How to choose the right hand soap for your office this winter

How to choose the right hand soap for your office this winter

When you’re choosing a hand soap for your office restroom in the winter time, the first thing you should look for is something with moisturizing ingredients. This is because in the winter, our skin becomes extra dry. The cold, dry air in the winter months strips our skin of its natural protective oils and moisture.

There tends to be less moisture in the air in the winter time when humidity levels drop, and skin will naturally start to become more dry. When the air is cold and dry, the water in our skin evaporates faster, which can leave the skin itchy, dry, flaky and tight. To make it worse, high heat settings in the office to keep warm during these cold winter months can dry out our skin even more.

Below are some tips for choosing the right hand soap for your office restroom this winter:

  1. Know which ingredients in hand soap ensure good hygiene

    When choosing a hand soap for the office during the winter, know that all hand soaps contain detergents that can clean your hands.

    Surfactants are a main ingredient in hand soap

    Surfactants break down the bonds between water and dirt. They hold dirt and oil in suspension which allows for effective removal of unwanted oil and dirt on the skin. This is achieved by providing a means to change the surface tension and mix the water on your hands with the fat and oils already on your hands.

    Surfactants are used as wetting agents, emulsifiers and foaming agents in soaps. This helps create that thick lather which effectively cleans your hands. Any hand soap, even if it’s not labeled an antibacterial hand soap, will wash away harmful germs and bacteria on your hands.

    Antibacterial hand soaps

    Soaps that are labeled ‘antibacterial’ simply contain certain additional germ-fighting, bacteria-killing chemicals such as benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol, all designed to actually kill all bacteria on contact. Antibacterial hand soaps aren’t necessary in an office setting. Most regular offices are fine with regular hand soap. However, a medical setting may want to opt for soaps that are labeled ‘antibacterial.’

  2. Know the difference between foam and liquid hand soaps

    When choosing a hand soap for the office during the winter months know that foam and liquid hand soaps have different benefits:

    Liquid hand soap may get hands cleaner

    When hand soap comes out as a foam, you don’t need to rub your hands together as vigorously as with liquid soaps. This means you may actually end up washing your hands longer (and therefore get your hands cleaner) with liquid soaps, which you do need to lather yourself. Some research also shows that foam hand soaps may not be as effective in cleansing hands as liquid soaps. More research still needs to be done in order to be sure.

    Foam hand soap may use less water than liquid hand soaps

    One independent study concluded that foam hand soaps require less water use than liquid hand soaps. This same study also concluded that less hand soap was needed. This is definitely a benefit in an office setting where there are lots of people using the restroom and the amount of water and soap used is important.

  3. In the winter, check hand soap labels for moisturizing ingredients

    When choosing a hand soap for the office in the winter, know that hand soaps contain various moisturizing ingredients. Some moisturizing ingredients in hand soaps include aloe vera, vegetable-based oils, shea butter or cocoa butter, milk protein, coconut oil, vitamin E, and glycerin. Glycerin is a humectant, which means it moisturizes the skin by drawing water and moisture from the air into the skin. Glycerin also forms a protective barrier that helps prevent moisture loss.

    Aloe vera and cocoa butter are regarded as beneficial natural treatments for dry or rough skin. Frequent hand washing can dry out your skin if the soap you’re using doesn’t contain moisturizing agents such as aloe and glycerin.

    The vitamins, minerals, amino acids and natural enzymes found in aloe vera and cocoa butter products can reduce dry and flaky skin, while also protecting the skin with a moisture barrier and leaving skin smooth and soft. Aloe is an ingredient that also offers healing components, such as its ability to soothe itchy skin, a common skin condition in the dry winter months.

  4. In the winter, choose hand soaps for different skin types

    There are different hand soaps that are best for different skin types:

    Hand soap for very dry or very sensitive skin in winter

    For those with extra-dry, extra-rough and extra-sensitive skin, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Soap is a good choice. This hand soap has unique blend of essential oils, aloe vera and olive oil. The olive oil is incredibly moisturizing and helps lock in moisture. The aloe vera is calming and soothing. And, this soap is free of ingredients such as parabens, which is perfect for hands that need to heal.

    Hand soap for sensitive or easily irritated skin in winter, or skin allergies

    People with sensitive skin, allergies or easily irritated skin could use a calming and mild hypoallergenic soap such as Dial Basics Hypoallergenic Liquid Hand Soap, or a soap with soothing aloe.

    Hand soap for dry or rough skin in winter

    People with dry or rough skin could try a moisturizing hand soap with emollients and softening aloe, and should avoid using hot water when washing their hands as heat can dry out the skin. Method hand soap is also good to try.

    People who have skin that is both dry and sensitive could use a hand soap with milk protein in it, such as Softsoap Milk & Golden Honey Moisturizing Hand Soap. The milk protein has both a calming and moisturizing effect on the skin.

    Hand soap for normal skin in winter

    People with a normal skin type will be fine using any of these hand soaps, but when in doubt, always opt for a moisturizing hand soap in the winter time.

    Hand soap for a medical setting in winter

    If your office is a medical setting that requires antibacterial hand soap, know that there are soaps that contain both antibacterial and moisturizing properties. This combo is a win for winter months. Lysol No Touch Antibacterial Hand Soap has the antibacterial agents in it, as well as moisturizing and healing ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin E. It can be used with a touch free hand soap dispenser.

  5. Softsoap Antibacterial Handsoap is another great hand soap that balances moisturizing and sanitizing properties. This non-scented hand soap moisturizes and softens the skin with its light moisturizing ingredients, while also killing germs on contact with its antibacterial additives.
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    Hand soap for winter with no touch hand soap dispensers

    Using hand soap with hands-free soap dispensers helps the office further reduce the spread of germs. These automatic touch free systems allow hand soap to be dispensed with a hand sensor, so that nobody has to touch the soap dispenser.

  7. Both employers and employees have growing concerns over health risks from germs spreading throughout the office, which is why it’s crucial to always keep your office restroom stocked with hand soap. If you think some of your employees might have a tendency to not wash their hands very thoroughly, put a sign up in the restroom to remind them.

Now that you know what to look for in a hand soap during the winter and which soaps are best for which skin types, you should have no problem finding the perfect hand soap for your office restroom.