As the COVID-19 pandemic continues—and shows no signs of letting up anytime soon—technology companies are starting to get in on the new normal. Most of us learned to wash our hands before kindergarten, but time and complacency can easily take over. Many people were surprised to realize that washing their hands for 20 seconds (the CDC recommendation for killing the coronavirus) is a lot longer than they imagined it to be. Memes circulated around the internet suggesting 20-second songs (or portions of songs) to sing while handwashing.

Technology takes on handwashing

If you’re not willing to count to 20 or sing to yourself while you’re washing your hands, the new Apple watchOS 7 update has a new feature you’ll appreciate. When the watch detects that you’re washing your hands, either by handwashing motions, the sound of running water or both, it will keep track of how long you’re doing it. If you start to dry off before 20 seconds is up, the watch will prompt you to keep going.

Before you dismiss this as paternalistic or unnecessary, you might be surprised to know that this is getting the thumbs up from key industries. Some experts are predicting that this feature will be popular in the healthcare industry, since even healthcare workers have a hard time keeping up with the 20 seconds recommendation—and those are the folks on the front lines of the pandemic, who know the seriousness of killing the virus. If handwashing for 20 seconds is difficult for them, what hope is there for the rest of us?

One thing to consider, however: in addition to washing your hands thoroughly, you’ll also need to disinfect your Apple watch. Viruses don’t discriminate against surfaces to land on, and your wrist is close enough to your hand to accidentally spread the virus by touching your face.

If you have a different kind of smart watch, fear not—there are apps designed to address this issue for Android and other operating systems, so you too can have a helpful handwashing reminder.

In slightly lighter news, in the latest Apple Watch handwashing-related update, the company is also offering Memojis with face mask options. If that’s not a sign that COVID-19 is here for the foreseeable future, what is?

CDC handwashing guidelines

In case you’ve missed the CDC’s handwashing guidelines, the importance of washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds can’t be understated. The soap attacks the protective lipid layer of the virus, destroying its structure and rendering it harmless. Washing for 20 seconds is the only way to guarantee that you have cleaned long enough to kill the virus. Any type of soap is fine—breaking the lipid structure is what counts, not special antibacterial or anti-pathogen properties. Make sure to wash your hands anytime you come into contact with the outside world, and avoid touching your face.

Interested in natural, delicious-smelling soaps to up your handwashing game? Visit Soaps & Scents in El Cajon, CA or shop our selection online today.

What’s the best soap for COVID-19? Cleanliness and protection against germs are on everyone’s mind these days. But is there a best hand-washing solution? If we pit antibacterial soap against viruses, who wins?

The truth may surprise you. Read on to discover how you should be washing your hands and which soaps are your best bet during a pandemic.

The truth about antibacterial soaps

Health experts agree that the best soap for COVID-19 and any other virus is, in essence, any soap you intend to use. For the soap to keep you clean, you have to actually use it to wash your hands.

The second thing to keep in mind is that antibacterial soaps are really no more effective against a virus than any other kind of soap. Notice the word “bacteria,” not “virus,” is in the name of the soap.

Rather than the type of soap making the difference, it’s the technique that is important.

How to wash your hands

While experts admit that antibacterial soap’s effects against viruses is no better than those of other soaps, they do add that hand-washing in general does help slow the spread of disease. Research published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that hand-washing reduced the chances of catching a respiratory illness by 54 percent. So, don’t worry too much about whether you have the best soap for COVID-19. Simply use soap and water to wash your hands frequently.

However, in order to benefit from hand-washing, you must complete this task properly. A quick splash in the water won’t do. Health officials recommend washing your hands for 20 seconds. To track the time, hum “Happy Birthday” to yourself, or the alphabet song. By the time you get to the end of the tune of your choice, your hands should be clean.

Of course, you also have to scrub your hands. Simply holding them under the water for an entire rendition of the ABCs won’t get them clean. Use soap, and be sure to get your fingertips clean and not just your palms. Use back and forth rubbing and twisting with your fingers intertwined. Wash your thumb separately to make sure it gets clean, too.

When to wash your hands

Do this task often. If you’ve been in public places and have touched things that others have touched, you should wash your hands. If you’ve been around sick people, you should wash your hands. If you’re about to eat something, you should wash your hands. Most people don’t need to worry about doing this too often, since many people typically don’t do it enough.

Stay safe

It’s time to stock up on the best soaps to keep your hands germ free during COVID-19! Soaps & Scents has been making beautiful handmade soaps for over 25 years. We have bar and liquid soaps in a variety of fragrances and even some fun soaps, such as our Ducky or Cupcake soaps. We make everything by hand in small quantities, and all of our products are free of animal products. We also use the highest percentage of essential oil and fragrance oil that you can use, so the products will maintain their wonderful scent even years later. Shop our selection or reach out to us today with any questions at 619-341-2781.

Choosing between soaps and beauty products means learning about different ingredients and what benefits they might have for your skin. Many of us want to choose safe, natural products that will keep our skin moisturized and clean. If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between glycerin soap and regular soap, read on to learn more about glycerin soap’s numerous benefits.

What is glycerin?

Glycerin is a humectant, which means that it attracts water. It’s a colorless, odorless animal- or plant-based substance that pulls water from the environment, whether that means from the deeper layers in your skin or from humidity in the air. That makes it an extremely effective moisturizer.

Glycerin is a product of soap-making, but the substance is often removed to make other moisturizers. Glycerin soap is simply soap that retains its glycerin, making it more moisturizing to the skin.

Pros and cons of using glycerin-based soap

First of all, it’s useful to know that glycerin soap is hypoallergenic, which means that people with contact allergies are less likely to suffer reactions from using glycerin soap. However, this doesn’t mean they’re completely allergen-free, particularly if the maker uses scents or dyes in the soap. Some brands or varieties may cause a reaction while others do not—but glycerin itself is not the culprit.

Since glycerin is a humectant, glycerin soap naturally provides more moisture for your skin. This is also due in part to its low pH level. People with dry or sensitive skin often have better luck with glycerin soaps rather than regular soap.

While some glycerin can be derived from animal products, many soap makers use plant-based glycerin for vegan and vegetarian customers. Glycerin soap comes in both bar and liquid forms, so no matter which type you prefer, you should be able to find a product that works for you.

With all of the above benefits, why would anyone choose traditional soap? First, if it’s important to you that your soap lathers up into foamy suds, you might not like the way glycerin performs and feels. Second, it is generally more expensive than regular soap, especially when made with all-natural ingredients—however, many people understand that high-quality products and ingredients tend to require extra money. Finally, if you leave glycerin soap in water—for example, in a soap dish with a little water in the bottom—the soap can dissolve.

Overall, we at Soaps & Scents think glycerin soap is the superior choice, particularly if you suffer from dry and sensitive skin.

Discover the benefits of using glycerin soap

When you’re looking for high-quality, safe and natural glycerin soap, we hope you’ll check out the selection at Soaps & Scents. We have decades of experience handmaking small batch soaps, bath products and candles that smell great and won’t irritate your skin. We only use the highest quality ingredients. Reach out to us today with any questions, or check out our selection and place your order through our online store. We look forward to assisting you!