Today I want to talk a bit about an area of EDC that doesn't get talked about that much, the topic of hygiene and grooming items. For most people their morning routine is enough to get them through the day and they don't need to think about grooming themselves. I also want to specify that I am talking about keeping small items that help you to stay groomed and clean feeling. I am going to break this up into a few different areas. First oral hygiene, hair grooming, scent control, and miscellaneous. Throughout this I will include my thoughts on those areas and how I deal with them. This topic will also expand beyond my normal EDC and touch on areas that I interact with daily but don't consider my EDC like a hygiene bag I keep in my work bag and my desk.
There are a lot of people who carry something like gum or mints. Frankly this can be a great option in order to keep you breath in check, it is always awful to eat lunch and then spend the rest of the day with a very strong taste in your mouth. I stopped chewing gum regularly because I tend to have little to no self control and would go through nearly a pack a day. Instead I keep small tins of mints in both my desk and work bag. Another couple options include using something like mouth wash spray or strips. These can be great for some people; I just don't really like them and would prefer mints. In addition to the smell and taste in your mouth, it always stinks to realize you had something in your teeth and no one told you. This is one of the reasons I like carrying toothpicks. I like keeping both traditional wooden ones as well as the type that contain a bit of floss on the end. I will be honest though and admit that the biggest reason I like toothpicks is because I like to chew on them.
I like to carry a carbon fiber comb as you may have noticed from previous EDC pictures. I also carry a small plastic comb in my bag. I live in a pretty windy area and my hair likes to blow around even though I tend to try and keep it shorter. In addition I also like to comb my beard hair so that it isn't sticking all different directions. My last item in this section is a small bottle of beard oil I make and carry in my bag. It is a nice option as it helps condition the hair while also leaving a minty after smell. Some people might find it effective to keep something like a small bottle of hair spray or gel. These just don't really work for me.
The biggest thing here is that no one likes smelling gross. For most people a daily shower and deodorant do the trick. For others sometimes you get sweaty. I work in an office so I don't do as much manual labor as I used to when I worked in a warehouse. That being said, there are sometimes when I still have to work up a little sweat here and there. Because of that I like to keep an extra stick of deodorant in my desk. Frankly, I am a big fan of that because there have been a couple times where I all of a sudden smelled myself and I want to be able to fix that quickly. Another option for some people would be cologne/perfume/body spray. I want to be clear here that an Axe shower is never the right choice. I spent my teenage years just like most guys in a disgusting locker room peering through a cloud of body spray trying not to die. Most people know that but even now it is still important to remember that using these products does not fix a smelly situation but just covers it up with another layer. I don't even typically wear cologne on a daily basis, partially because I smell enough of it on other people and don't want to add mine, but also because I am frankly forgetful and lazy sometimes so I am no longer in the habit. Currently I do keep a small tin of solid cologne I made in my bag. It is very subtle and I only use it to add a little something every once in a while.
There are quite a few things in this topic that just don't fit into a better category so here we go. First and foremost, I almost always carry a handkerchief for a variety of reasons, but the primary reason is that I hate sneezing and not having anything to address that situation with. I know that some people find handkerchiefs disgusting but I like the convenience. Another option would be to carry a small travel package of tissues. Some people like to have nail clippers handy. I personally don't carry any but full disclosure, I made a random hygiene EDC kit out of a bunch of random extra items and nail clippers are included. Will I ever carry that kit, almost certainly not, but it is there. A kind of iffy item for this topic includes lip balm. I am including it because I think in a lot of ways taking care of your lips is a grooming process. I have lip balm scattered throughout the areas I utilize. I mostly prefer good old Chapstick but do have a few generic ones as well as a small tin of homemade balm in my bag. The last item I am going to include here are cotton swabs like Q-tips. I know they say don't use them on your ears but most people tend to ignore that. I do carry some in my first-aid kit but nowhere else.
So just briefly going over what I carry; I typically carry a comb and handkerchief in my EDC but have access to a small grooming kit in my bag as well as items in my desk. I like being able to take care of small problems as soon as I can instead of having to just live with them.I definitely think that everyone should have access to at least the basics that you need to keep yourself properly groomed.