During confinement, the French wash less often

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The body and clothing hygiene of the French deteriorates during confinement.

The daily toilet, change of underwear … there is carelessness with personal hygiene during confinement. Especially in older and isolated men. Details.

“Clean hands, dirty briefs…” This is the observation made by the French Institute of Public Opinion (Ifop) in a survey carried out for 24 Matins *.

While the Coronavirus Covid-19 health crisis involves new actions, such as washing them regularly but with soap or hydroalcoholic gel, the body hygiene of the French deteriorates during confinement.



François Kraus, head of the Gender, sexualities and sexual health department at Ifop, explains:

“The social withdrawal imposed by confinement was accompanied by a deterioration in the body and clothing hygiene of the French. Degradation that goes hand in hand with a decline in self-esteem.”

Read also: Covid-19: 5.7% of French people will have been infected by May 11, estimates the Institut Pasteur



No daily full toilet for a third of French people

According to the survey, during confinement, a third of French people do not wash themselves every day.

  • 67% of those surveyed declare to carry out a complete toilet every day (body and face). A lower proportion compared to a previous Ifop survey.
  • Women are more demanding than men: 74% wash themselves every day, compared to 61% of men.
  • The only confined men are those who wash less. 51% of them do not wash themselves every day.
  • A phenomenon that affects all seniors, but also isolated people, “geographically or socially”.

For Ifop, these results are a sign that “hygiene is very much based on taking into account one’s sociability and the gaze of others in the management of one’s bodily appearance”.

A third of men do not change their pants every day

“The importance of sex and age in personal hygiene behaviours can be found in clothing,” adds Ifop. And especially for underwear.

  • Almost all women change panties every day (91%).
  • A third of men do not change underwear every day. Only 68% of them do.
  • The only confined men are 41% admit to not change underwear every day, against 15% of women in the same situation.
  • Feminine peculiarity observed: an increase in the number of women no longer wearing a bra (8%, compared to 3% before confinement)
  • Among young women under 25, 20% of them no longer wear a bra.



Containment has an impact on self-esteem

“The confinement has an impact on the image they have of themselves,” says Ifop concerning women.

  • If 22% of French women were “beautiful” before confinement, they are only 12% today.
  • This negative feeling is particularly accentuated among young people aged 25-34 (26%) and women living alone (27%).
  • A consequence of this depreciation: these women who find themselves less beautiful during confinement declare to neglect their full toilet up to 27%.

* The Ifop survey was conducted for 24 Mornings with a sample of 1,016 people representative of the French population aged 18 and over, using a self-administered online questionnaire from April 3 to 4, 2020.

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