Thanks to recent global events our collective health has become very dependent on keeping clean. The recommendation is to use soap and water to wash our hands regularly.
Excellent! We are all now eagerly washing our hands regularly using soaps, cleansers and anti-bac.
However the most effective cleanser - by far - is soap.
Read on to see why, and what to do if you are concerned about drying your skin out or if you have sensitive skins that react to over-washing.
Viruses and Anti-Bacs
Anti-bac hand gels draw their effectiveness from alcohols which (if in concentrations of more than 60%) are able to disrupt or destroy virus cells or denature the membrane that encases them.
This membrane contains fatty lipids that coat the virus cell (along with its repugnant payload of proteins and mutant RNA). This membrane allows the cell to cling to human skin, and is instumental in allowing it to invade healthy cells. Alcohols can break down the membrane, as long as they are potent enough and are exposed to it directly.
(Only the alcohol element in these gels combats viruses. The "anti-bac" bit is ineffective against viruses, it only affects bacteria. Which is why anti-bac is an expensive option!)
Soap wipes the floor with anti-bac, so to speak.
Soap molecules clean your hands by breaking hydrogen bonds in the oils and muck on the skin and forming new ones with the soap itself, making the oils and fats "stick" to water and get washed away.
This is exactly what they do to the virus cell membrane too. They completely demolish the structure of the virus, which then falls apart and gets washed away.
But as well as destroying the cell membranes and denaturing the virus, soap also washes your hands of any other muck and grime that might be protecting the virus (and that includes grime that would otherwise shield the virus against alcohol in hand-gels).
A Solution for Over-Washing
Many people suffer from sensitive skins, or skins that "flare up" if stripped of their natural balance.
Many gels and cleansers can do this. The alcohols or detergents that are often the basis of these products can be very irritating to the skin, especially if the owner of the skin suffers from eczema, psoriasis and other similar conditions. And these days, many of the most widely available cleansing products are detergent based, not soap based (they will be called "liquid cleanser" or "cleansing bar" because they cannot claim to be a soap).
But we're being advised to wash our hands even more often.
A good soap is very benign for the skin. It should contain the glycerin that is the by-product of the soapmaking process, which naturally moisturises the skin. If, like Goap soaps, the soap also has a milk component it can be even more moisurising and have a good pH match with the skin. This is why so many people with sensitive skins gravitate to goat's milk soaps to avoid "flare-ups".
Wash often, and wash comfortably. If you'd like to further explore Goap's range of goat's milk based soaps, shampoos and shaving products, click here.
Best washes from all at Goap.
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