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Why washing hands with soap and running water is better than desinfectants?

Alcohol-based disinfectants are also effective, but soap is a highly efficient way of killing the virus when it’s on your skin.

 ‘Soap dissolves the fat membrane of the virus. Soap dissolves the virus’ structure – and the virus falls apart and dies.’

Soap contains fat-like substances known as amphiphiles, some of which are structurally very similar to the lipids in the virus membrane. The soap molecules “compete” with the lipids in the virus membrane. This is more or less how soap also removes normal dirt from the skin.

The soap not only loosens the “glue” between the virus and the skin but also the Velcro-like interactions that hold the proteins, lipids and RNA in the virus together.

So, soap is the best, but do please use alcohol-based sanitiser when soap is not handy or practical.

By Pall Thordarson. He is a professor of chemistry at the University of New South Wales, Sydney:

The science of soap – here’s how it kills the coronavirus

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Cleaning make up brushes
is important.
Over time, brushes accumulate bacteria, dead skin cells and oil, which can clog your pores.
 
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