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      News — hand washing

      Hand Washing and Health Anxiety

      Hand Washing and Health Anxiety

      Are we doing more harm than good obsessively washing and sanitizing our hands?
      What is in those sanitizers and wipes?
      Are we creating habits that may be harmful in the longterm?

      Before these behaviors become a part of our future habits, it will be important to take a step back and learn what effect these sanitizers are having on our skin and what would be a better option.

      According to the CDC website, the likelihood of the Covid-19 virus being transmitted from touching a surface and then causing infection after touching your eyes and mouth is actually very low if at all possible when compared with a person to person contact (aerosol droplets from breathing, sneezing coughing).

      Hand sanitizers can be classified as one of two types: alcohol-based or alcohol-free.  

      Alcohol-based products typically contain between 60 and 95 percent alcohol, usually in the form of ethanol, isopropanol, or n-propanol and hopefully not toxic methanol as found in some sanitizers on the market. Health Canada has recently recalled these nine products for using industrial-grade ethanol stating the side effects of dry skin irritation and cracking. In the USA there are approximately 75 brands of sanitizers being recalled stating toxic levels of wood alcohol being used that can lead to serious injury or death.

      The alcohols in these sanitizers are responsible for drying out your skin. They strip away the natural oils of the skin causing irritation and inflammation. The use of hand sanitizers may also lead to premature signs of aging of the hand’s skin. Dry skin and dehydration can cause callus formation, flaky skin, wrinkles, and cracks. Increased dehydration and continually compromising the natural protective lipid layer/barrier of the skin can set one up for compromised immune function and ongoing infections. Longer-term use leads to a reduced ability of the skin to protect itself against the environment and harmful pathogens. 

      Alcohol-free products are generally based on disinfectants, such as quaternary ammonium compounds like benzalkonium chloride (BAC), or antimicrobial agents, such as triclosan (known as an endocrine disruptor and a suspected carcinogen). Alcohol-free sanitizers from know brands such as Purell and GermX are not recommended because it's not as effective as alcohol at killing germs and may merely reduce the growth of new germs.

      It would seem like the current germaphobia overlooks the importance that viruses (and bacteria) play in helping maintain our health. The viral aspect of our microbiome called the virome (although not considered part of the microbiome) includes beneficial viruses that can be found throughout our entire body most notably taking up residence inside of the nose and mouth and the lining of the gut. Some viruses, including many bacteriophages, possess life-saving health properties that we need to understand and respect as an essential part related to keeping a self-regulating balance within our bodies.

      The Covid-19 viral strain outside of the body is weak and easily broken down with simple soap and water. Due to media scare tactics, many have acquired health anxiety and with that are excessively washing and sanitizing their hands to the detriment of their skin and overall health. Harsh synthetic surfactants (bubbles that scrub away dirt and fats) in the soap can remove the protective lipid layer of the skin compromising the skin microbiome and leaving skin susceptible to irritation, inflammation, and infection. 

      If you find you or a family member is washing their hands to the point of compromising their skin, make sure to look for more mild gentle soaps. 

      Thera Wise Body Wash and Shampoo is used by many of our customers as a hand soap that was specially designed for troubled, sensitive, and delicate skin

      • With nutritive Canadian North Atlantic Seaweed Extracts and Canadian Willowherb to gently remove impurities and protect the skin's natural eco flora.
      • The negative ions from the Glacial Oceanic Mineral water protect against environmental pollution.
      • Enjoy a new sensory experience with carefully crafted unique North American grown and harvested ingredients.
      • Suitable for all ages and skin types.  
      • The extremely mild surfactant along with glyceryl oleate (from olive fruit) gives a soft, natural protective coating as it cleanses without compromising the skin.  
      • After wash, we recommend following with our Thera Wise Moisturizing Lotion. 
      The wash was also designed for those recovering from skin issues to be used in conjunction with our Skin Healing Ointment. Here are a few most recent reviews: ..........

      "So soft and gentle I started using this wash about a month ago and I love how gentle it is on my skin. I enjoy the soft and refreshing smell which is not overpowering. This wash is also perfect for my children’s tender skin. I definitely recommend this lovely body wash."

      "I love this as a body wash, but more recently I've moved this bottle out of the shower and into the kitchen to use as a handwash. It's incredibly gentle on the skin, plus the scent (and that of its matching lotion) is one of my all-time favorites -- a sweet fruity and tropical blend made up of yuzu peel and mimosa flower essential oils."