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Staying healthy during cold and flu season used to mean getting your flu shot, keeping a few cough drops on hand and hoping the guy sneezing on the other side of your office stayed on the other side of the office. As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, staying healthy, especially during the time of year typically marked by a breakout of the flu and common cold, is more critical than ever.
“Given the pandemic, this cold and flu season, it is more important than ever for us to be diligent about our health,” Dr. Joel Warsh, Beekeeper’s Naturals’ Scientific Advisory Board Member told SPY. “We must support our immune system as much as possible so we are ready to fight off any pathogen that comes our way. The most important tip to supporting your immune system is to focus on the SEEDS or foundations of health. Decrease your Stress levels, focus on your Environment and remove as many toxins as possible, get outside and Exercise, eat a healthy Diet and get plenty of Sleep.”
In addition to the areas outlined by Dr. Warsh, keeping up with doctor’s visits and vaccinations are also important ways to staying healthy during cold and flu season. The CDC recommends avoiding close contact with people outside your home, staying home when sick, and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Plus, wash, wash, wash your hands, then wash them again.
As the pandemic set in, the need for cleaning supplies, face masks and hand sanitizers hit an all-time high and the demand has continued into cold and flu season. Many companies pivoted their business to helping create PPE, while others were born as a way to produce products that help keep customers healthy and safe from Covid and the common cold and flu. Miles Pepper created Sanikind, a refillable hand sanitizer dispenser made from ocean plastic. “I saw the need that people had with access to hand sanitizer, and also saw the large amounts of Covid-related plastic, so I wanted to bring a little fun and convenience to the habits we’ve formed during COVID-19,” Pepper told us.
Whether you’re wiping your hands or wiping down your workstation, keep germs at bay and keep yourself healthy with these products during cold and flu season.
1. Sanikind Refillable Hand Sanitizer
BEST FOR STAYING HEALTHY ON THE GO
At this point in the pandemic, we are all experts on proper handwashing techniques and know that handwashing is always preferred over hand sanitizer, but it’s also not always possible. Hand sanitizer sales have skyrocketed since the onset of Covid-19, and with it, an increase in plastic waste. That’s why we like using Sanikind Refillable Hand Sanitizer, a small hand sanitizer spray bottle that is made from recycled plastic and sold with unscented, 80% alcohol antiseptic. Each small bottle, which can be refilled countless times, comes with a carabiner attachment that makes it easy for clipping on to your clothing or key ring. SPY received a sample of the Sanikind minis and refill and like that the spray function makes it easy to spritz yourself and those around you because sharing is caring in 2021 but only when it comes to hand sanitizer. Nothing else.
2. Beekeeper’s Naturals Spray 95% Bee Propolis Extract
BEST THROAT COAT
There are plenty of multivitamins and supplements on the market that boast immune-strengthening properties and some of them are great options (check out our articles on elderberry supplements and zinc supplements for more info). One that we have found that pulls double duty of strengthening our immunity and helping to coat our throats during the winter season is the Beekeeper’s Naturals Spray 95% Bee Propolis Extract. Packed with antioxidants and made from a combination of high-grade bee propolis extract, non-GMO vegetable glycerin, and purified water, the naturally derived spray has a honey flavor and helps to boost users immunity and treat sore and scratchy throats that are suffering from changes in the weather, poor air quality or the common cold. SPY received a sample of the spray this winter and so far have enjoyed positive results (ie. no cold or flu yet — prayer hands emoji). “Keeping your immune system in check should be high on everyone’s priority list this winter,” Carly Stein, CEO and Founder of Beekeeper’s Naturals told us. “Our clean and natural product lineup provides immune-boosting confidence with our all-star ingredient and nature’s defender: Propolis. Simply spritz 3-4 sprays each day for immune support this cold/flu season.”
3. GENIANI Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifiers
BEST FOR DRY CLIMATES
When it comes to keeping your nasal passages clear throughout cold and flu season, one way to breathe easily is with cool-mist humidifiers. Safe for rooms with small children and a great way to add humidity to homes with dry air, cool mist humidifiers like the GENIANI Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifiers help to add moisture to the air and break up congestion in the nasal passage. Humidifiers are only helpful when cleaned regularly (every three days), which is why we like the Geniani. SPY received a sample of the top fill humidifier and in addition to being impressed with its large tank capacity and easy-fill design, we also liked that it was simple to take apart and clean.
