“Simple ‘cleanliness’ I think lies at the bottom of everything, and seems to me to represent our animal and human side—not only the demands of our extremely ancient biology, but also our very Neolithic love of grooming orderliness and beauty.”
– Virginia Smith, Clean: A History of Personal Hygiene and Purity
Hygiene, or hygienics, is basically science concerned with preventing illness and maintaining health. It is sometimes referred to as sanitary science or cleanliness. Terms synonymous with hygiene are sterile, germ-free, unpolluted, uncontaminated, or pure.
The maintaining of one’s personal hygiene refers to the caring for one’s skin, teeth, hair, eyes, ears, and nails.
Virginia Smith’s book Clean: A History of Personal ...