How often do you wash your hands? Not so long ago it’s unlikely you would’ve pondered this question, but with the Coronavirus claiming tens of thousands of lives worldwide, hand washing is on everyone’s mind and has been strongly promoted by the government, the WHO and the NHS as the first, best, easiest and essential way to minimize your chances of getting infected and infecting others. It sounds like such a basic action, something you’re taught as a child and should be so ingrained in your everyday habits that you automatically reach for the hand soap after going to the loo for example. And yet according to a 2009 piece of research (referenced in a very interesting Guardian article) only 69% of women and 43% of men washed their hand after urinating. Delightful. This study I believe was performed in the US but it would be interesting to see how the statistics vary from one country to another. I suspect tradition (religious hand washing rituals have been around for thousands of years in Islamic and Jewish cultures for example), access to water and good sanitisation and previous experience (Asian countries such as Singapore and South Korea learnt from SARS) would play a big part in how stringent populations are with personal hygiene. My favourite way to actually look forward to washing my hands is stocking my bathroom with an enticing hand wash and hand lotion. Here’s a review of the duo I’m using right now from British indie brand Botanicals which offers certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free skin and body care.
With hand and body wash the reality is that there’s only so much excitement you can build around such a functional product. As long as it does the job and cleans my hands, that’s enough right? Unless you’re buying a basic supermarket own brand version (nothing wrong with that I’d like to add) I’ve always found there’s more to a beauty product than pure function. With this offering from Botanicals there are three other benefits I’m getting: it’s aesthetically pleasing, it’s certified organic by The Soil Association and it smells beautiful. It’s no secret that I am as much intrigued by a product’s packaging as by its performance and sustainability credentials. This hand wash comes in a handy pump dispenser in an apothecary-style amber bottle with a bright blue label. The pump is a little stiff to press but I don’t mind this at all, it gives me more control over the amount I dispense and avoids any liquid enthusiastically shooting out and landing on my top. The thick formula is 100% natural and boasts 95% organic ingredients, including antioxidant-rich sunflower oil (the first ingredient after water), moisturising glycerin and lots of flower oils: rose, geranium, lavender (for its antiseptic properties), lemongrass and ylang-ylang. These 5 oils are literally at the top of the ingredients list, with only 3 ingredients ahead of them, indicating they are included in relatively high concentration. And that plays a big part in how beautiful this hand wash smells. Floral, for sure, but not in a sickly or overpowering way, and there’s certainly nothing there to remind me of old-fashioned granny scents. 200ml RRP £15.00
As a student I worked part time in a nursing home, where we had to wash our hands constantly and in between tending to each residents’ needs – ranging from washing, feeding, dressing, moving them to a more comfortable position, and of course dealing with their bathroom needs. This exacerbated my eczema, not helped with sanitizer. If only I’d applied this hand and body cream regularly I wouldn’t have had dry, cracked hands. This 99% natural and 91% organic formula features antioxidant-rich sunflower oil (the first ingredient after water), skin healing shea butter, anti-ageing rosehip oil (one of my all-time favourite skincare ingredients) and skin regenerative rose and soothing geranium oils. This is definitely a cream rather than a lotion, but although it’s a lightweight version it does succeed in nourishing very dry skin. Suitable for all skin types, I do have to apply regularly throughout the day to keep my hands in good shape. Although it’s rich in oils it does actually sink into skin quite quickly, leaving a slight sheen on skin but this eventually disappears. One thing I would’ve liked to see is the ingredient names spelt out in English, not just Latin. I studied the latter at school but we never covered skincare ingredients, and although I’ve poured over countless ingredient lists, some Latin terms just haven’t sunk in. Regardless of the translation issues, this cream is taking good care of my hands, and doing so in style. 200ml RRP £22.00
What products do you rely on to keep your hands healthy, clean and nourished? Please leave a comment below to let me know.
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