With the rising cost of living, millions of people in the U.K. are cutting back on essential hygiene products. This has been termed "hygiene poverty". The charity Hygiene Bank states that up to 3.2 million adults cannot afford basic goods such as soap, deodorant, toothpaste, shaving products, toilet paper and sanitary products. They have a harrowing choice of eating and heating their homes or buying hygiene products. Hygiene Bank described the problem as a "hidden crisis". It added: "It's increasing, and it's disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable".
Hygiene poverty is devastating. Many people feel too ashamed to leave their house because they are worried about smelling bad. Hygiene Bank warned of the repercussions of being unable to maintain basic hygiene standards. 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. Others are avoiding all social contact by not answering their phone.