Hand sanitizer has become the new ‘must have’ item for many people. Whether it’s a small pocket-size bottle in your bag or a 1 gallon hand sanitizer bulk buy for an office building, the fact remains the same – everyone is using a lot more hand sanitizer than ever before.
How Does Hand Sanitizer Work?
The main active ingredient in a hand sanitizer is usually alcohol, being either ethyl alcohol (also known as ethanol) or isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol). Some hand sanitizers are also made using benzalkonium chloride.¹
Alcohols can kill disease-causing microorganisms, also known as pathogens, when they come in contact with them. The higher the amount of alcohol there is in a sanitizer, the more effective it becomes at killing these disease-spreading agents. Therefore, a sanitizer needs to be between 60%–95% alcohol for it to be effective enough to kill a wider variety of bacteria and viruses, helping to stop the spread of germs.²
A very important benefit of using hand sanitizer is that bacteria doesn’t develop a resistance to alcohol so by using a hand sanitizer, you’re not taking the risk of it becoming less effective over time.¹
Drawbacks of Using Hand Sanitizer
As you might have guesses, while hand sanitizer is a convenient way to disinfect your hands when soap and water aren’t an option, the downside is that it can cause some unpleasant side effects for your skin over time. These side effects could include:
- Dry, flaky skin
- Irritation and itching
- Inflammation and redness
- Dry and cracked skin and cuticles
- Eczema flare-up
- Contact dermatitis
How to Combat the Side Effects of Hand Sanitizer
While hand sanitizer is effective at killing germs, it strips our skin from its natural oils. This means that we need to take extra care of our skin and make sure that we keep it not only clean but moisturized.
What you want is a moisturizer that can withstand the constant applying of hand gels. The perfect defense would be a shielding lotion like Gloves in a Bottle to help your skin retain its natural moisture and protect your skin from irritants. Even if you wash your hands with soap and water, Gloves in a Bottle will not wash off and will still fight the side effects of using hand sanitizer.
Whatever the reason for buying hand sanitizer, be it a travel size bottle or a 1 gallon hand sanitizer tub, make sure you’re ready with a good moisturizer so that you can fight the germs and dry skin at the same time!