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Ellie Kemper Shares Why She Actually Looks Forward to Washing Her Hands ‘3 Million Times a Day’


Being cooped up in our homes these days can definitely make us feel like we’re going a bit cuckoo. Luckily for actress Ellie Kemper, she’s found the simple way to take little moments to recharge while also giving her body a health boost.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star spoke with us about her partnership with Tom’s of Maine, known for their natural personal care products, and their line of prebiotic items, including hand soap, toothpaste, body wash, and deodorant. “A lot of people know about probiotics and the microbiome, but these products incorporate prebiotics, which actually help promote the growth of good bacteria,” Kemper says.

If the phrase “good bacteria” sounds like an oxymoron to you, think again. The company’s website explains how our bodies have both the good and bad bacteria naturally occurring in our gut, mouth, and skin. Their prebiotic products aim to help tip that balance more toward the good side, “starving and crowding out the bad bacteria that causes bad breath and body odor.”

Along with the microbiome benefits, Kemper also enjoys the calming aroma. “I have been so grateful to have these products — which are everywhere in my house right now — especially the hand soap,” she tells us. “My favorite is the soft rose scent ($6.99, CVS). It smells so good and it actually makes me look forward to washing my hands three million times a day!”

Kemper adds, “Feeling fresh, even if it’s as small a thing as washing your hands, or using some body lotion, whatever it is, can really, really, recharge you for that moment.” Those little pauses to recharge are a big part of what’s helping the mom of two young boys stay sane in quarantine. “There’s so many moments in a day where I think I’m going to lose my mind,” she says with a laugh. “And that is why it feels so crucial right now to make sure that we’re all carving out time for ourselves to recharge, even if it’s just a couple minutes.”

She also points out that “taking care of yourself is basically the only way you can be functional to take care of the rest of your family.” It might sounds trite, but we couldn’t agree more, especially when it can be achieved with something as easy as washing your hands with your favorite scented soap.

And considering how much Kemper has made us all laugh with her roles as Kimmy Schmidt and Erin Hannon on The Office, we couldn’t let her off the line without posing one silly question. When asked if she had to choose between a quarantining in a hypothetical house with a group consisting of Titus Andromedon (Kimmy), Jacqueline White (Kimmy), and Michael Scott (Office), OR a house with Kelly Kapoor (Office), Ryan Howard (Office), and Xanthippe Voorhees (Kimmy), Kemper chose the latter.

“Xanthippe is the coolest character on television, so I would feel so cool being in her house. And then Kelly would make me laugh. And Ryan, I mean, he can be a bit much but I do feel like that house would be considered the cool house.” You can find all episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (plus a super fun interactive special) and The Office on Netflix to see if you agree!

In the meantime, we’ll be following her lead and taking moments to recharge, even if it’s just the 20 seconds we spend washing our hands over and over again throughout the day.

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