COVID hygiene routine explained
If you had a dollar for every time you’ve heard the phrase “uncertain times” these past few months, you would probably be able to purchase about 1,000 recurrent bundles. The world is a different place and people have been forced to adapt to this new pandemic normal. One of the things that has been highlighted time and time again throughout this health crisis is the importance of hygiene in keeping us safe. Hygiene hasn’t gone anywhere in 2020: routine is clean!
Washing Your Hands
Let’s start with the easy stuff. We’ve heard by now that the best way to avoid virus-causing germs is to wash your hands thoroughly, scrubbing with soap for 20-30 seconds, and then rinsing with warm water. We’ve been told that the next best thing if you don’t have access to soap and water, is hand sanitizer.
Using Hand Sanitizer
This is true, but be careful which sanitizers you are using. Because of the sudden increase in demand for sanitizer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has loosened its requirements for hand sanitizers that can be on the market and who can make them. Now, any company with access to alcohol has been helping to curb the sanitizer shortage, which is why your new sanitizer may smell a bit like tequila. These improvised sanitizers are better than nothing in helping to clean germs off of your hands, but only barely. For effective cleaning, use hand sanitizer with the amount of alcohol of FDA supported products, a minimum of 60% alcohol.
In terms of the sanitizer application method, gels are better than sprays. Rubbing a gel on to your hands spreads more effectively, giving you better coverage. Spray sanitizer tends to evaporate faster than gel, which means less protection.
Thanks to all this hand washing and sanitizer using, you may have noticed that your hands are drier than usual and you may have patches of rough, red skin, or even painful cracks. These cracks are good places for bacteria to get in + fester. To avoid creating these safe havens for germs, try incorporating using hand lotion into your daily routine 2-3x a day.
Wearing a Mask
Now that we’ve covered hand washing, let’s talk about masks. We all know now that masks are an important part of protecting yourself from the virus especially in places where you are not able to practice effective social distancing. While wearing a mask is a necessity, it can be uncomfortable. Especially in the summer months, masks are hot and sweaty, and wearing them can cause breakouts and skin irritations. To avoid these problems, only wear your mask when necessary. For example, when you are indoors with people you are not quarantined with or when you are outside but are unable to be 6 feet apart from others. If you are using disposable masks, replace them every day and if you are using cloth masks, try to have more than one so that you can wash them daily. This will avoid the buildup of sweat, dirt, or germs on the inside of your mask that can cause breakouts or irritation.
In times like these, we are rethinking everything, including our personal hygiene. In this constantly changing world, remember that hygiene hasn’t gone anywhere: routine is clean! recurrent is here to help you stay clean + healthy.