As we’ve entered yet another year of the global pandemic, we have all gotten used to washing and sanitizing our hands. Regular hand-washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs and avoid getting sick, even in non-COVID times.
As we cough or sneeze, tiny droplets from our airways end up on everyday surfaces. As we then touch door handles, our phones and other everyday items, these virus particles transfer to our skin. The proteins and fatty acids present in the dead cells on the surface of our skin are ideal for germs and viruses to interact. These then easily transfer to our eyes, nose and mouth when we touch our faces.
Health Canada and the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention say that one of the most important ways to keep yourself healthy is to wash your hands with soap and water. Washing with water alone is not enough to disrupt the glue-like connection between your skin and the virus. Where you don’t have access to running water, hand sanitizer is a great second option. But nothing beats the humble bar of soap or liquid soap.
The art of soapmaking has been around for generations, dating back to around 2,800 BC. Saponification is a reaction that occurs when oil or fat is mixed with water and an alkali. This process creates soap molecules, each with a head that readily bonds with water, and a tail that repels water and prefers oils, fats and of course, grime. Soap molecules help to bridge these water-loving and water-hating compounds.
The act of hand-washing envelopes your skin with soapy lather, and the water-repelling tail of the soap molecules dissolve the fat membrane of the virus, causing its molecular structure to fall apart and become inactive. Soap molecules also break the bonds that allow microbes, virus and grime to stick to your skin. While oil, which attracts dirt, doesn’t naturally mix with water, soap can suspend oil and dirt in such a way that it can easily be removed from our skin by rinsing with water.
As BC Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, says, “Wash your hands like you’ve been chopping jalapeños and you need to change your contacts.” This will not only help to keep you from getting sick but also spreading those germs to others.
At Munday Body Care, our natural bar soaps are made using the cold-process method of soap-making and are all formulated with a base of plant oils and butters that not only leave your hands clean, but also feeling nourished and moisturized. We also add other beneficial herbs like moringa, turmeric and calendula, goat’s milk and coconut milk for added moisturizing benefits to the skin. Prefer a liquid soap? Our natural liquid hand soap also contains nourishing oils that won’t leave your hands feeling dry as you wash them throughout the day.