Anxiety bug-out bag. A review of hand sanitizers

Who among was not totally blow away the first time they saw Batman whip out his belt of super gadgets? With the help of that one chunky accessory he could poison arrow a baddie in the face or scale a sky scraper in one jump. He manages to hold his own against the more ‘magical’ super heroes in spite of being a normal dude who just happens to have TONS of cash lying around. As an anxious girl I have my own ‘belt of gadgets’ in the form of my management supply kit. That may sound so over the top it could have been the forward for the non-existent book ‘Catastrophizing 101’ but my ability to feel safe in public greatly increases my ability to live a normal life. If I am able to negate the bad thoughts that pop in ever few minutes with realistic and logical management techniques then my anxiety can’t back-sass me so hard. Logic is one of my great weapons of mass anxiety destruction. My emergency kit contains many seemingly odd things which I will explicate in a later post but one thing I try to always have on hand is a bottle of hand sanitizer. Why not just wash your damn hands? I hear you say. Well after your 1 millionth visit to an unsanitary public toilet in a dero-looking park, MacDonald’s or a petrol station you might start to get the feeling that no matter how many times you have washed your hands with the questionable blue council hand soap, other people’s bum-germs are still clinging to your digits. I like a good long hand wash as much as any other person but being able to back that up with a nice quality hand sanitizer OR in the frequent situation that there is no soap in the toilet and/or no way to dry your hands after etc this shit is invaluable. Just quickly, I should mention that germ-phobia is not one of my issues but I’m writing this with full knowledge that germs are an issue for many people so I hope that this wee review might help them as well as we habitual toilet users. I chose a selection of eight sanitisers from a variety of different retailers, in a range of prices (as much as possible with hand sanitiser, I mean no one is stupid enough to spend $50 on a bottle of hand sanitiser right? Well perhaps Paris Hilton or Kanye West but not me). This is my sensible selection of hand sanitisers which you can buy from pretty much most places big enough to have a mall. Essence Essence “Clear Ice” from Countdown supermarket (St Lukes) $2.49 Cheap, decent, no nonsense. I have to ask, what the fuck is ‘clear’ ice? As opposed to all that ambiguous ice about the place? Clear ice smells like a martini crafted from cheap nasty vodka, toilet cleaner and toothpaste. Once it dries it isn’t sticky but you do get that ‘feels like something’s still on my hands’ feeling, like when you touch nappy soaker and have to wash your hands a million times to get the slimy feeling off. Over all it does the job but with little flare or panache. 6/10 Detol Dettol Healthy touch, already in our cupboard. RR$3.79  This little bottle belongs to my boyfriend and he used it during a bout of stomach flu which I didn’t get so I’m guessing it did the job and stopped him from passing his gross shit germs on to me. I know and love Dettol disinfectant as a product but sadly this stuff doesn’t smell like dettol, which I personally would prefer. This one smells like some over scented flowers in a vase filled with Gordon’s gin (the shittiest gin, above home brew). The hand feel after it dries is good. No grease or tackiness. 6/10 palmolive Palmolive Fig & Coconut, gift from my Mum. RR$3.69 This smells so goooood. Like a group of first year technological college girls on a cheap package deal to Ibiza; fruity, overly sweet with a distinct under tone of heavy alcohol. AND it’s got little blue balls in it, who could ask for anything more?! I don’t have any idea what the balls do, in all honesty but I’m guessing they are there to symbolise the germs that are being killed when you rub it on or perhaps the germ killing bullets soaking into your skin to kill all the germy bacterial nasties. Either way you don’t get left with weird blue balls on your hands after you use it, not like a day at the beach after which you find bountiful pockets of sand in your ears and ass crack for literally weeks afterwards.This bottle was included in a gift pack/Santa stocking from my Mum. She knows my needs well 🙂 7/10 infectigurad Infectiguard kids ‘Angry Birds’ from Life Pharmacy $6.00 Unexpectedly this one smells really fucking good too. It came with a carabiner so you could attach it directly onto your Batman Belt or perhaps more likely your Dad Belt, right beside that weird leather pocket for your mobile phone and pen knife coz I’m all about hanging my health care products from my clothing, erryday. I think they have missed the boat on the Angry Birds thing but it still kills the germs (hopefully) 6.5/10 Dermasoft Dermasoft (foaming) from Life Pharmacy $7.90 (on special from $11.50) This one theoretically has no scent but still it smells. It smells like a commercially cleaned bathroom, a bit like chemicals and cleaners but only lightly. The fact that it is foam is fun. Who doesn’t get excited about foam? Foam parties? Yeah! That’s when you don’t know which gross guys dick your touching right? Awesome! But honestly, the foam bit is the best part about this one. Yes it is alcohol free and non irritating but it is also sticky and doesn’t make your hands feel clean and pretty smelling. If you have some allergy to alcohol or eczema then this would be a good option but they have plenty of improvement room in this product range, believe me. 5/10 bodyshop The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit $8.75 The Body Shop selection of sanitizers includes three scents, pink grapefruit, satsuma, mango & strawberry. It is very scented and the smell hangs around so you’d better be sure you like it. I love the smell of pink grapefruit but this is a little too lingery and a tad over-powering for me. Not to be too much of a fascist but the label design is really unpleasing to look at and makes my eyes shurt. The product leaves your hands a little sticky but dries after a short time. It isn’t any better than the products that you can buy for half the price which is a let down because back in the day The Body Shop was definitely ‘the shit’. Perhaps now it’s just ‘a bit shit’. 6/10 Aesop Aesop Resurrection from World Beauty $13 This was a suggestion from my lovely work mate Zoe. It took me some time to get hold of as some places you would expect to update their website haven’t bothered (Bloc). But oh how worth the struggle is turned out to be.  As much as a hand sanitizer can be worth the $13 I paid for it (including the rather odd  conversation I had in Ponsonby with the store clerk about her farting needs) this one fulfils my sanitizing requirements. I like the design and bottle which has a nice old-timey, apothecary look. The smell – mandarin rind, rosemary leaf & cedar atlas – is fresh and clean and not at all cheap-vodka-y. If you have the time to find and the money to purchase, this is my product suggestion. It rubs in fast and the smell doesn’t over power or make you feel a bit sick if you use it in a closed car. 9/10 Loccitaine L’Occitane Peone $16 The scents available in L’Occitane’s range were peone, lavender and verde (green smell?) This was the most expensive and by comparison not worth the money.The smells, thought very nice is over powering. It’s like heady flowers preserved in alcohol. Perhaps created for an art assignment by someone a bit like I was at art school. The work filled out with some artwank about how it talked to the essence of life and death; old people and the continuation of social structures available to us through the legacy of smell. The hand feel is sticky to begin with but dries soon enough. The second time using it I liked it more I have to admit. 7/10

