Whether you’re still practicing strict stay-at-home safety measures or carefully exploring the parts of the country that are cautiously reopening, it’s never been more important to disinfect your hands. While it’s obvious to most that clean hands are critical during times of pandemic, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, warns that avid hand care is always important, especially when traveling:
“Whether there is a pandemic or not, travelers should always be extra vigilant about hand washing. Whether you’re on a plane, bus or train, you are in close contact with hundreds of other people who are all touching the same doorknobs, counters and seats. This creates a breeding ground for microorganisms that can easily spread an infection from one person to many others.”
Unfortunately, as many are already experiencing, increased washing can lead to a host of skin issues, especially when the wrong products and techniques are used. As Dr. Zeichner explains, “Many people end up disrupting the skin barrier. When there are cracks in the outer skin layer, the skin loses hydration and becomes inflamed.”
Happy Hands is a three-part series rounding up the best products to keep your hands clean and comfortable during the COVID-19 pandemic now, and as you travel back into the world after. In this edition, the 15 best soaps and sanitizers, from Best Hand Detox to Best Moment of Escape, are presented.
CBD Oil Liquid Soaps
Best Botanical Blend
A delightfully foamy liquid soap with a subtle scent of natural clean, Repêchage Hand Soap uses seaweed extract to protect the skin barrier and maintain moisture while willow bark and witch hazel exfoliate and deep clean your hands. Rosemary, ylang ylang, chamomile, lavender, basil and the extract of four tea varieties soften your skin and soothe your senses with spa-like sensations as you wash.
Most Luxurious Feel
Savannah Bee Company’s liquid hand soaps come in four scents—rosemary lavender, tupelo honey, lemongrass spearmint and orange blossom—but each one features nature’s wonder ingredient, honey. The cleansing, moisturizing and softening properties of the honey combine with plant-based surfactants for a rich lather that leaves your hands’ natural oils intact, and feels as delicious as it smells.
Best Moment of Escape
Fork & Melon Fine Cleansing Wash may be a fab body wash for shower time, too, but you’ll want to keep this one by the sink and save it for your over-worked hands once you experience the moisturizing, soothing benefits of its natural oils, including its not-so-secret weapon, French watermelon seed oil (with added anti-aging, clarifying and detoxifying qualities). Bonus: The light citrus scent is cheerful without giving off that kitchen-cleaner vibe.
CBD Oil Bar Soaps
When constant hand-washing is wearing you down, turn to Eucalyptus Butter Soap from 100% Pure for an instant pick-me-up. The triple-milled vegetable soap is packed with butters and oils to cleanse and moisturize without chemicals (or anything artificial or synthetic) while the fresh scent of eucalyptus brings a burst of spirit to the suds. The butter soap collection also comes in coconut, lavender, mandarin and mango scents.
Best Hand Detox
The Charcoal Shea Honey + Lavender Cleansing Bar from Cleo + Coco uses activated charcoal to draw out impurities from your skin while cleansing without drying, and shea and honey soften and nourish your hands for a quick detox every time you wash. Bonus: This bar is equally recommended for all ages, skin types and conditions, including acne and eczema.
Most Mystical Clean
If you need to step outside of your daily grind for a moment, cleanse your hands with Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Bar Goat’s Milk Soap from Indigo Wild. Using goat’s milk added to olive, coconut, palm and castor oils, with additional oils and herbs for fragrance, soaping up with this bar is a religious experience. Whether that means a ritual deep in the woods or a lavish sanctuary ceremony to you, these aromas will refocus your mind while you refresh your hands.
The triple-milled Face and Body Bar from John Masters Organics draws its powerful moisturizing properties from olive oil and Brazilian cupuaçu seed butter and is enriched with the purifying properties of ylang ylang, rose geranium and lavender essential oils, all of which combine in a surprisingly light floral fragrance as soothing for your mind as for your hands. You can thank the palm and coconut oils for the silky-smooth feeling of your skin afterward.
CBD Oil Scrub
Best Ancient Tradition
While originally used for the most sensitive skin on your body, your face, GingerChi’s Gentle Exfoliating Rice Bran Cleanser follows centuries of Japanese beauty tradition to create a deep-cleaning paste of rice bran and rice husk that gently exfoliates your over-worked hands and helps them begin to recover from frequent washing. In addition to daily cleansing, mix the powder into a thicker paste to create a masque, as you would for your face, for a weekly hydrating treatment.
CBD Oil Gel Sanitizers
Best for Smooth Hands
Fork & Melon’s new Hand Sanitizer combines 70% alcohol with aloe and the brand’s signature watermelon seed oil to moisturize and protect your hands while disinfecting them. While many gels leave behind a sticky residue, this one evaporates almost instantly and leaves behind only an almost impossibly smooth feel.
The mother-daughter duo behind My Alchemy Skin Care combined just the right ingredients for the most garden-gorgeous aroma in the brand’s natural Hand Sanitizer. Rose geranium, rosemary and tea tree oils are added to the antiseptic properties of organic grape alcohol while aloe and jojoba oils protect against chapping and bring moisturizing relief.
Most Calming Clean
Seabedee’s CBD Infused Hand Sanitizer couples the oils of two of nature’s most calming ingredients, lavender and CBD, to bring you the ultimate in soothing sanitizer gels. Clean your hands, destress your mind, and even relax the muscles, joints and ligaments in your hands with this one.
Okay, there’s nothing intrinsically unique about the gel sanitizer from the unconventional Ballsy brand, but it does the job and the amusing label and wacky branding of Plague Slayer Hand Sanitizer are sure to bring a smile to your face whenever you use it. Bonus: 25% of profits are donated to Direct Relief, supporting frontline healthcare workers.
CBD Oil Spray Sanitizers
Most Chic and Most Convenient
When you want substance and style from your sanitizer, turn to Noshinku’s Bergamot Pocket Hand Sanitizer. The flat black spritzer is soft yet sturdy, sliding effortlessly in and out of your pocket (no bag required!) with 70% alcohol derived from organic sugar cane supplemented by rose hip, jojoba and bergamot for a light burst of floral fragrance grounded by cedar and black pepper.
Best for the Earth
If you love the planet as much as your hands, Clean Hands from THE WELL offers the best choice for you. Supplemented with essential oils from largely organic, sustainably harvested ingredients and packaged in glass bottles with biodegradable labels, it’s available in refined pairings of Pink Peppercorn & Grapefruit, Lavender & Vetiver and Bergamot & Ylang Ylang.
The botanical blend of Trilogía’s Hand Cleanse features terpenes from lemon, lavender, rosemary and eucalyptus for a bright fragrance as invigorating and uplifting as the 70% alcohol is cleansing, with aloe added to prevent dryness. It’s also safe for a variety of surfaces to help keep frequently contaminated parts of your environment as pure as your hands (hello, doorknobs!).
(These specific products are not endorsed by Dr. Zeichner, whose participation in this series is solely as an expert on the general importance of skin care. Consult your physician or dermatologist to discuss the best practices and products for you.)
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