Greetings from the sofa! Which is a place many of us are now spending much more of our time, as COVID-19 sweeps the globe. As shops and venues close, gigs are cancelled, and working from home has become more common than going into the office!
Not all of us are fortunate enough to be able to stay safe indoors. Our NHS staff, supermarket employees, and other key workers are still out there keeping us supplied and trying to make things better. Keeping our hands washed and clean, and maintaining social distancing is therefore very important.
In terms of keeping your hands clean, it’s important to remember that washing with soap and water is far more effective than hand sanitising gels. If you’re hands are already dirty, or have viruses on them, the gel will just spread around the particles, it won’t remove it. It’s great when soap and water are not available, but it shouldn’t be the first or only port of call. Think of the coronavirus like glitter – only soap and water will fully wash it away.
A very important thing to remember is that excessive hand washing can lead to conditions like dermatitis, or even just mildly sore and irritated skin. In my experience, soaps and hand-washes with more natural ingredients, containing fewer man-made chemicals like parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate and triclosan (to name but a few) are much kinder on the skin – and also on the environment and the water table. I use brands like Faith in Nature, Bio-D, Pure Nuff Stuff and Neal’s Yard. But there are many natural options out there – and a good bar of soap is just as effective as any liquid – again, go for a more natural one if you can – like Friendly Soap.
If you’re struggling to find these soaps and washes within regular stores, try online websites such as Ethical Superstore, MyPure, Natural Collection, Love Lula, and the independent brand websites. Do try and support small independent stores, as they will have the most trouble surviving the storm.
If you’re struggling to get any hand sanitiser, or you want something a little more gentle on the skin, you can mix up your own with some very simple ingredients, combined in a small spray bottle. All you need is witch hazel and a combination of anti-viral, anti-bacterial essential oils.
Witch Hazel & Water (approximately 60:40 ratio)
15 drops essential oil per 50ml bottle.
The best oils for this are things like Neal’s Yard Defence Blend, Lemongrass, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Niaoli, Sage and Thyme. There are lots of other oils with anti-viral properties, but these are some of my favourites.
Thanks everyone for reading. Stay safe and stay calm.
I am not a medical professional or a skincare expert, but I do have lots of knowledge of essential oils. I was not provided with any products or payment from the companies mentioned. All opinions are my own.