JOURNAL

Africology is deeply committed to the health and wellbeing of the entire body, not just the skin, and my extensive research of the best possible protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus required understanding exactly what we need to protect ourselves from – and how. From considering the air we breathe to every surface that we touch, it's vitally important to understand how this virus makes its way into our bodies, and to choose a sanitising formulation that contains the most effective actives to help stop the outbreak in its tracks.

“We are facing an unprecedented situation in human history and while I don’t profess to know everything, I do make it my business to be as informed as possible so that I can serve you – our customers – better, and contribute to your peace of mind during this anxious time. It is not my intention to diagnose or heal, but just to work with what is available and offer the best possible solution."

Watch out for opportunists taking advantage of vulnerable customers...

Sadly, the outbreak of this virus and the subsequent shortage of personal care products such as hand sanitisers resulted in a surge of homemade products that don’t always hail from reputable resources. While I completely understand the need to make more units of this critical resource available to manage the spread of the disease, it’s opportunistic to prey on vulnerable consumers. Cashing in on a serious and potentially life-threatening situation by selling DIY products that are not proven to work is irresponsible – especially if the ingredients are not necessarily approved for use and there is little or any sound knowledge about the efficacy of these ‘products’. Now it the time to focus on preventative strategies that are in aid of the greater good, and there is no room for cheap marketing tricks and quick, dubious sales. Here at Africology, it is our intention is to play our part in the management of this disease at this critical juncture in history for humans, as well as the environment we live in. As someone who has been involved with the production of cosmetic products for decades, I am well aware of the importance of following rules and doing thorough, scientific research on the subject in order to create sustainable products that fulfill the promise of their intended use.

Working with alcohol can be dangerous in the wrong hands. There are so many forms of alcohol available – and most of them contain harmful chemicals, as their uses fall in other spheres that are far removed from pharmaceutical environments. How are consumers able to tell what exactly they are using on their skins unless companies like ours don’t empower them with the necessary knowledge and awareness?

Applying the wrong kind of alcohol can be poisonous – especially if it’s done frequently. Poisoning occurs when the liver is no longer able to process and manage the amount of alcohol (especially IPA) that enters the body, which in turn wreaks havoc on your entire inner biology.

Experts also warn that it’s easy to misjudge the concentration of alcohol in hand sanitisers, compared to other ingredients, and that it could damage the skin. Cheap products that are currently being marketed as solutions may not contain safe concentrations – or even be effective in eliminating the coronavirus.

Daniel Parker, assistant professor of public health at the University of California, pointed out this trend on CNN, highlighting the wave of opportunism cashing in on vulnerability. We all know that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t; and in this case, when a product seems too cheap, it certainly raises red flags.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, a hand sanitiser needs to have an alcohol content of at least 60% to be effective. Professionally produced hand sanitisers – such as the one from Africology – contain skin-protecting actives to counter the harshness of the alcohol, thus protecting the skin. If actives like these are not added to alcohol-based cleansers, you run the risk of damaging the condition of your hands. What’s more, it’s quite dangerous when used by children, so please be especially mindful to keep these sanitisers out of reach of young children.

Choosing the right formulation is one of the healthy choices you can make as we navigate the challenges presented by the coronavirus, and for this reason, we strongly recommend our Purifying Spray. Its active has an SA EPA registered code, and it’s reported to be effective to disinfect surfaces of this virus. We suggest spraying it on surfaces, trolleys, in shopping malls and on hands and all touchable areas.

This product has a proven track record that includes the effective prevention of more than 450 viruses and diseases, including hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Therefore, I make sure that I carry this with me always in my handbag. I spray it in the air (note that it’s not meant to be inhaled) to kill off airborne bacteria, especially if someone is coughing around me. For the same reason, we also disinfect all our spa beds and spaces at Africology continuously, ensuring that we avoid contamination from person to person.

It is my firm belief that when we work together – with compassion and kindness, and with honesty and integrity – we can be transparent and successful in bringing an end to this crisis and ensuring the safety of each other. Fear creates negative outcomes and it is therefore so important for rational decisions to be made during times of crisis. Let us all be sensible, calmly do the right thing, and not be blinded by opportunists trying to use the situation for their benefit.

  

Just wash your hands!

•The best way to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus is still to wash your hands with good old soap and water.
•If soap and water are not available, and your hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser may be used. However, if your hands are visibly dirty, always wash them with soap and water.

At a glance: overexposure to alcohol-based hand sanitisers

•Rubbing alcohol is an antiseptic, which contains between 60% and 72% alcohol.
•Overexposure to IPA can be poisoning.
•The liver is not able to manage process large amounts of IPA in the body, and since it's readily absorbed through the skin, using large amounts on your skin – such as alcohol-based sanitisers – may cause accidental poisoning.
•Using small amounts on the skin is not necessarily dangerous, but bear in mind that repeated exposure may cause itching, redness, rashes, dry and cracked skin. •Prolonged skin contact can also cause corrosion.
•It is interesting to note that recent reports indicate that alcohol-based hand washes and sanitisers are losing the battle against super strains of enterococcus bacteria.