You know that at Gallinée we love bacteria and that we are always telling people to go easy on the soap and not overwash. There is one exception: your hands. You should wash your hands. A lot. With soap.
As part of my pharmacy studies, I spent one year working in a hospital ward, where I caught the healthy habit of washing my hands a lot. I wash:
- After going to the bathroom
- Before eating
- After taking the tube
- Before putting my hands in my eyes. I wear contact lenses and I HATE putting my fingers in my eyes.
It must be a total of around 10 times a day. And that’s a totally normal number.
Why it’s important to wash your hands?
Hands are what you use to explore the world, you touch a lot of things, and then you put these hands on your face and close to your mouth a lot. It means that at any time, your hands might be carrying bacteria from a “fecal cloud” (two words that should never be put together), from your neighbors cold or from a raw chicken somewhere. And that’s how you catch diseases. I think Kate Winslet talks about it the best:
Maybe the French habit of kissing is more hygienic than shaking hands? Who knows!
“Fun” fact: washing your hands regularly reduces the risk of diarrhea by up to 40% and cold by up to 20%.
Soap or gel?
Soap! It’s cheap and extremely efficient. For the same reason we don’t recommend to use it on your face and body: nothing survives soap.
Antibac gels are also very effective, even if I always imagine that 0.01% of bacteria that survive are:
1) super strong
2) very angry
Bacteria have started to develop resistance to triclosan and even alcohol, so soap is definitely your better option if you can. If you can’t antibac is still better than not washing your hands.
But what about my hand microbiome?
Excellent question! Your hand microbiome doesn’t like it at all. The pH of the soap damages the microbiome and the skin barrier, and it takes hours to go back to normal. Our advice? Use a hand cream that will make sure the right kind of bacteria come back first. Like… the Gallinee Hand Cream? (did you see that one coming?)
-Marie Drago, Gallinée’s founder