In this article, we will cover why it is important to regularly wash your hands and which products to use.
Hand washing: why, when and how?
Good hand hygiene is a huge factor is reducing the risk of illness. The year 2020 has proven this more than ever. It is recommended to wash your hands regularly and one should always follow certain guidelines when doing so.
Why should we wash our hands?
Did you know that 80% of illness is transmitted by our hands? When you think about it, this isn’t too much of a shock considering our hands are constantly in contact with numerous objects all day long (subway handles, door knobs, etc). This is why its important to regularly wash your hands!
When should we wash our hands?
In order to have a good hand hygiene, it is necessary to wash your hands multiple times a day. One should always wash their hands before cooking, eating or touching their face. Hand washing is of the utmost importance if they have been exposed to something “dirty” like public restrooms, having gone to the bathroom, blowing your nose. One should even wash their hands after having visited a location that has a high volume of traffic, like the subway, the grocery store, etc.
How to correctly wash our hands?
Effective hand washing should last between 40 and 60 seconds!
Here are some tips for thoroughly washed hands:
- Use warm or hot water
- Vigorously run your hands together, its important because it helps remove the dirt and grime as well as the pathogenetic agents on the surface of your hands
- Don’t forget to wash the back of your hands as well as in between fingers and under nails.
- Dry your hands with a single use paper tissue or a clean towel
Soap, what is it exactly and what does it do?
Liquid or solid, soap is your best ally in the fight against bacteria! Nothing is more effective than hand washing with soap.
What is soap?
Soap is a result of a chemical reaction between a fatty acid (like oils or butters) and an alkaline agent. This reaction is called saponification. There are two types of saponification: hot process soapmaking or cold process soapmaking. The difference between liquid or solid soap is the type of alkaline agent used in the chemical reaction. Lye water is used for solid soaps and potash is used for liquid soap.
How does soap work?
Soap is special in the fact that it is capable of binding with water and fat (which cannot mix together on their own). So, when soap is used it will bind to fat molecules on the skin that contain dirt and grime as well as bind to the water as its being rinsed away.
The soap can also destroy viruses present on our hands. Thanks to its molecular structure, soap penetrates the superficial protective membrane of the virus. The virus is therefore destroyed and washed away with the soap once rinsed.
What is special about organically certified soaps?
Soaps that are labelled Cosmébio have a composition of at least 95% ingredients of natural origin and at least 10% organically farmed ingredients. They are made from vegetable oils, like almond oil, coconut oil, castor oil or butters like shea butter. They are often enriched with floral water, essential oils or vegetable extracts to give them even more natural health benefits et fragrance.
Today, there are more than 400 soaps labelled Cosmébio. Savon de Marseille, Aleppo Soap, Surgras Soap...there is an option for everyone!
Hydroalcoholic solutions (hand sanitizers) as a quick fix?
As already stated, it is important to wash your hands multiple times throughout the day. But what do we do when we aren’t constantly next to a sink and soap? In this case, hydroalcoholic solutions are an option to clean our hands on the spot.
Hydroalcoholic solutions are also known as antibacterial gels, hand sanitizer, etc…
But what are hydroalcoholic solutions?
Hydroalcoholic solutions can fit into 4 categories of products: medical, medical devises, antimicrobials and cosmetics.
More often than not, the hydroalcoholic solutions we use are antimicrobials. They are used to neutralize pathogenetic agents like bacteria and viruses. They have a minimum of 60% alcohol. Its this molecule in the formula that can eliminate germs.
When can hydroalcoholic solution be considered a cosmetic?
For the cosmetic category including hydroalcoholic solutions, there is one main difference from microbial products. The difference is for an hydroalcoholic solution to be considered a cosmetic the percentage of alcohol must be smaller and the composition in general must be compliant with cosmetic regulations. It is used as an on the spot solution to clean and refresh your hands.
Dry hands, why it happens and how to help
Our hands are being used all day long, often exposed to the cold air and humidity. Washing our hands, doing the dishes, using cleaning products…these things dry out our hands over time. We explain why and what you can do to help.
Why do our hands get dry?
Hand washing on a regular basis is necessary for our health. This repeated action however is part of the dry hand problem. The skin on our hands is very exposed and therefore quite sensitive. When we wash our hands the soap and water not only eliminate dirt and grime but also a protective layer on our skin, the hydrolipidic film. With hydroalcoholic solutions, the alcohol is even more aggressive when its comes to drying out our skin.
How to take care of dry hands?
If you have sensitive skin or are more prone to dryness, you should first consider the type of soap you use. Surgras soaps or soaps enriched with active nourishing ingredients will help keep your hands hydrated and not damage the skin’s hydrolipidic film.
A second method to be adopted is to rehydrate your skin with a nourishing cream. Choose a hand cream adapted to your skin type and needs. In the winter, you can opt for ultra-nourishing lotions or calming creams.
You can discover the different creams and lotions labelled Cosmébio here.
In short, it is important to wash our hands on a regular basis. Even more so in the winter time when the risk of getting and transmitting viruses is higher. When there is no water or soap nearby, hydroalcoholic solutions can clean and disinfect our hands. But if the option is there, one should favor soap and water!