Czechs more lax about hygiene during the pandemic, and some intend to stay that way

One-fifth of Czechs surveyed in a poll intend to keep their more laid back hygiene habits developed during the pandemic.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 24.06.2021 12:00 (updated on 23.06.2021)

Now that most pandemic restrictions are easing, people will need to return to their previous habits, and this means leaving the “pajama routine” behind. Surveys have showed that some aspects of hygiene such as handwashing increased in the Czech Republic during the lockdowns, other aspects such as showering or use of deodorants and cosmetics dropped.

But about one-fifth of people surveyed by the Ipsos agency said they will remain with the current lax hygiene mode. Approximately 5 percent of Czechs said that they washed less than usual during a pandemic, with some people admitting that they at most showered once weekly.

Sales of cosmetics have fallen by about 10 percent since the beginning of the epidemic, while deodorants sales dropped by 7 percent compared to in normal times. Skin creams, however saw an increase in sales because people used them to protect their hands from drying out after constant disinfection.

Habits were not equal among all age groups. Hygiene was ignored the most by people aged 18 to 26, with one in five saying the coronavirus pandemic had a negative effect on their personal hygiene. People with a high-school education paid the most attention to hygiene. Those with college education or a basic primary education were most likely to let hygiene lapse.

There are also regional differences. Under normal circumstances, two-thirds of people get in the shower at least once a day. In the Moravian part of the Czech Republic, only 3 percent of people admitted to showering less often. In Bohemia the number of shower slackers rose to 5 percent, and in Prague it was 8 percent.

The drop in showering was largely due to the lack of social contact. Almost half of the respondents said they had no motivation to wash if they did not plan to see other people that day. One-third said the loss of having a daily routine and regular rhythm led to less hygiene, while 13 percent of people stopped showering when they reduced their sports activities because they did not sweat. One in 10 said that home office had made them lazy.

Research published in March by from the Stem/Mark agency, made for dm drogerie markt, showed that almost two-fifths of women changed their make-up routines, with some 24 percent of women wearing less make-up and 11 percent no makeup during the lockdowns. Only 3 percent wore more, mainly due to watching tutorials online. At the same time, 52 percent of women took equal care and one-fifth took more care of their skin.

Some empirical evidence backs up the statistics. The Czech company Contipro is one of the world’s largest makers of hyaluronic acid, a key ingredient in cosmetics. Since the pandemic started last year, they have seen sales of the chemical drop by one-third, according to Metro.cz.

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