How to Wash Hands, Brush Teeth and Remove Make-up

July 28, 2015

How-to guide for hand-washing, makeup removal and brushing teeth

Basic hygiene is so important for preventing infection. But it is so easy to skip steps and be less thorough when trying to keep up with the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Following these basic guidelines for hand-washing, makeup removal and dental care will ensure you do the job right the first time and avoid the spread of germs.

How to Wash Hands, Brush Teeth and Remove Make-up

1. Wash your hands

Thorough washing is vital to prevent the spread of infection. Use liquid soap, not a shared bar, and a clean towel.

  • Wet hands and apply soap. Rub hands together for 15-30 seconds under warm running water, paying attention to spread the soap to fingertips, nails, thumbs and right up to the wrist.
  • Work the hands together, palm to palm, palm to back and fingers interlacing, for as long as it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" through twice.
  • Dry thoroughly: moist hands spread germs. Choose clean paper towels over a hand dryer — it may recycle dirty air and take a long time to dry hands thoroughly, encouraging you to walk away without completing the job.

2. Remove make-up

Remove make-up with as much care as you took to apply it. Use cotton-wool pads and separate products specially formulated for eyes and face, or try using milk, yoghurt or olive oil for removing eye make-up.

  • Start with your eyes, working gently around each one.
  • Close your eyes and work from root to tip to remove mascara.
  • Then use a cleanser (not soap) — or milk — to remove foundation, powder, lipstick and blush.
  • Rinse with warm (not hot) water and pat dry with a soft towel.
  • Finish with toner.

3. Clean your teeth properly


  • Once every day, take a length of floss about 45 centimetres (18 inches) and wind the ends around your middle fingers. Pinch between thumbs and forefingers to isolate around 2.5 centimetres (one inch) of it, draw taut and slide it up and down in the gaps between your teeth (don't "saw" with it and risk cutting your gums, but try a circular movement with your fingers).
  • As you move on to the next teeth, wind the floss on a little to expose a fresh length.
  • Don't worry if your gums bleed a little at first. This should stop as dental hygiene improves.


  • Brush morning and night for at least two minutes, getting into all the nooks and crannies; make the time to do a thorough job.
  • Use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste.
  • Use small, circular movements rather than a scrubbing motion and make sure you work on all surfaces; don't neglect the insides.
  • Brush along the gum line as well as the teeth, and clean the tongue.

Follow these simple health guidelines to help prevent the spread of germs and potentially bigger problems down the road.

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