Let’s spend a few minutes together going back to basics and have a quick trip through the bathroom. While we all have our own routine for keeping our skin, hair, and body clean, we all have a few things in common that we all use. Do you know how they work? You might be surprised how simple some of them are.
Soap has been used for almost as long as human history has been recorded and has actually not changed very much in its basic chemical compound. At its most basic, soap is a fat that is cooked together with an alkali which creates a chemical reaction to create a substance that foams. This process is called saponification. This substance cleans by removing dirt and breaking down cell walls of bacteria and causing them to die. These days we use synthetic detergents to manufacture soap and additives are added to this process to enhance the cleaning properties or scents of the soap have evolved over time, but the basic soap has changed very little over time.
Shampoo is a relatively new addition to cleanliness, only finding prevalence in the mid-1800s. Until then, we all just used the same soap on our hair that we used on our body and we could actually still do that today, but it’s generally recommended that you use a shampoo designed for washing your hair. Shampoo contains the same stuff we’ll find in soap, with a few specific additives to control things like dandruff and excess hair oils. Today’s debate is often about how frequently we should be washing our hair.
There are two types of people. Those who use deodorant and those that use anti-perspirant. They work in a very different way, but the reason we use them is very much the same. Apart from visual sweat being a bit frowned upon, it usually has an unpleasant odor. Deodorant serves to, as the name suggests, deodorize that odor. Most deodorants have some level of antiperspirant in them to control the amount of sweat produced in the concentrated areas we use it. These usually contain a chemical compound that includes aluminum, which serves to block these pores and stop them from producing sweat.
The humble toothpaste has spawned infinite variations all marketed to be good at assisting with dental hygiene in some way or another. One might promise better whitening results while another might offer better gum health or to help with sensitivity. Ultimately, all toothpaste relies on an abrasive substance (usually baking soda) and an antiseptic (usually a peroxide). More recently, the addition of fluoride has further helped tooth decay. Using a toothbrush with good quality bristles, like those manufactured by https://teamtech.com, toothpaste is used to cleanse teeth by abrasively removing dirt and plaque as you brush.
Sometimes it’s fascinating to learn how simple some of these personal hygiene products are, and how they have evolved over time. We often take for granted the genius and experimentation that went into their creation, and how we would struggle without them.