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Poll Reveals How People's Hygiene Habits Have Changed During Lockdowns

Over the past couple of years, you may have come across a headline or two that tells you people are actually managing to shower too much.

As dermatology professor Sandy Skotnicki from the University of Toronto told The Atlantic, washing our entire bodies strips away oils that otherwise preserve moisture. As this happens, our skin gets drier and more porous, which makes it easier for allergens and other irritants to get in.

For that reason, she recommends focusing on commonly gunked-up areas of our bodies like underarms, groin, and feet, and leaving the rest alone.

But if people were showering too much when quarantine began, it seems that's become increasingly less of a problem as the pandemic has gone on. At least, that's what one poll out of the U.K. suggests.

At the end of January, British polling organization YouGov asked 1,041 adults about how certain aspects of their behavior changed before and after the COVID-19 pandemic emerged.

As they found, the biggest changes came in how often people wore makeup and styled their hair.

It turned out that 63% of people who normally wore makeup before were doing it less often. And while 17% described themselves as wearing "a little" less makeup, 46% saw a much larger difference.

Although the differences between a light and heavy decrease in hair styling weren't found to be quite as stark as with makeup, 50% did so less often than before with 29% styling their hair much less often.

And makeup isn't the only product that respondents found less use for when they retreated inside during lockdowns.

About 34% of women were found to see this period as an opportunity to set aside their bras, with 20% of them doing so much less frequently than they otherwise would have.

This was particularly true for women between the ages of 18 and 24 as two-thirds of them reported wearing bras less than they did before March of 2020. For 43% of this age group, that difference was considered a big one.

Although respondents didn't report such a pronounced decrease in their showering habits, there was still a significant downward trend.

Because while 73% of people had roughly the same showering routine and 10% actually did so more often, about 17% reported doing so less often.

The decrease in people who specifically washed their hair was more noticeable as about 25% of people decided to cut down on this practice.

As we saw with bra use, this trend was more clearly observed among more youthful Britons.

In total, 27% of this age group found themselves more likely to skip showers although only 4% reported doing this "much less" frequently than before.

But one practice that did dip further in frequency than showering was putting on fresh clothes each day.

Although only 9% changed clothes "much less" often than before, the total number who found themselves staying in dirty clothes for longer was 29%.

For the most part, this didn't translate to a decrease in changing socks and underwear, although about 9% of people reported doing that less often, as well.

Of the behaviors accounted for in the poll, only one actually showed a trend of increased frequency.

And that turned out to be tooth brushing as 10% of the Britons polled noticed an increase in how often they did this. By comparison, only 6% reported a decrease in this discipline, with just 1% reporting a significant dropoff in their brushing.

While you may not find many of these results surprising depending on how quarantine has been for you, it is nonetheless fascinating to see what patterns people fall into when they don't have to deal with as many people.

h/t: YouGov