Personal hygiene survey – here’s how (not) well groomed Europe is
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Personal hygiene survey – here’s how (not) well groomed Europe is

Translation: Veronica Bielawski

Most Germans brush their teeth twice a day – and preferably with an electric toothbrush. Compared to the rest of Europe, Germans are more likely to skimp on showering and cleaning their ears. A representative survey commissioned by Galaxus in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and Italy shows there are national differences when it comes to personal hygiene.

At Galaxus, more and more beauty and health products are becoming available for purchase. Many of them are body care products. But what’s the situation with personal hygiene in Germany and its neighbouring countries? How often do people use toothbrushes, cotton buds, shampoo and the like?

To find out, Galaxus surveyed over 2,500 people in Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland about their personal hygiene habits.

Most Germans do it twice a day

Let’s start with oral hygiene. A third of all Italians claim they brush their teeth three times a day, with 4% of respondents doing so even more often.

Compared with the other countries, Italy is almost scrubbing that mouth raw. In the DACH region, the vast majority of respondents brush their teeth twice a day.

In Germany and Austria, 3% of respondents are more lax about oral hygiene, stating they only use a toothbrush every other day or less often.

Electric, please: manual toothbrush most unpopular in Germany

In Germany and Austria, the majority of respondents brush their teeth with an electric toothbrush. 43% of Germans use an electric toothbrush, with only 38% opting for manual models.

On the other hand, in France, Italy and Switzerland, people prefer manual toothbrushes. In France, 63% of respondents use a manual toothbrush.

The French forgo additional oral hygiene aids, with 34% relying on only a toothbrush. Tongue scrapers and interdental brushes are more popular in Germany than in neighbouring countries. Switzerland, on the other hand, is home to the most flossing fans, Italians, meanwhile, seem to rely on mouthwash after pizza or pasta.

Congested ears in the DACH region

Let’s switch from teeth to ears. Europeans in general rely most on cotton buds to clean their ears. This preference is least pronounced in Germany, with one in five people opting for a damp cloth instead.

Italy, the European tooth-brushing champion, also takes the ear-cleaning trophy: 41% of Italian respondents say they clean their ears daily. Germany and Austria are home to earwax enthusiasts, with one in ten people reporting they clean their ears less than once a month.

One in ten Germans showers once a week

There are also differences from country to country when it comes to showering and washing hair: while Italians rinse their mouth and ears most often, they save on water when showering. Italy and Germany are the shower skimpers of Europe. One in ten Germans showers just once a week or less. In France, people shower most frequently, with 7% of respondents doing so several times a day and 64% once a day.

When it comes to shower products, every nation has its own preference: the French like scrubs while Italians swear by conditioner. The Germans and Swiss lather up their heads most often – nearly a third does so every day. The majority of survey participants wash their hair with shampoo 2 to 3 times a week. In almost all countries, 3% of people stated they use shampoo less often than every two weeks.

Wet Italians, wet Austrians and dry Germans

When it comes to doing one’s business, there are no major differences. Toilet paper is the go-to in each country. However, Austrians also have a soft spot for wet wipes. And in Italy, people like to clean their butts with water, too. German bums, on the other hand, steer clear of water, with only 12% of those surveyed reporting they use it.

What’s your personal hygiene routine? How often do you brush your teeth and clean your ears? And how often do you shower? Do you think we make too big a deal of personal hygiene, or do you find yourself suffering from your fellow man’s lack of hygiene? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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Studies claim that we have a shorter attention span than goldfish. Ouch! My job is to get your attention as often and for as long as possible. How? With content you enjoy. Outside of the office, you’ll find me on the tennis court, curled up with a book, Netflixing or travelling. 


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