Personal Hygiene: Tips, Tricks, and Advice for the Visually Impaired

Personal hygiene is well personal. It is also harder to accomplish when you have a disability. This blog will look at some tips and tricks to help learn, or relearn, how best to assure that you are doing the most that you can for your own personal hygienic needs when dealing with vision loss.

Bathing and Brushing Teeth

Alice Massa, an Occupational Therapist states, states that one of the challenging aspects of living with low vision can be our personal care. Issues like hygiene and grooming can undermine our sense of independence and confidence.  A few of her tips from the article 7 Low Vision Tips To Start Your Day include:

  • In the bathroom, items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush/comb, and toiletries should be kept in the same place, on a shelf or a rack in the shower.
  • It is helpful to buy shampoo, conditioner and body wash in containers differentiated by shape or color.
  • Getting toothpaste on the toothbrush can be a bit of a hassle. Some people find squeezing some toothpaste into a small container and dipping the brush into the paste is easier. Some people just prefer to squeeze a dab of paste onto their index finger and then transfer from finger to brush.

In addition to these suggestions, another product that could make bathing easier is a long-handled brush. This Bent 27” Ergo Round Sponge allows the user to more easily reach hard to reach spots on the body. The bent handle allows for even easier access to the back. Use for bathing, lotion, and cream application.

Shaving

NewzHook offers shaving advice for men but the same strategies are beneficial for women as well. This article provides information on personal grooming as an important skill that all must acquire at an early age. Learning to shave is a critical aspect of this. However, shaving on your own may seem potentially dangerous for those who are blind or have low vision.  Information within the parentheses were added for this blog. Here are some tips for the visually impaired who are starting to shave or want to improve upon their skills.

  • Keep your basic supplies – razor/electric razor, shaving cream/foam, after shave, and a towel handy.
  • Wash the area to be shaved with soap and water and pat dry. This will soften the area, making it easier to shave cleanly.
  • If you are new to this, take the time to feel and explore the part of the face (or other body part) that is to be shaved. You can practice with an empty razor or with the electric razor turned off.
  • Shave against the grain of the whiskers in places where your beard (or other body hair) is heavier. In places with sensitive skin like the cheeks and upper lip, use downward strokes and shave with the grain of the whiskers.
  • After you are done, use fingertips to check one more time if you have left out any spots.
  • For cutting stubble, use scissors, “This is the area on the upper cheekbone. With a comb straighten the hair and with your hand feel which bits of hair are extending downwards and cut them with a pair of scissors”.

If you are looking to try out an electric razor, ILA sells the Norelco Triple Head Electric Shaver. The 3 rotary heads with self-sharpening blades give you the smoothest shave with its CloseCut Blade System 4-direction Flex Heads.

Makeup

Elin Williams, author and creator of My Blind World, shares her tried and true makeup tips in her article “Beauty Without A Mirror.” Here are a few highlights from that article.

All about the numbers: From counting how many times I swirl my brush in a product to how many strokes it takes when applying the product to my face, to me, makeup is all about the numbers. This is especially true for things such as eyeshadow or blush. I know that if I’ve tapped my brush into the product a couple of times and then sweeped it onto my eyelids 3 times, I’ll have a similar amount of product on both eyes and they’ll hopefully look quite similar.

Labeling: I normally label products that are not as easy to indentify or things such as different shades of lipstick or foundation. I use an audio labeller by the RNIB which allows me to record as much information as I need, I then place the small sticker on any of my products and when I place the device over it again, my recording will start to play, clever eh? It is definitely one of the most useful things for me when trying to differentiate between products.

ILA sells the RINB if you too would like to see how labeling in this manner could help you. In addition, we also sell a pair of 3X Makeup Magnifying Glasses which allows you to flip the magnifying lens away from the eye you are putting eyeliner or mascara on and look through the 3X magnifying lens covering the other eye.

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