Not only strange, but also harmful: hygiene habits originating in the USSR

Yulia PoteriankoNews
Soviet women caused irreparable harm to themselves with the care that the state offered them. Source: Created with the help of AI

Soviet cosmetics can evoke a whole range of emotions in today's youth, and not all of them are positive. The shortage of not just quality, but any kind of personal care products gave rise to hygiene habits in the USSR that today would be called not just strange, but downright harmful.

These habits can still be found among older people, who for some reason retain a belief in their usefulness and safety. OBOZ.UA tells you about these dubious life hacks and what's wrong with them.

Laundry soap for skin care

A bar of dry laundry soap is unlikely to make a modern person want to wash their hands with it, even if it's just to wash their hands. In the USSR, however, it was used for everything: body care, hair washing, and even intimate hygiene. It was believed to be completely safe due to its natural composition, and it also helped fight bacteria. As for the unpleasant smell, it was supposed to disappear quickly.

In fact, laundry soap has an overly aggressive formula, which even includes caustic soda and rosin for effectiveness. And these components are not just useless, they completely destroy the skin's protective barrier. As a result, it becomes vulnerable to literally all unfavorable conditions - from humidity to solar ultraviolet radiation. Needless to say, laundry soap is still used to control plant pests. Needless to say, this does not correlate with the myth of its benefits as a cosmetic.

Makeup remover cologne

Decorative cosmetics began to be produced in the USSR in the early postwar years, in the late 1940s. What is worth mentioning, for example, is mascara, which you had to spit into to use it. At the same time, the production of makeup products in the Land of the Soviets began in the early eighties.

What did Soviet women do for 40 years? They washed off their makeup with whatever they could find, from laundry soap to cheap colognes. Yes, the perfumed product stung the eyes a little less than soap, but the alcohol in its base was even more ruthless to the skin. Rinsing off cosmetics with alcohol was quick and somewhat convenient, but it dried the skin very much, destroyed its protective barrier, and could damage mucous membranes. All this not only accelerated the aging process, but could also provoke dermatitis and other diseases.

Tooth powder instead of toothpaste

For a long time, the Soviet industry was able to produce only one type of oral care product: tooth powder. It was made from chemically precipitated crushed chalk. This abrasive was really good at removing plaque from teeth, and it could be applied simply with your fingers - there was no need to buy a brush.

The disadvantages of the powder include its abrasiveness. During prolonged use, it can severely scratch the enamel, leading to the development of caries. In addition, dry powder was often accidentally inhaled while brushing your teeth, leading to respiratory problems and even allergies.

Newspaper instead of toilet paper

The first toilet paper appeared in the USSR in 1979. Until then, citizens of the country had to maintain hygiene with what they had at hand - newspapers. Newspaper pages are indeed somewhat softer than other types of paper, but they are also heavily treated with toxic lead compounds - it is contained in printing ink. The use of newspapers led to skin irritation in sensitive areas, and over time, even caused the development of tumors.

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