It’s no secret that we women carry our lives in our handbags. Riffle through any woman’s handbag, and the contents in there will tell you a short, succinct story of who she really is.

In this article, we’re very interested to know what’s in yours – but not because we’re inquisitive about the kind of lipstick you buy or the perfume you wear. We just want to make sure you’re kitted out with all the tiny lifesavers that can keep you healthy through the cold, winter months.

So here goes:

# 1: Hand Sanitizers

It’s flu season folks, and germs are festering everywhere. Whatever you touch, like a door handle or an innocent-looking office file, could be contaminated with sick-making germs, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer could stand between you and being laid up for the next 7-10 days with high temperatures, cough and cold.

Just, remember to use it!

# 2: Lip Balm

Lip balms or chapstick, as millions of women will tell you, is more than just a hydrating, soothing, emollient-rich beauty picker-upper. It’s a lifesaver, a mood enhancer, and a best friend they couldn’t imagine stepping out of the house without. 

This co-dependency has reached such gigantic proportions that a debate rages on about lip balm’s so-called “addictive” properties. Experts, however, have discounted this theory, citing an `emotional’ factor that has many women forming an attachment to the tube.

Even if you don’t use them regularly, lip balms can literally save your day during winter months if you suddenly find your lips are preparing to dry out and flake (and you know that deeply uncomfortable feeling!).

# 3: Lotion Facial Tissues

If you have a runny nose this winter, stop using whatever tissue is close at hand. Ordinary tissues create painful friction with the skin after repeated use, and before you know it, your nose is red and scratched, making further wiping a painful process. 

Switch to soft, facial tissues with lotion that lock in the moisture and save your nose from damage. Brands like Puffs and Kleenex (the ones with lotion and aloe) first come to mind…

# 4: Zinc Lozenges

Zinc is a mineral that keeps the immune system strong, during winter months. In fact, some studies have found that zinc lozenges may reduce the duration of cold, perhaps by as much as 50%, and may reduce the number of upper respiratory infections, particularly in children. 

# 5: Echinacea Capsules

Echinacea, a health-promoting herb which was used by Native American tribes, stimulates the immune system and gives you the power you need to fight flus and colds. Research shows it increases the number of white blood cells in the body, which fight infections. 

# 6: Nose Masks

No, they don’t look cool. But if you’re in a crowded space, like a bus, train or airplane cabin, this fabric barrier can give you some protection from people coughing and sneezing into the air you’re directly breathing. And they’re so small, you can stuff them into a handbag pocket and forget about them – until you actually need one.

# 7: A Bottle Of Water

Keep a small bottle of water in your handbag at all times. We cannot stress enough on the importance of staying hydrated to fight germs and infections in winter.

Good luck!