How to Choose the Best Hand Sanitizer?
Table of Contents
Top Best Hand Sanitizers Based on Reviews and Price
Why You Need a Good Hand Sanitizer?
The first and foremost advice or recommendation for keeping health is to wash their hands regularly. But, we cannot expect to get water at all times. Thanks to the innovative hand sanitizer. As the name implies, it will help us sanitize our hands. This is important before we take our hands near our eyes, ears, nose, and mouth after touching any surface that has the potential risk of health.
What is Hand Sanitizer?
Hand sanitizer otherwise referred to as hand rub, hand antiseptic, and hand rub is an agent applied to the hands to get rid of common disease-causing pathogens. The sanitizers generally come in the form of liquid, gel or foam. When you cannot get soap and water for washing hands, you can get effective prevention against microorganisms with the help of a hand sanitizer that you can easily carry in your handbag.
Even though it is available with different levels of efficiencies, hand sanitizer is used in many settings like hospitals, day-care centers, health care clinics, schools, and many other places. Even, many individuals these days have started using hand sanitizers.
Top 8 Factors to Consider When Buying a Hand Sanitizer
When you plan to shop for a hand sanitizer to safeguard yourself from disease and other infections, you can consider the following things before you shop for this product:
1. Check Whether the Product Has Triclosan?
Do you know that Triclosan is a synthetic pesticide? It is generally added to personal care products, soaps, and detergents. Even, it is added to toothpaste and deodorants due to its antibacterial properties. But, the thing to remember here is that this pesticide cannot kill the viruses that lead to flu and cold. In fact, in 2016, the FDA in the United States banned the use of Triclosan in antibacterial soaps. However, it is permitted to be used in other soaps, personal care, and beauty care products.
We recommend you to avoid hand sanitizers with this content. The reason is that it is claimed to create liver damage, hormone disruption and even it may contribute to the development of super-germs. So, keep away not just from this ingredient, but also hand sanitizer with triclocarban as an ingredient.
2. Natural or Artificial Hand Sanitizer?
When talking about antimicrobial effects, harsher alternatives like bitter orange, lavender, and thyme are known to have them. However, there are no studies that establish the link between removing dirt and natural ingredients. Of course, the FDA tracks the level of antibacterial agents used in different products. However, there is no regulation concerning this. So, to be on the safer side, it would be beneficial to choose natural hand sanitizer as against its artificial counterpart.
The thing to remember here is that many hand sanitizers these days are claimed to contain all-natural ingredients. However, the products that are considered entirely natural might still contain some harmful components and they also might not be better than some of the most affordable alternatives.
Moreover, some brands use the term “Organics” even though not all their products are possibly certified as organic. So, look at the product label, which will help you gain some knowledge on the number of organic ingredients actually present in the product before you shop. Also, good brands do not fail to specify the list of organic components used in their hand sanitizer.
3. Understand the Types of Hand Sanitizers
On the basis of the active ingredients used, we can classify hand sanitizers into a couple of categories. One is alcohol-based on the other is alcohol-free.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers typically contain about 60-95% alcohol in the form of n-propanol, isopropanol or ethanol. At these levels, alcohol quickly modifies the nature of proteins, thereby effectively defusing some kinds of microorganisms.
Alcohol-free hand sanitizers is generally based on disinfectants like benzalkonium chloride or triclosan. The activities of antimicrobial agents and disinfectants are both persistent and immediate.
Even, you will come across hand sanitizers with emollients like glycerine that will help with soothing the skin. Some will also contain fragrance and thickening agents.
4. Understand the Safety Concerns
Agencies like the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization endorse the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers as against the ones that are free from alcohol. This is due to the safety concerns raised about the chemicals used in alcohol-free sanitizers. Studies show that some antimicrobial compounds like Triclosan, for instance, may disturb the operation of the endocrine system in humans.
Another concern is raised by the environmental contamination created by Triclosan. Even, antimicrobials and disinfectants might contribute to the growth of resistance to microbial actions. Due to the concerns around Triclosan, the European Union in the year 2014 started to restrict the use of this substance in consumer products in the European Union.
As against non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers, concerns over the use of alcohol-based sanitizers were raised due to the chance of fire breakout if not properly handled. Another concern raised is the ingestion of the product, particularly by young kids and even intentional consumption by people seeking to abuse alcohol.
However, this concern can be addressed with proper storage and careful handling. So, you can understand the fire and ingestion safety concern of alcohol-based sanitizers can be handled with care as it is in your control. But, the safety of non-alcohol based sanitizers is out of your control. So, decide accordingly considering your safety.
5. Carefully Go Through the Label of the Hand Sanitizer
When you carefully read the label of the hand sanitizer, you can gather much information about the product. In turn, you can arrive at an informed decision in shopping for the right product. But, you cannot expect that every product will provide a complete list of ingredients used.
So, two things you will have to ensure when you buy a hand sanitizer are that it does not contain Triclosan and there should be information about the source of perfume used in making the sanitizer.
You can get to see the list of known carcinogenic elements from the website of the FDA. This list will help you understand the list of ingredients that should be avoided when you shop for a hand sanitizer.
6. Know About the Effectiveness of the Sanitizer
The effectiveness of a hand sanitizer relies on many factors including the way in which the product is used. Examples include frequency of use, duration of exposure, the quantity used, etc. In general, when you take the case of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, if they are rubbed completely over your fingers and hands for at least 30 seconds followed by complete air-drying will help with effectively getting rid of fungi, bacteria, and viruses like influence virus.
Even, you can expect similar effects in some non-alcoholic hand sanitizers. Examples include BAC, Allantoin and surfactant. However, most of them will be ineffective against non-enveloped viruses, bacterial spores, and encysted parasites. They cannot completely clear or sanitize your skin when your hands are soiled noticeably before the application of the sanitizer. So, before applying it is better to completely wash your hands. Even if you cannot get water, you can just wipe your hands with a tissue before applying the hand sanitizer.
Even though there is a difference in effectiveness, hand sanitizers can help with the control of infectious disease transmission, particularly in areas, where compliance with handwashing is not rightly followed. For instance, it will be an effective solution among kids in elementary schools. Even, in workplaces, the use of hand sanitizers has considerably reduced absenteeism related to infectious illness. Even in hospitals, they have helped with achieving an overall improvement in hygiene. So, you can confidently buy them.
7. Remember That Skin is Sensitive
One important factor you will have to remember when you shop for a hand sanitizer is that your skin is sensitive. Of course, you need not have to feel concerned about this, if you are non-sensitive to hand sanitizer and similar products. So, when you research and find that a particular product suits you, you should also check the skin sensitivity before you buy any hand sanitizer.
8. Whether the Product Label Answers to Your Questions
Once you have decided that you are going to shop for a specific product, you should check whether the product contains enough alcohol if you go for the alcohol-based product. Otherwise, if it is a non-alcohol based, it should have the ingredient that can effectively fight infections. The product should also specify how often to apply.
Hand sanitizer is an excellent innovation as the safeguard of our health, it can provide excellent protection against harmful viruses and bacteria. Consider the factors listed above and end up with the best sanitizer.