Asian woman wearing a mask and carrying a black knapsack

We spend most of our life indoors these days, but we can't help it if, occasionally, we have to brave the outdoors. There's the occasional office drop-off, medical check-ups, maybe an emergency supply run that can’t be accommodated online. Stepping into a store, however, has become a risky endeavor. You wouldn’t want to catch anything for buying essentials. This is why personal hygiene has become so much more important.

So, what’s inside your bag? A favorite question for celebrities and fashionistas, this query has taken on a new meaning these days. After all, the contents of your purse could be life-saving. Ready to do a bag check? Here are some necessities you need to bring when you're going to leave your home.

You Can Never Have Enough Masks

Imagine taking off your mask for a split second to take a sip of water or to fix your face shield. Then, a gust of wind blows it away from your hand. Masks are required in public places these days, so what do you do?

Having an emergency mask or two is practical. Experts, after all, advise that you should replace your mask as soon as it gets damp. If you sweat or your complexion leans towards the oily side, then you need to change into a fresh mask to ensure its effectiveness (and to ward off maskne).

If you’re wearing a reusable cloth mask, make sure to bring a surgical one. Some establishments, such as hospitals, do not allow fabric masks. Anyway, it doesn't hurt to double up!

Bring a Mask Case

Leaving your mask wherever you want is just as ineffective as not wearing one at all. If you’re about to eat, you shouldn’t just set it down on the table. Who knows how clean that surface is? Keep your mask(s) safe and sanitized in a mask case. These flat, plastic cases come in various colors and designs. Any clean pouch or zip lock bag you have at home will also do. 

Spray It, Do Spray It

Spraying alcohol has become a necessary step before we do anything these days.

Who isn’t walking around with a gallon of alcohol these days? We spray our clothes, our cars, any other discernible surface that might have been touched by someone else. Ethyl alcohol has become our first line of sanitation and cleanliness.

Because you can protect your personal hygiene enough, toss hand sanitizer in your purse as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content is the best alternative when you can't wash your hands with soap and water.

With Lifebuoy, hygiene and sanitation became easier. Apply a generous amount of Lifebuoy Total 10 Hand Sanitizer on your hands and rub vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Make sure to get the spots between your fingers, under your nails, and your wrists. This 62% alcohol hygienic sanitizer also comes with moisturizer and Vitamin E, making it much gentler on the skin than alcohol.

Whip Out Your Wand

Portable germicidal UV wands have become all the rage in the past year. It offers a deeper level of cleanliness in places that alcohol can’t reach. According to a 2017 study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, these wands are effective under optimal conditions—that is, it has to be directed at the surface at a distance of 12.7 centimeters.

Based on an article published by the Harvard School of Public Health, GUV light has been used to disinfect public places since the 1930s. Its popularity waned, however, as vaccine and drug technology improved. Who knew obsessive personal hygiene and a pandemic would bring it back to fashion?

Load Up on Wipes

Wipes come in various types, so make sure you pack the right one.

Pandemic or not, wipes are always a good thing to have. You never know when you need to mop up a spill on your shirt or cleanse your bag.

For these purposes, at the very least look for wipes that are antibacterial. According to the CDC, however, you should look for packaging that is labeled “disinfectant” as much as possible. These would be the best against germs and viruses.

If you are targeting more sensitive areas, such as your skin, however, skip these more intense products since they may cause dryness or irritation. Gentler wipes such as POND’s Antibacterial Cleansing Wipes, which has AHA and glycerin to exfoliate skin cells while eliminating 99% of germs, may work better if you’re wiping your face.

It’s never been cool to overlook personal hygiene, but it’s become all the more important these days. Your bag carries your tools against germs and disease, so make sure you’re fully prepped to defend yourself.