Wash Your Hands!
By now we're sure you've heard the calls from the CDC, your company, and every other meme on social media to Wash Your Hands! If you haven't heard, well... now you have. It's best if you wash them for 20 or 30 seconds in warm water. Covid-19 isn't kidding around and we all need to do what we can to minimize its spread.
In addition, you should try to avoid touching your face, steer clear of large groups of humans, cough into your elbow if you have to cough, and if you feel sick, get help early and don't take it to work with you.
While washing your hands is totally necessary right now in order to stay safe, it can also dry your hands out quite a bit and make them less healthy. Steaming hot water isn't really better than warm water and it can dry out your hands even more. The most important parts are to work up a good lather and to keep washing for at least 20 seconds. Washing for ten or fifteen seconds longer can increase the bacteria you kill from 90% to 99.9. So every second counts.
The skin on your hands actually has beneficial bacteria on it too. It is part of a mini ecosystem that helps prevent some maladies and keeps your skin healthy. Dryer skin can increase the risk of infection through cracks in the skin and by flaking off and spreading bacteria that way.
So while we're all focused on cleanliness we thought it was a good time to suggest a few solutions, not only for washing your hands, but also for keeping them healthy.
A plant-based soap - Castile
Hey we get it. Antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers, and other strong products are necessary right now. Especially around the work place if you prepare food or work with children, the elderly, or folks who are sick, for instance. Definitely take precautions.
Our Castile Soaps are a great addition to your hand washing arsenal, because they're plant-based, gentle, and with ingredients like coconut oil, aloe, and sunflower they can feed your skin. Also, because they're concentrated, you can mix them up in different ways for different jobs. For general hand washing, for instance, we recommend a mixture of one part Castile to four parts water.
For the curious, Castile Soap is a fancy name for soaps that are made without animal fats or artificial ingredients. They do trace their origins back to the Castile region of Spain, but we don't think it's like champagne - where if it's not from there you can't call it that.
A few other products to consider if your hands are drying out
Moisturizing right now is pretty key. We've talked about the difference between salves and lotions before. The short version is that lotions can actually make your hands worse because they contain so much water that the lotion evaporates off your skin taking your natural oil with it or they contain alcohol that just dries out your skin.
Our Dry Skin salve is an amazing everyday moisturizer for your whole body and if you're looking for something more specific we would definitely recommend our Hand Goo. Both are plant-based, all-natural, and with ingredients like calendula, yarrow, and Vitamin E, they'll nourish, protect, and soothe your skin.
Before you go
You may want to know how to use our concentrated Castile Soap for different purposes. You can find this information in the directions for each of the different (and might we add lovely) scents, but we thought we'd add it here too.
- For bathing, add a few cap fulls to your bath tub, or a few drops to your washcloth for a head-to-toe clean. Apply more as needed.
- For dishes, mix one part castile soap with ten parts water.
- For laundry, use a 1/4 cup in your machine.
- For general cleaning, add 1/4 cup castile soap to a quart of water and pour mixture in a spray bottle.
- For bigger jobs, we recommend sticking to the one part castile soap to four parts water ratio, and upgrading to a bucket and sponge.
Castile soap is all-purpose. Feel free to experiment. If you find you need more, use more. If you think a little less will work, do that. If you discover a perfect ratio, let us know!
We're guessing other folks don't end their blogs like this, but... we love you guys! Stay safe out there. Wash your hands. Make good choices. The world needs you!