Handy Tips for Clean Hands

by Andrew Sotomayor 2 months ago in advice

Ways to Stay Healthy Now and In the Future, Plus Why Hand Sanitizer Doesn't Replace Soap and Water.

Hey there, my name is Andrew and I'm an Emmy winning makeup artist in New York City. Moments before everything went on lockdown because of coronavirus and my TV show "The Other Two" on Comedy Central went on break, I created this video in my trailer to share some easy things you can do to stay healthy. I'm talking about hand sanitizers, cleaning products, makeup sanitizing spray, and disposable palettes. With so much fake news and rumors circulating online, be sure you're getting your information from reliable sources like the World Health Organization, National Institute of Health, and the Center For Disease Control. There are lots of things to be concerned about right now, but the ray of light is how the medical community around the world is teaming up in ways like never before to fight this pandemic.

Leave questions below in the comments section and feel free to make requests for future videos. Key products mentioned include Jao Hand Refresher, Eve Pearl’s makeup palette, Beauty So Clean Sanitizing Spray, Clorox Wipes, Wet Ones, and more.

"So hi everyone, I'm just signing on because I wanted to tell everyone about some things you would want to do under regular everyday circumstances, and that you can use especially at moments like this where coronavirus / covid-19 are going around. I work in TV and film, so I'm always up in people's space, and obviously right now they're saying give your friends some space and don't shake hands, so let's go a step farther and talk about other things you can do whether you're a pro makeup artist or just someone trying to stay healthy.

Few things, there's a lot of talk about hand sanitizer right now. One that I prefer is called Jao Hand Refresher. It's 65% alcohol, plus lavender and some light skin conditioners so it doesn't dry out your hands. I keep one at every work station for my artists in my trailer, another one in my large bag that I bring to set, and I keep a mini one in my actors' personal makeup bags.

One key takeaway I want to stress is that 70% alcohol based hand sanitizers are very effective at destroying covid-19 on hands and surfaces, but they should not replace washing with soap and water. Hand sanitizer is a really important step for killing germs, and great for on-the-go, but it's really important to remember that hand sanitizer does not replace washing your hands with soap and water. There are so many studies that say it's a really good thing to do, it definitely decreases the number of germs on your hands, it destroys coronavirus, it damages bacteria, but hand washing with soap and water is the best way to ensure that your hands are clean. So, let that maybe be something that helps you feel calm in moments like these.

As we work hard to fight this pandemic, we also want to be sure we aren't encouraging the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria and superbugs that hand sanitizers may weaken but not destroy. Use whatever you have available right now, but be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and you'll be making a huge impact on your health and safety.

(Extra advice for makeup artists, I wash my hands regularly, and I also wash them again when my actor's enter the makeup area. I like for them to physically see me washing my hands, for their own comfort, and I like to do it right before also because then I know I haven't been touching my cell phone or any other objects that may be dirty.

Side note, in this video, I'm wearing one of my trashiest T-shirts because it was a little warm in the trailer and I was packing up to bring my things home. I look forward to being in my white cotton JCrew dress shirts and dark denim jeans eventually.

So just to debunk an internet rumor, please please please, never use 99% alcohol to try and disinfect. It evaporates too fast. Use 70% which has just enough water to slow evaporation time, which helps, particularly with coronavirus. Also, don't try to make your own hand sanitizer. In spite of some terribly inaccurate YouTube tutorials, if you don't get the proportions right, or you add the wrong extra ingredients, you might not have an effective formula.

That said, another product that I really really love is called Beauty So Clean, and what I really like about this product is that Beauty So Clean doesn't just weaken but specifically kills bacteria on both makeup products and surfaces. You can spray it right onto any makeup including lipsticks, or powder, including eye shadows. and kill germs in 10 seconds. *If you have a tendency to get styles or breakouts when you're wearing makeup, be sure to sanitize your makeup periodically, and remove your makeup properly at the end of the night. They also make a brush cleanser. If you're talking about cleaning your professional makeup kit or just your personal products at home, this is something you'll really want to use. I've used it in my kit for years, I've never had anyone get sick or have a problem, so I feel confident recommending it.

Next, there's a lot of talk about bleach. Good news is that you don't have to use it full strength, so don't worry about fumes and definitely don't try to horde it (sharing is caring). According to the Center For Disease Control, 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water is enough to destroy coronavirus. Clorox also makes wipes which are really great for cleaning up on the go.

Also, antibacterial wipes. I like the ones from Wet Ones because they're the right size to fit inside my makeup kit and my actor bags, It says right on the package that they kill better than hand sanitizer. I don't know the science behind that, but one of my friends who was trained as a microbiologist has said that friction, and scrubbing, drastically increase the effectiveness of any hand washing or disinfecting efforts. It's possibly why you always see the surgeons on "Grey's Anatomy" having such serious conversations while they're vigorously washing their hands before surgery. It's way more dramatic that way.

Consider wiping down surfaces like your car door handles and keys with bleach wipes, and consider using alcohol based antibacterial wipes, or use hand sanitizer on your backpack or purse straps with a paper towel or tissue. (You probably won't damage certain synthetic textiles, but especially with any type of fabrics, or if you're just not sure, just be sure to check the labels so you don't damage your belongings).

Also, if you're a makeup artist, there are these great individual pads of waxed paper that can be used as single use makeup palettes. I pump a few drops of liquid foundation on these and pick it up with a brush so my actors have only clean makeup going on their skin. Works great for moisturizers, loose pigment, or lipstick if you scrape some off with a palette knife. The ones I'm showing came from a group called Sanitation Conversation that teaches sanitation and disinfecting courses, but the way I first heard about these disposable pads is from a client's father who uses generic ones in his dental practice! Larger sized pads can easily be found in art supply stores.

Back in the day, makeup artists, especially in fashion used to put the makeup on the back of their hands, but especially now...don't do that. Instead, seven time Emmy winning makeup artist Eve Pearl has a Pro Mixing Palette about the size of a credit card that you wear like a ring. I love working like this because I feel secure knowing exactly where my liquid makeup is at all times so there's no chance of knocking it over or spilling on someone's clothes.

So, that's all for now. That's a lot of information, but remember it's changing all the time, so keep checking reliable sources, stay informed, stay healthy, and stay in touch.


Emmy winning makeup artist, on-camera host, vegan, Mexican American, gay guy w/2 chihuahuas. Makeup/Tattoo Designer for "West Side Story" on Broadway

Andrew Sotomayor
Andrew Sotomayor
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Andrew Sotomayor

With 17 years of experience in beauty editorial, red carpet, fashion, film, television, and brand development, Emmy winning celebrity makeup artist, Andrew Sotomayor is a go-to for makeup tips, temporary tattoos, and inspiration.

See all posts by Andrew Sotomayor