Tips for personal grooming

Personal grooming includes taking care of the items you wear

Lady cleansing skin

One does not feel good wearing dull shoes, or jewellery that does not shine. Grooming involves ensuring we look our best by all means, including the accessories we wear.

We all have used cosmetics, skin care products, imitation jewellery, fake watches, accessories, and leather shoes and purses at some point in life. Most of these personal care items need to be taken care of; otherwise, our sense of grooming would be adversely affected; especially if they cause reactions in the skin. For example, cosmetics if not maintained properly could lead to skin infections and allergies. Let us look at some accessories and the role their care plays in personal grooming.

Leather shoes and bags

  • To maintain leather goods for longer, oil and polish your leather shoes regularly. Leather dries and it can crack if it becomes too dry. Use a quality saddle soap or beeswax to oil the shoes and then apply a polish to clean them, making them shine.
  • Store leather shoes away from heat, even if they get wet. Stuff tissue paper or an absorbent cloth inside the wet shoes and allow them a few days to dry. Putting them near a heat source to dry causes the leather to dry too much, and it may crack.
  • Slip your foot into the shoes using a shoe horn. This keeps the back of the shoe from becoming worn and damaged over time. Most leather is soft and supple and gets pressed down when the shoe is slipped on. A shoe horn makes the leather stand up.


  • Fine jewellery requires care even though it is made from some of the most durable substances on earth. Lotions, powders, soaps and natural skin oils can cause deposits that dull the surface of a diamond or gem stone.
  • Regular cleaning to remove such deposits from ordinary wear will help ensure your diamond or gem remains sparkling. One of the safest methods to clean jewellery at home is with a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water.
  • Care must be taken to not scratch the jewellery when cleaning. Then, rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.
  • In case of imitation jewellery, avoid contact with water and perfume. As soon as you remove them, wipe them with dry cotton and keep then in airtight zip-lock bags.


  • Remember, all cosmetics come with an expiry date even if it is not mentioned on the product. Replace all cosmetics within six months. By the end of 6-7 months, whatever is left in a container may have become contaminated by contact with your hand or an applicator. Even the presence of air each time you open the container to apply make-up each day can lead to gradual build-up of bacteria, which can cause skin infections and inflammation.
  • Apply make-up with clean hands and supplies. Don’t forget to wash your hands before applying or removing make-up. Use a clean washcloth, and use a make-up remover or cold milk, taking care around the eyes and nose. Wipe off spills or drips from the sides of make-up bottles or tubes. Clean out the drawer or tray where cosmetics are kept to eliminate dust, debris, hair, and other residue that can contaminate make-up products.
  • Always remove cosmetics at the end of the day. Don’t sleep with cosmetics on your face. They can smear your pillow and may lead to irritation of skin, as well as become more resistant to removal the following day. Gently wipe away all vestiges of cream, powder, liner and rouge to leave your face clean and fresh.
  • Tighten all product lids and completely close containers to preserve contents. Do not leave the lids here and there. Lipsticks should not be left lying open. Close, fasten or secure each item, from mascara to lip-gloss. While opening, if a product falls on the floor and is contaminated, discard it to prevent dirt from entering your pores or other facial structures like your eyelashes.
  • Don’t share your cosmetics with others. While it’s tempting to borrow from a friend while at work or to lend to a sister at home, sharing cosmetics can increase the risk of contamination and contribute to bacterial build-up. Instead, carry an extra with you, in case one is dropped or dirty, or if someone asks to borrow it.
  • It is recommended that all cosmetic tools such as brushes and applicators be cleaned every three months or more often. There are professional cleaners in the market, but for sensitive skin, these can cause irritation. Instead of using those, use your daily cleanser to clean your cosmetic tool. To clean hard cosmetic tools such as eyelash curlers, use a clean washcloth. Get it wet with warm water and then apply a tiny amount of your daily cleanser to the cloth. Lather into the cloth. Then take the washcloth and gently wipe or scrub the cosmetic tools. Once you have cleaned the cosmetic tools, rinse them in warm water and dry with a clean towel or let them air dry.In order to clean your cosmetic brushes, you can use a washcloth or you can just use your fingers. If you use your fingers, then start by getting your cosmetic brushes wet in warm water. Once you have done this, you can add a tiny amount of cleanser to the bristles. Gently lather the bristles through your fingers, allowing the cleanser to permeate through all the bristles. After you have done this, you can rinse the brush out in warm water. After rinsing, reshape your brushes and allow them to air dry completely before using them again. If your bristles frizz or shed, then it is time to get a new cosmetic brush.
  • With the development of cosmetics research, adverse skin reactions induced by cosmetics allergy has attracted more and more attention. It would be better to take precautions to avoid getting cosmetics allergy. Remember, cosmetic allergy, just like any other allergy, is only treatable, not curable. There are some tips that can help you prevent contracting cosmetics allergy. Before using any cosmetic products, read its labels. Look out for active ingredients that can obviously trigger an allergic reaction to your skin. Find products or alternatives that do not contain such ingredients. Perform mini-patch tests to determine if a new cosmetic product is too strong for your skin. It is done by rubbing your wrist with the products and observing for any redness or rash within 24 hours. When wearing perfume, apply it on your clothes, not on your skin.Creams and ointments specifically manufactured to treat cosmetics allergy are available without prescriptions through retailers and drug stores. Most of these medications contain cortisone in the form of hydrocortisone acetate and hydrocortisone. Cortisones help curtail redness, swelling and itching during the onset of cosmetics allergy symptoms. However, it is advisable to go for these medications on the advice of a medical practitioner only.

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Apratim Goel
Dr Apratim Goel in the CEO and Medical Director of a chain of laser and cosmetic clinics called Cutis Skin Studio, Mumbai. An extremely passionate aesthetician and board certified dermatologist, she is an author and a voracious reader.


  1. Hai i’m Akash Saurabh. I’m persuing my Fashion Designig course. plz send me all the personal grooming tips


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