Highly Effective Eco-Friendly Hand Sanitation Practices



Photo: Garry Knight via Flickr

Sanitation is very important for optimal health. The good news is that you don’t need to leave a large environmental footprint to keep yourself clean and healthy. ScienceDirect has a great article on eco-friendly water sanitation systems, but there are also ways to keep healthy otherwise.

There are a lot of eco-friendly ways to kill harmful germs. They are especially important for keeping your hands clean, since your hands are responsible for spreading many viruses and bacteria. You need to assess your options.

Eco-Friendly Hand Cleanliness Practices

We previously wrote about the best ways to create an eco-friendly environment for children. One idea that we didn’t touch on heavily was using eco-friendly sanitation practices.

Probably the most used limbs in the body are those found at the end of your arms, your hands. Taking care of your hands is essential, as they can get quite damaged by things like washing up, cleaning, gardening, and everyday activities. They also are responsible for spreading 80% of common infections.

It is therefore vital that you start a regular care program for your hands so that they don’t end up with sore calluses or rough skin. So just what should you do to look after these essential appendages? How do you take care of them in the eco-friendliest way possible?

Wash Them with Eco-Friendly Soaps

It would help if you aimed to wash your hands several times a day, depending on what you have been doing. At the moment, we are being encouraged to use antibacterial type hand soap. There are some great eco-friendly soaps that are worth using like Neem or Lush. If you want to be really eco-friendly, then you can consider honey, apple cider vinegar or cinnamon and clove.

Still, the problem with this is that it can dry the skin, and many people whose jobs require them to wash their hands red very regularly are suffering. One thing you could do is alternate between an antibacterial soap and a moisturizing soap. There is no need to use boiling water, and this can also damage the skin so you can get away with warm water. It’s more important that you wash them properly. Look for soaps that are fragrance-free or contain natural ingredients that are both gentler to the skin and better for the environment. Best choice can be unscented goat milk soap which is organic, fragrance-free, and very gentle.

Take Care of Your Nails

Fortunately, you don’t need to use any environmentally destructive chemicals to remove debris from your nails. This is an important way to stay healthy, so you need to do so.

When washing your hands, it’s important not to overlook your nails. Even short nails can get dirt trapped under them, and just washing your hands may not remove this. For this reason, consider keeping a nail brush by the sink and while you are washing your hands take an opportunity to clean out under your nails. It only needs to have gentle bristles, and good quality nail brushes should not hurt your skin. How long you have your nails is entirely down to personal preference, but the longer they are, the more maintenance you will need to do. As well as regularly brushing them when you wash your hands, you will need to use a nail file to remove any sharp edges and occasionally scissors or nail Clippers to remove a broken nail. Longer nails are more likely to get broken when you’re going about your daily work because they’re easier to catch.

Pamper Your Hands

As well as washing your hands for hygiene reasons, you could also consider having a pamper evening where you wash your hands as part of a beauty regime. Exfoliating creams are useful because they allow you to remove any dead or rough skin. The good news is that a lot of these exfoliating creams are eco-friendly, such as Hylunia and Ethique Eco-Friendly Scrub.

These are generally lotions that contain rougher granules to create friction between your hands as you rub them together, and this is the action that removes the dead skin. You can always make your own, by combining sugar and olive oil and using this as a scrub. You will notice that once you have washed your hands in this manner, they seem much softer. It would help if you then moisturize your hands to protect this newly exposed layer of skin. There are many different moisturizers on the market and many specifically for hands. It is also vital that you moisturize regularly between your pamper sessions. You could turn it into part of your nighttime routine, and if you want the moisturizer to work even better you can purchase thin cotton gloves to wear before all of it has absorbed into your skin, and this will leave your hands beautifully soft when you wake up the next morning.

Deal with Problems Quickly

Sometimes people get issues with skin conditions such as eczema on their hands. This can actually quickly escalate into a painful condition that makes everyday life difficult. It is therefore crucial that you nip this in the Bud by getting the correct treatment. If you’ve been moisturizing your hands daily, this really shouldn’t happen, but if you’re new to hand care, you may need to clean up this problem first by getting some medicated lotion from your GP or chemist. Once you have cleared up the eczema, you should find that daily moisturizing is enough to keep it at bay.

Protect Your Hands from the Sun

Most people are conscientious about applying sunscreen to their bodies, and even their faces. Hands often get overlooked. Sometimes we put sunscreen on our hands by accident because we’re using it everywhere else. But you should take care to apply sunscreen properly on your hands to protect them from the sun. The sun can make skin age much faster than expected, so it’s imperative to do this to keep your hands looking the right age.

Wear Gloves

Of course, the ultimate way to protect your hands is to wear gloves when you are doing housework. Rubber gloves are great for protecting your hands against water when you are washing up, and you can get decent gardening gloves to protect your hands from scrapes and scratches when you are working outside. In cold weather, you can also wear woolly gloves to ensure your hands stay warm. Some people find their hands get very cold in winter, and if they get tingly or turn a slight blue-ish color, you may have Raynaud’s syndrome. This is not a massive concern; it happens to a lot of people but ensuring that your hands are kept warm and never given a chance to get cold will prevent this from happening. Generally, it is not something that requires medical intervention, but if you are concerned about your circulation, you should see a doctor.

Practice Eco-Friendly Hand Cleanliness

There are a lot of ways to keep your hands clean without leaving a destructive environmental footprint. The eco-friendly hand sanitation tips listed above should be a great start.


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