Over all I will be keeping the Aesop in my hand bag as a lorded addition to my anxiety management, bug-out bag. I can’t comment of the effectiveness of each product when it comes to actually killing the germs. Perhaps in the future I will invest in one of those blue lights you see on CSI and try to find the most germ-killing hand sanitizer. I fear that if I ever had access to one of those ultra-violet lights, I would be driven insane by finding ‘human excretions’ on everything and everyone I loved or held dear.

Poo pouri review: focusing your toilet related social anxiety

I’m hoping this will be the first in a series of products reviews identifying items that help me get through an anxious day. I’m not looking for a spray or a hand soap that will take away all my suffering when I’m having an agoraphobic or panic reaction (if only that were a thing!) but as a person who focuses on and over analyses every tiny little thing, occasionally I can aim it to my advantage. It’s a form of distraction, a technique most anxiety sufferers will be aware of, taught by cognitive behaviour therapists the world over. By concentrating my obsessive focus on something nice, a pleasant smell which brings back nice memories, a product which lessens the possible guilt or self-castigation of a body which won’t behave, I am more able to regain control and manage the situation until I can get to somewhere safe. TLDR? In short; stuff that makes me feel more brave.

First up –

Poo Pouri “Bass Ackwards”: the toilet wonder spray

If you are unaware of the poo-revolution going on in the world then this is your chance to jump on the band wagon. No longer will we be shackled to the universally held belief that everyone’s shit stinks, mine now smells like a fresh mountain side on a cool spring morning.

That may be a little bit of an exaggeration, the fact of the matter is my shit probably does still smell but I no longer have to experience it or leave a reminder for those who follow thanks to this ingenious little pre-depository spray. A few spritzs of this bad boy over your toilet water before you let rip and no one need know you have befouled the work toilet or the only bathroom in a new acquaintances house which just happens to open out on to the living room meaning anyone in there knows exactly how long you’ve been in there and can smell what ever it is you’ve been cooking. *Shudder*.

IMG_20150327_110636

I discovered this little product via a work friend who showed me their hilarious video adverts. We laughed at the poo-puns and debated whether it was a real product or a joke video. Turns out is is a real product and it does in fact do ‘what it says on the packet’.

IMG_20150327_110915

I ordered two bottles, part in jest and part not, as Christmas gifts for my boyfriend with whom I share a toilet and my Mother. In those few fluid ounces we have all become converts.

The Bass Ackwards scent I chose for our house is fresh and clean smelling, like a men’s cologne you might catch a wiff of on the street and think “Mmmm clean man smell”. Apart from the obvious fact that spraying this little bottle of wonderment removes 80-85% of the worst bowel related off gassing, the scent does not over-power or linger too long like most toilet sprays. You don’t leave the loo choking on the over powering scent of chemical flowers which honestly is more of a give away that you’ve dropped something nasty than the original poo smell. Poo Pouri doesn’t just mask the bad smells it locks them away in the toilet water to be whisked down the pipe by the wonder of modern day plumbing.

This little bottle makes me a very happy anxious lady, not because I consider myself a more stinky defecator than most but because it reduces the social anxiety about needing the bathroom away from home to a very manageable level. If I have this little beauty with me at work or at someone’s house and I happen to be caught short, I need not worry that I will be the social pariah who stunk out the only toilet at the party. I have every intention of buying and reviewing more Poo Pouri; new scents and perhaps a couple of the little travel vials to keep with me at all times.

See the Poo Pouri website to select from the dazzling array of scents on offer.