How To Wash Your Hands Properly

The information on this page has come from a variety of accredited sources, such as the World Health Organization. 

It's no secret - we're living in uncertain and challenging times. As I write this (24 March 2020), there is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

But there are best practices you can follow to protect yourself and help prevent spreading the virus to others. 

In this mini blog, I'm going to discuss the importance of hand-washing. 

Proper hand-washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and it can also prevent the spread of other illnesses like flu. It's one of the best ways of preventing you and your family from getting sick.

According to the World Health Organization, you should wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

But you have to do it properly.

Here's a hand-washing routine that has you covered.

washing hands properly prevents covid 19

Handwashing in 5 simple steps

  1. Wet your hands: Run both hands under clean, running water. The water can be wet or cold but don't use standing water because it could contain germs.
  2. Lather up: Apply a generous amount of soap or men's hand cleanser. Pay special attention to the inside and back of your hands - including your fingertips. Lathering creates friction which helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from your skin.
  3. Wash: Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (the longer the better) and remember to clean under rings and fingernails. Ensure your hands and fingers are thoroughly coated in soap or cleanser. Your fingertips are especially important because you put your fingers on your face, nose, and eyes and this is how the virus spreads.
  4. Rinse: Return both hands to the running water (not a basin of standing water) and gently wash away the soap or cleanser. 
  5. Dry: Completely your hands and moisturize.

When should you wash your hands?

You should wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day but especially:

  • Before leaving the bathroom 
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • After returning from an outing (grocery shopping, sporting activity, hospital visit) 
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal food, or animal waste
  • After shaking hands with someone
  • After touching garbage
  • After putting on your shoes
  • After using public computers, touching public tables and countertops
  • After handling cash and coins
  • Before and after eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is unwell
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound

The problem with soap

Washing your hands with soap removes germs effectively.

But soap can also remove your skin's natural oils, leaving your hands feeling dry and rough. This becomes especially apparent if you're washing your hands multiple times per day.

You may find your hands become irritated, inflamed, hyper-reactive and painful. 

To help protect against this, use a soap with a neutral pH and ensure you moisturize your hands afterwards. 

Another solution is to use a man's hand cleanser or hand wash for men made from natural ingredients.

Hand cleansers will remove dirt, oil and other pollutants from your hands (like soap) but won't strip your skin like soap can. 

Look for a men's hand cleanser which is pH balanced and avoid those which contain synthetic fragrances because these can irritate your hands more.

The following are a list of ingredients you should look for in a man's hand cleanser, along with their benefits:

  • Aloe Vera Leaf Juice - has anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties
  • Witch Hazel - relieves inflammation and skin irritation
  • Sweet Orange Peel Oil - has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory benefits
  • Lemon Myrtle Oil - a powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial which helps boost the immune system

Whether using soap or hand cleanser for men / men's hand wash - ensure you moisturize your hands afterwards.

Cracked skin can lead to further infection - the exact opposite of what you need.

To be clear - soap is very effective. But I find it dries my skin out. So I use VITAMAN's anti-oxidant hand, face and body cleanser and follow up with their natural body moisturizer.

It keeps my hands feeling fresh and clean and free from the dryness and irritation I found after using a regular soap. 

For a full list of the natural ingredients VITAMAN use in their products, please click here.