Having good hygiene is always important, but now more than ever, good hygiene is essential. With the media sharing all kinds of scary headlines it’s important to stay calm and not buy every last bottle of hand sanitizer at your local shop. However, keeping on top of your hygiene is definitely worth it – after all, it can’t harm to wash your hands more often. So, with that in mind, we wanted to provide you all with a few quick tips to make sure you’re looking after yourself and those around you in the easiest ways possible, plus give you some tips on how you can keep your immune system on fighting form.
Here’re three things you can do to make sure you’re doing your bit to keep things under wraps.
1. Wash Your Hands Often
We all know we should wash our hands after we use the bathroom and before we eat any food, but let’s be real… do we always do the latter? We recommend washing your hands before preparing and eating food, whenever you reach your home or office, and of course, after using the bathroom and after sneezing or coughing. And we don’t mean just running them under the tap for five seconds, we mean washing your hands for a good 20 to 30 seconds with plenty of soap.
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2. Use Hand Sanitizer
If you’re not able to wash your hands easily, then keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you. If it’s hard for you to get hand sanitizer or it’s already sold out where you are, you can make your own hand sanitizer easily.
DIY Hand Sanitizer
1 cup (or 2 parts) rubbing alcohol (99.9% isopropyl alcohol) – like the kind you use for cleaning your derma roller
¼ cup (or 1 part) aloe vera gel
¼ cup (or 1 part) glycerin
Shake all the ingredients together in a glass or plastic bottle, et voila, homemade hand sanitizer! If you want, you can add one part grapeseed oil or any other body oil that you have instead of either the aloe vera gel or the glycerin. You can also add in a drop or two of any essential oils you have if you want to make your hand sanitizer a little more boujee!
Finally, all that hand washing and hand sanitizer can be drying AF on your hands, so be sure to keep a good hand cream handy (pun intended). We love the Bioderma Ultra Repair Hand Cream, $10, which is extremely hydrating and sinks into the skin almost immediately so there’s no greasy feeling. Check out some of our other fave hand creams here.
3. Cover Your Mouth
When you’re coughing or sneezing, make sure to cover your mouth, preferably with the inside of your elbow (a little bit like you’re doing the dab). Otherwise, use a tissue and throw it in the trash immediately.
Boost Your Immune System
Having a healthy immune system is always important – no one likes being sick! So along with trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet packed with lots of nutrient-rich foods containing vitamins and antioxidants, there are some other things you can take to help boost your immune system.
Probiotics: We all know having a healthy gut is good for you, but taking probiotics has been shown to help improve immune function as well as digestive health. Probiotics are essentially ‘good’ bacteria, aka microorganisms that help to balance the gut microbiome, and can be found in fermented foods as well as supplements. Some studies have shown that probiotics promote the production of natural antibodies and boost immune cells. Check out the OptiBac Probiotics for Daily Wellbeing, $39.
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Zinc: A ‘trace essential element’ (and also a great sunscreen), Zinc is crucial for the normal development and function of cells and is known to help boost your immune system. Zinc functions like an antioxidant to prevent free-radical damage and reduce inflammation and has even been shown to reduce the duration of the common cold. We recommend looking for Zinc picolinate, which studies have shown is better able to be absorbed by the body. We like the Now Zinc Picolinate, from $6. Side note: Zinc is also great for those with oily and acne-prone skin as it helps to regulate sebum production.
Vitamin D3: Vitamin D has been shown to balance the immune system and is naturally created by your body when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. The Pharmacy Times reported that in 2017, “A large analyses of prospective clinical trials showed that taking vitamin D reduces the odds of developing a respiratory infection by approximately 42% in people with low baseline levels.” Among many of its benefits – boosting your mood, balancing hormones – vitamin D is really great for improving normal immune function, however, we don’t suggest sitting in the sun for hours on end. We recommend the Hum Nutrition Here Comes The Sun Supplements, $10, which contain vitamin D3, the active form of vitamin D that your body is able to absorb more efficiently.
As always, it’s always best to check in with your doctor before taking new supplements.
Finally, don’t believe everything you read on the internet – when it comes to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), there are some crazy myths, so make sure you’re getting your facts from reputable sources. Check out these myths listed on the World Health Organization website, which will help you be more clued up on how the Coronavirus can spread. For more information on Coranvirus, check out the Clinical Excellence Commission site, which has tons more information to keep you informed.