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Health & Beauty

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Remedies for Washed Out Hands

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I don’t know about you, but in our household, all this extra hand-washing is really taking its toll.

Whilst handwashing is one of the best preventative measures against infection, as well as staying home if you aren’t a key worker, constant washing is tough on hands. Here are some of my favourite moisturising soaps and moisturisers to help washed out hands in these dystopian times:

Dook Soap

Packed full of organic coconut oil and richly moisturising raw shea butter, Dook’s soap bars are a treat for dry skin.

Their credentials are pretty impressive too – with all of their soaps being free from palm oil and parabens, as well as being cruelty-free and plastic-free. Going that extra bit further, all their soaps are packaged in 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper and card.

Dook’s soaps are made up of 50% salt, which sounds drying, but I’ve certainly not found this to be the case – each wash delivers a creamy lotion-like lather.

Whilst this is the most expensive bar in this roundup, at £9, owing to the salt content Dook’s soap bars are hard and very long-lasting. Some soaps go mushy after a week or two of use: not this one!

Little Soap Co.

We are using Little Soap Co’s, Eco Warrior Moisturising Hand & Body Bar (£4.50) at the moment to hydrate our hands, and it’s a hit with all of our hands – from the littlest to the oldest.

Made with 99.5% naturally derived ingredients and free from detergents, SLS, sulphates, alcohol, parabens, sorbates, silicones and synthetic preservatives, Little Soap Co’s range is also vegan and plastic-free, and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free. I would prefer it to be palm oil-free too, but at the moment Little Soap Co appears to be making steps in the right direction.

Soap Daze

Soap Daze is a long-standing favourite of mine. I’ve always found their handmade soaps to be rich and moisturising, and this unscented Oatmylk Soap (£6.50) is a great choice for sensitive skins. Oatmeal is known to be an anti-inflammatory and can help calm skin irritations. What’s more, Soap Daze soaps are palm oil-free, cruelty-free, plastic-free and vegan friendly. An unpackaged bar is available if you wish to eschew packaging, and will save you £1 on your purchase too.

Hand Creams

To give dry and washed out hands a boost the product I swear by most is Skin Food by Weleda.

I’ve been using Skin Food for years and years and years (this post in which I first declared my love for it stems from 2013!), and I swear it’s magic in a tube. This incredibly rich and moisturising cream makes it a great choice for a facial night cream, but is equally great on elbows, knees, and, you guessed it, hands subject to a lot of washing. I tend to have a tube on me at all times.

Packaging wise, it’s packaged in a recyclable metal tube and a cardboard box. Please note, Skin Food contains beeswax, so it isn’t vegan friendly. If you’re after an effective vegan hand cream then do try this Weleda one.

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

Ad | Accessible Eco-Friendly Period Protection

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Conventional period products harbour a dirty secret.  Did you know that the average sanitary towel is 90% plastic?  This equates to the plastic equivalent of a shocking five plastic bags per packet of sanitary towels.  If you consider that the average person who has a period uses over 11,000 disposable menstrual products in their lifetime, then this adds up to a whole lot of plastic.  Many of these products wrongly get flushed down the toilet and end up damaging our oceans and the creatures that inhabit our seas.  

When it comes to tampons, it also turns out that even ‘plant-based’ applicators, often sold by organic brands are not actually biodegradable, and therefore act exactly the same as regular oil-based plastics would after use. 

What’s more, most conventional period products are packed with chemicals and fragrances that are also unkind to our skin, especially in the most sensitive areas. 

With all of these issues, it’s understandable and also great news that interest in eco-friendly period products is growing.  I’m personally a big fan of reusable period products – I’ve written before about eco-friendly period options, and encourage the use of reusables where possible.  However, I’m also painfully aware that many reusable period options are not accessible to all – through cost aspects, limited sizing, lack of washing facilities, and through mobility and/or dexterity impairments.

Today I wanted to look at some of the accessibility problems of the most common reusable period protection options, before looking at what you can do if reusable options aren’t accessible to you, but you are still concerned about the environment.

The Accessibility Issue When It Comes to Reusable Period Protection

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups aren’t suitable for everyone – particularly those with motor-skills impairment, as insertion and removal can be tricky. At around £20+ per cup, a cup can be a steep upfront investment for some, particularly if there is more than one householder requiring a cup. 

Cleaning can be tricky – many people aren’t comfortable washing out their cups in public bathrooms.  In order to keep your cup hygienic, you also have to boil it every month. This could be tricky in a shared household, let alone for those who don’t have access to basic facilities. 

Cloth Sanitary Towels

Having a cloth sanitary towel stash can be expensive, with pads varying between around £5 and £12 per pad.  I personally find having around 8 pads to be the optimum amount of pads required to comfortably see you through a cycle, and that upfront investment can be prohibitive. 

Period Pants  

Period pants are expensive.  At around £30 a pair, the initial investment in purchasing multiple pairs could be cost-prohibitive.  Price aside, period pants are available in limited styles, colours, and crucially limited sizes. Whilst new options and sizes are arriving as period pants are catching on, it’s still limited in comparison to standard underwear.

And moving away from price – having to change your pants in public toilets can also be problematic, particularly for those with reduced mobility levels.  Remember you will have to remove your trousers/tights and shoes to be able to remove your pants, before getting dressed again in a small cubicle. 

What If Reusable Period Options Are Inaccessible to Me?

natracare

If reusable period options aren’t accessible to you for whatever reason, then be assured that eco-friendly disposable period products (that aren’t greenwashing you) do exist!  A good environmentally friendly option would be to choose a disposable brand that is certified organic, vegan, plastic-free and compostable, like Natracare.  

Natracare’s period products are all plastic, perfume, dye, pesticide, and chlorine-free.  Made from soft, breathable, natural materials, their pads, liners, and tampons are kind to you and kind to the environment.  What’s more, their products are not tested on animals either for extra peace of mind.

Natracare is widely available on Amazon, Ocado, Waitrose, and in health food shops.  Expecting to pay more for their products compared to their plastic counterparts?  You’d be wrong: Natracare’s prices are comparable with big-name sanitary protection brands, with a box of 14 sanitary towels costing around £2.

The only plastic I could find was on the plastic wrapping of Natracare’s non-applicator tampons.  I asked Natracare and they told me this is made from BPA-free, recyclable plastic. They use this to meet legal requirements as tampons are considered a medical device. Some other brands have begun switching to paper wrappings, but until Natracare are confident this is a safe and more sustainable option, they will keep using their current packaging. 

I personally tested a few different products from the Natracare range out – their ultra super period pads and curved panty liners – and found their period products very comfortable and highly absorbent.2 Crucially they stayed in place too, which is always very important!

Beyond the basics, I felt reassured by the fact that Natracare’s products contain no nasties, such as chlorine and perfumes, in the very place where you don’t want anything nasty. The lack of plastic is a huge plus point too. Don’t just take my word for it – Ethical Consumer also recommend Natracare in the disposable tampons and pads category. Definitely one to check out!