Millions of people in the U.K. cannot buy essential hygiene products because of the rising cost of living. The charity Hygiene Bank states that up to 3.2 million adults are living in "hygiene poverty". They cannot afford basic goods such as soap, deodorant, toothpaste, shaving products, toilet paper and sanitary products. They have to choose between eating or buying hygiene products. Hygiene Bank called it a "hidden crisis" that "impacted the most vulnerable".
Hygiene poverty is devastating. People are too ashamed to leave their house because they are worried about smelling bad. Hygiene Bank gave examples of the effects it has on people. It said: "We have mums telling us…that they want to be last on the nursery drop-off because they're too embarrassed and ashamed to see other parents." Many people with acne are seeing their condition worsen because they cannot afford soap.