Apr 29, 2020

Something about hand soap

Time and again the importance of washing hands with soap and water has been highlighted by various healthcare experts. It has now become a common hygiene practice, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, to wash hands often in order to prevent disease transmission, just what the doc ordered! Many of us are so used to using soap during handwashing that if we do not find it in public restrooms, in our homes or in the office kitchen, we feel disappointed. It is however better to think twice before using hand soap to ensure cleanliness.

But why?

Well, that’s because using hand soap offers a mix of both benefits and drawbacks. In order to help you with making an informed decision as to how often and using what ways you can opt for hand hygiene, let’s delve deeper into the understanding of the pros and cons of using hand soap on dry skin.

Some background facts about hand soap

With new advancements and up gradation of knowledge, human beings have begun to pay attention to their personal cleanliness. Overtime, we have also come up with different methods to ensure proper cleanliness and out of all those methods, hand soap has received a lot of limelight. Hand soaps in general comes in two different forms, bar soap and liquid soap. Bar soaps are being used since ages, whereas, liquid soaps have been introduced recently in our personal hygiene practices. Both these types of soaps have there own advantages. Let’s have a quick look at some of these.

Advantages of bar soap:

  • They are cost effective.
  • They prevent wastage of soap unlike liquid soaps where you always end up taking more from its dispenser.
  • They are environment friendly as they don’t use plastic for its’ packaging. They are always packed in either paper or cardboard that are biodegradable materials.

Advantages of liquid soap:

  • It prevents contamination of the soap as no one is actually going to touch the whole soap.
  • They come in fancy bottles which are absolutely easy to use.
  • Liquid soaps never get mushy unlike bar soaps.
  • Liquid soap tends to create a richer lather.

Having said that, you cannot simply rely on hand soap for your hand washing regime as hand soaps comes with some drawbacks as well, like

>> It can make you unhealthy.

There is a possibility that the hand soap you have purchased from the market may extend some of the health conditions that you are dealing with.  Well, it all depends on the ingredients used to make the soap. Most of the companies do not mention the whole lot of ingredients that they are using, on the label, and thus most of the ingredients are not visible to you. Some of the hand soaps are made from harsh chemicals and until or unless you are going to have a clear understanding of the chemicals you may do more harm than good to your skin. In some worst case scenarios, it can also lead to skin cancer.

>> Hand soaps might kill healthy bacteria on your skin.

Lesser known fact, our skin naturally contains some healthy bacteria on it. Just like we have heard our mother telling us that curd contains healthy bacteria in it which is why it is sour! These healthy bacteria on our skin are in a position to deliver positive health results to us not until we buy hand soap with anti-bacterial properties. That’s because you will be negatively impacted with anti-bacterial properties. Therefore, you will be reducing the overall ability that your skin has in order to fight against the new bacteria strains. This can lead you towards numerous negative health issues in the long run.

>> It can make your skin dry.

Needless to say but it has been observed a lot that excessive use of hand soaps in some cases have led to dry and itchy skin. Reason being simple, various hand soaps contain harmful chemicals like sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and other hydroxide salts and thus are quite caustic. Remember how in our chemistry classes during school we used to put on gloves before using any of the chemicals and now ironically we are actually applying all of those directly on our skin.

Having said all of that, there is no denying the fact that hand washing with soap and water is the best form of hand hygiene on any given day. But like an age old proverb, “excess of everything is bad”, likewise excessive use of soap should be avoided. Try to keep a hand sanitizer handy with you for times when you can do it without soap. Hand sanitizers by virtue of there alcoholic properties dissolves the outer coating of the viruses and bacteria thus ending up killing them all. Moreover, they are pocket friendly, portable and super easy to use while on the go.

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