When it comes to cleanliness throughout the day, most of us will reach for a natural hand wash. The culture of clean is a multi-billion-pound business, but when it comes to cleaning our hands, few of us realise it takes more than a pump of natural hand wash and some water.
While we not against washing, obviously, we have all become a little preoccupied by being squeaky clean without knowing much about how products function – this is most evident in our approach to hand washing.
Natural Hand Wash – Soap or Liquid?
With constant washing and the rise of the antibacterial hand santiser, our hands get more products thrown at them throughout the day than the rest of our body. But are you a soap or a liquid soap fan? The hand wash obsession increased with the modern invention of free flowing soaps, whose popularity surged when concerns over traditional bar soaps being contaminated with bacteria, left them touted as the very thing they are not meant to be – ‘unhygienic’.
The dispensing method of liquid soaps seems to win over bar soaps. It’s hard to argue in their favour when bar soaps are exposed to air and water all day and liquid versions are available in an enclosed pump-top plastic bottle. But studies have shown that washing even with a contaminated bar soap is unlikely to transfer bacteria and that if you rinse the soap between washes, it is even less of an issue. Infact, it is thought that it is the scrubbing action that aids in the removal of bacteria rather than the hand wash alone.
So, with the hygiene argument out of the way, the difference between a soap bar and a liquid hand soap comes down to the ingredients. Although liquid soap will often start from the same saponifed oils as your bar, due to the higher water content, a greater level of preservation is needed in the liquid soap. There is also the obvious argument for opting towards bar soaps to reduce plastic and packaging consumption!
Natural Hand Wash – Tips for Use
So how should we wash our hands? Interestingly it’s not just a soap and water equation. There is a third element needed and that is friction. All three elements have their part to play:
- Soap or a natural hand wash suspend the dirt.
- Friction helps pull the dirt/grease/oil free from the skin.
- Warm running water washes away suspended dirt that trap germs.
- Final friction of drying hands removes more germs.
This should all take a good 20 – 30 seconds and at least 15 of those should be dedicated to rubbing your hands together – the friction part. A natural hand wash or soap may break down the oil and make it harder for germs to remain on your hands, but it’s the friction that removes the germs.
Read More: Tips for Dry Body Brushing
Parts of this post were adapted from sections of The Nature of Beauty book by CONTENT founder Imelda Burke.