cellmid Limited, tells Romper by email. "When we are young it is not so obvious, but if you look at pictures from your 20s, 30s, 40s you will notice your hairline is actually receding! Pulling hair your hair back should be the exception — not an everyday occurrence! And when pulling your hair back, try not to do it so tightly."
If you can, you might want to leave your hair down whenever possible and take it down whenever it doesn't need to be up. Be more gentle to your hair than you may have been as a little kid. Your hair will thank you.
7. Moisturize With Oils
Moisturizing is important for everyone, even if you have combination or oily skin, something I personally didn't learn until later on in life. Jeffrey Paul, a celebrity makeup and hair professional, told Total Beauty in the aforementioned article that essential oils can play many roles in your moisturizing, beauty, and grooming routines. And while it's necessary to dilute many of them before applying to the skin, using what would normally be a carrier oil — like apricot, avocado, or almond — straight instead of mixed with essential oils can also be a good way to boost your skin's moisture content. Just make sure that you're buying high-quality oils.
8. Don't Forget To Exfoliate Your Face
Exfoliating shouldn't just be a body thing, it's also important to exfoliate the skin on your face. And while you may have used a facial scrub in the past, you might not have ever really learned about how or why you should exfoliate. Renée Rouleau, a celebrity esthetician, told Byrdie that exfoliating is good for those focused on anti-aging measures as well as those prone to breakouts. Because you don't want to be super rough with the skin on your face, asking an esthetician or dermatologist for what might work best for you (chemical or physical) as well as a more personalized suggestion of which product to use might be a good idea.
9. Rubbing Your Hair With A Towel To Dry It Isn't A Great Idea
Raise your hand if you rub your hair with a towel to remove excess water after getting out of the shower. A ton of people do this, so it's no surprise that this is something that you might not have ever been taught not to do. Veronica Nunez, a hairstylist, told Glamour in the previously-mentioned article that rubbing your hair with a towel will make it frizzy because it's hard on the cuticle. Definitely not what you wanted. Instead, squeeze the water out of your hair and pat dry gently.
10. Shave Pubic Hair With The Grain, Not Against
You might think that you know every shaving hack out there to get smooth, soft skin, but there's little doubt that razor burn, ingrown hairs, bumps, and other irritation are regular adversaries when it comes time to shave, especially when you're shaving pubic hair. Your skin down there is super sensitive, so you don't want to cause any accidental harm. Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner told Cosmopolitan that shaving in the direction the hair grows, rinsing off the blade after every few strokes, and using a safe moisturizer afterwards can help minimize any irritation.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.