Do We Really Need to Be Told to Wash Our Hands?

It turns out that YES, we do! Crazy right? With COVID-19 on everyone’s mind hand washing is the hot new topic and rightfully so. Being a mother of two boys and running a skincare company I just assumed everyone knew the importance of washing their hands, so I was confused why this basic hygiene practice needed great explanation. True to my curious self I did some research and it turns out this concern is a thing both the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) did studies on.

Brace yourself my high vibe tribe because these numbers will gross you out…. 

The CDC results showed that 69% of men DO NOT wash their hands after using the restroom… BARF! AND 35% of us women do not wash our hands after using the restroom… FOR THE LOVE LADIES! Let’s take a moment to think about this… Upon leaving the restroom how many other things do you come in contact with? How many hands do you shake? How many hugs do you give? How many door handles do you touch? How many meals do you prep? Now add those 69% of men into this mix, PLUS our little ones who are constantly into everything and always forgetting to wash theirs.

Now, let me blow your minds a little more. The study conducted by the USDA showed that 97% of the time those who actually DO wash their hands do it incorrectly. This is a thing too girlfriends… So they are still carrying germs and bacteria that will spread… Let that sink in.

Yeah, I know… And now I understand why we need to be told to wash our hands. 

Alright, we are fully aware to keep our human paws clean, great! So what’s the deal with what kind of soap to use? Antibacterial soap versus regular soap versus non-toxic soap? Is this really important? Well, in my research I found that different sources give different answers, so I’m going to stick to what I know and I know ingredients. Most regular soaps contain chemicals other than lye (lye is basically a chemical made from salt and when mixed with oil it saponifies and becomes soap. Soap is only possible through this process), like chlorine and alcohol which dries skin out and creates skin irritations. Antibacterial soap contains additional chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban (two of the most common and research has found neither are necessary to clean your skin). These chemicals are a source of toxic and carcinogenic compounds including dioxins, chloroform, and chlorinated anilines. In other words, they are toxic and unnecessary to use on your skin. 

Now, non-toxic soap (“clean” or “green” soap) is just that, non-toxic. This means the only chemical it is made with is lye and all other ingredients should be natural and non-GMO or organic. At the end of the day whatever type of soap you decide to use for you and your family just make sure that everyone is washing their hands long enough. 

Oh yes, there is a “long enough.” For those that do wash after bathroom breaks, meal preps, petting the fur babies and a million other things we do that gets our fingers dirty only, 97% wash long enough. Thoroughly washing your hands (with soap and water) vigorously; between the fingers and under the nails, for at least 20 seconds, is the most effective way to get rid of bacteria and debris. This is less time it takes to sing the alphabet or Row Row Row Your Boat songs (I actually timed myself on each one). 

According to the CDC, the best thing that people can do to get rid of harmful bacteria is to wash their hands for longer lengths of time using warm water. It’s just that simple. 

Love & light to you and your skin!

Tara Raj, CPC, ACC, CNWC
Co-Owner & Creator of Earth’s Farmacy
Earth’s gift to you!

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