4. Xlear Nasal Spray for Sinus Relief
BEST FOR CLEARING CONGESTED NOSES
While we’re on the topic of nasal passages, let’s talk sprays. Keeping our noses clean (literally) can help stop the spread of germs since the nose is one of the main gateways for germs to enter our bodies. The nose is connected to the ears, eyes, sinuses and lungs, so bacteria that enter the nose can quickly spread throughout the body, hence the newfound worldwide adoption of masks. Xlear is a nasal irrigant that moisturizes and cleanses the nasal passage, helping to remove bacteria before it spreads. Safe for daily use, Xlear can reduce nasal inflammation and open airways, making it easier to breathe. SPY received a sample of the spray and we were impressed by how easy it was to administer the pump spray and how long a single bottle lasted (up to 240 sprays).
5. No Touch Door Opener With Stylus Tip
Most of us are much more aware of how many shared surfaces we touch when out in the world thanks to Covid-19. Keeping your exposure to high-touch areas limited, especially during cold and flu season, is important, but it can be difficult. One of the easiest ways is with a No Touch Door Opener With Stylus Tip, which can be used to open doors, enter numbers on keypads at gas stations and ATMs, and even sign your name on touchscreen surfaces at stores.
6. J.R. Watkins Lemon Foaming Hand Soap
BEST HAND SOAP
Handwashing is really having a moment right now, amirite? Like, we were all doing it before, but now we are like, REALLY doing it. There’s a worldwide pandemic and one of the best ways to stay safe is to wash your hands. If this was a sci-fi movie it would seem like the writers ran out of ideas. Handwashing helps to fight antibiotic resistance, which essentially means we need to kill the germs on our hands before they have time to grow and get stronger, making us really sick. According to the CDC, there are no added benefits to using antibacterial soap over regular soap, which is why we like using soap that leaves our hands clean and moisturized (cold weather + hand sanitizer + constant washing = our skin hates us). SPY received a sample of the J.R. Watkins Lemon Foaming Hand Soap and liked that the plant-based, paraben-free soap left our hands smelling great and feeling hydrated.
7. Kettle & Fire Bone Broth
BEST FOR A HEALTHY DIET
Staying healthy during cold and flu season means staying healthy — literally. Your body has a much better chance of fighting off potential viral attacks if you’re sleeping well, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. Bone broth has become the go-to food during cold and flu season thanks to its collagen-packed makeup, which promotes digestion, encourages good sleep and supports joint mobility. We like Kettle & Fire’s bone broth because it’s packed with vegetables and tastes great on its own, as a base for soups or as an ingredient in larger dishes.
8. Rafi Nova Sensory Friendly Mask
We know that face masks are one of the best ways to stop the spread of Covid-19 and as an added bonus, they’re also a great way to stop the spread of common colds and the flu. Pandemic silver lining? We may not go that far, but masks work and they’re here to stay. Finding a mask that is comfortable and protective can be difficult and as millions of people have learned over the past year, masks are not a one-size (comfortably) fits all product. We’ve made plenty of lists of the best masks to wear whether you’re working out, need to double up, or want the highest level of protection with an N95. New masks are continually being added to the market, including the Rafi Nova Sensory Friendly Mask. The company offers a wide variety of masks, including a clear style, and their latest model takes into account people on the autism spectrum or anyone with sensory sensitivities. We received a sample of one of the masks and liked the boning, which allows the mask to sit comfortably off the mouth and nose. It also has an adjustable strap that goes around the head and doesn’t pull on our ears.
9. Clorox Disinfecting Bleach Free Cleaning Wipes
BEST FOR CLEANING ON THE GO
Many businesses and public spaces have stepped up their cleaning procedures, but life in the time of Covid means having a set of your own disinfecting wipes on hand when out in public. Whether you’re packing your kids’ backpacks with wipes for their school desk, giving your chair at the doctor’s office an extra wipe down, or disinfecting your phone after using it in public, disinfecting wipes are the hottest accessory to have in 2021, especially during cold and flu season.
10. Elepho Forehead Thermometer
One of the best ways to stay healthy this cold and flu season is to track your temperature. Tracking your temperature means you’ll know when there’s even a small spike, which means it’s time to stay home, push the liquids and get some rest before the cold or flu takes hold of you or you become a one-person super spreader. We received a sample of the Elepho Forehead Thermometer and liked that it provides a fast reading in Celsius or Fahrenheit and comes with an ear attachment that can be used for a more accurate reading on babies, toddlers, kids and adults.