Four Things You Should Know About Hand Soaps | Esker

Four Things You Should Know About Hand Soaps

Here’s how to take better care of your hands (especially right now)
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Plus Find your Handwashing Mantra

We’ll be honest: we really didn’t expect to announce our new Calendula Hand Soap in the middle of a pandemic, the focal point of which is all about washing hands and keeping yourself clean & disinfected, but here we are. Of course, washing your hands is important no matter what’s going on in the world, but making a point to wash them frequently and thoroughly is genuinely needed right now. Sure, the timing of this is a bit awkward, but we really believe taking extra care of ourselves by practicing effective hand washing methods and implementing other forms of preventative self-care is crucial in this uncertain (and honestly a little bit crazy) season. 

Months ago, in the early stages of our hand soap development, we started thinking a lot about hand washing mantras. Often (and especially now) you’ll hear that you should wash your hands to the tune of “Happy Birthday” twice, which is roughly about 20 seconds. Some other songs we’ve seen recommended are the choruses to Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” and Beyonce’s “Love on Top”, but we feel like that’s getting a little old, too. Instead, we’ve been using the time it takes to wash our hands to repeat mantras that lift us up and create small moments of meaning, intention, and calm throughout the day. 

Here are some of our current favorites to meditate on while we get our hands clean:  

  • I make time to nourish my mind, body, and soul. 
  • I am abundant in all things that bring me joy. 
  • In this moment, I release anything that no longer serves me. 
  • Each step is taking me to where I want to be. 
  • I have enough, I do enough, I am enough. 

We repeat these to ourselves while cleansing and always walk away feeling a little more present than we were before. Of course, any mantras that make you feel better are great, just make sure to repeat them long enough so your hands are getting clean! We think we could all use some mantra meditation right now, and thinking on these while you wash your hands is an easy way to reset and get back to home base. 

One thing we want to note about hand washing: it really can help slow the spread of illness. A recent new study found that regular and thorough hand washing can help reduce the chances of contracting a respiratory illness by 54%. In addition to making sure you’re regularly cleansing your hands and implementing the best hand washing practices into your life, choosing the right kind of soap that will benefit the skin on your hands is just as important! 

Here’s what we think you should know about your hands and the soap you cleanse them with: 

Your Hands are Sensitive

For as durable as our hands may seem, they’re actually very sensitive to dryness and irritation and can often be one of the first places to show signs of premature aging and sun damage. Our hands are exposed to so many different elements on a daily basis. Maybe you work with your hands frequently, maybe you live in a cold, drying climate, maybe you spend most of your days out in the sun, or perhaps your hands are often submerged in water. Each one of these daily activities make our hands prone to cracked, dry skin, sun damage and other early signs of aging skin.

Hands Lose Collagen, Just Like Your Face... Only Sooner

Just as we lose collagen in our faces and bodies as we age, we also lose collagen in our hands. The skin on our hands becomes pretty thin as the years go by and they are one of the most exposed - and unprotected - parts of our skin. You may even notice the skin on your hands aging far more rapidly than the skin on your face. 

Using a hand soap that is designed free of drying additives and full of skin nourishing ingredients is an essential part of healthy skin on your hands. 

Using a moisturizer free of parabens and preservatives and enriched with nutrients like vitamin E or hydrating essential oils is also super important. We like to rub a dab of  Restorative Oil into our hands to lock in the carrot seed and jojoba oil’s hydrating and anti-aging properties. 

Traditional Hand Soaps Are Drying and Irritating

And don’t skip the SPF! Just think about how often your hands are exposed to sunlight compared to the rest of your body. Make sure to add a waterproof SPF to your hand washing routine every day to protect your skin. 

Using a moisturizer free of parabens and preservatives and enriched with nutrients like vitamin E or hydrating essential oils can help keep your hands moisturized throughout the day. We like to rub any excess Restorative Oil into our hands after a bath or shower to lock in the carrot seed and jojoba oil’s hydrating and anti-aging properties. Most importantly, though, is to make sure that whatever lotion you use to moisturize contains SPF! Or, if you’re really starting to see the signs of sun spots on your hands, just use a clean SPF directly on them. 

Traditional Hand Soaps are Drying & Irritating

Much like using moisturizers that contain irritants and synthetics, hand soaps that contain these same ingredients can actually dry your hands out even more, leaving them prone to early aging, wrinkles, and cracked skin. Surprisingly, even luxury hand soaps (we’re not saying any names) that tout themselves as “clean” still contain irritating sulfates and artificial preservatives, leaving hands overly dry. Most hand soaps are made with artificial fragrances, parabens (which mimic estrogen in the body and cause harm to the environment), and sodium lauryl sulfate which helps increase the soap’s foaming capabilities but is often really irritating to the skin. 

Botanical-Based Hand Soaps are Calming & Hydrating

You should always aim to skip out on soaps containing any of the above harmful ingredients, and instead look for hand cleansers that are made of calming and hydrating botanical extracts. Our Calendula Hand Cleanser, for example is formulated with clove, palo santo, litsea, and helichrysum essential oils, all of which are naturally anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial, but won’t dry your hands out in the process! To send deep hydration to your hands, we included calendula petals which are known to be soothing and nourishing for skin that’s been exposed to environmental stressors and everyday wear and tear. 

Most importantly, avoiding soaps, lotions, and serums that contain harsh irritants is an easy way to make sure your hands aren’t getting unnecessarily dried out or making them even more prone to sun spots and premature aging. Look for products that are clean, contain SPF where it makes sense, and take time like you would with any other skincare ritual and give some love to your hands. 

Be sure to choose hand soaps with natural ingredients that benefit the skin rather than harm it. 


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