Healthy Living: Choosing the Best Hand Sanitizer

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Since the beginning of the global pandemic, there is one product that has literally become “man’s best friend”… hand sanitizer.

Everyone knows that washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective way to fight germs and harmful bacteria on our hands, but if you can’t get to soap and water, hand sanitizer is a good stand in. But with so many out on the market nowadays, it is hard to decipher which hand sanitizer is best.

Experts suggest the following when choosing the best hand sanitizer that cleans and moisturizes:

Check the alcohol type and concentration. Experts say that you should always look for ethyl alcohol which is more effective than isopropyl alcohol killing microorganisms. Sanitizers with an alcohol concentration of 60 to 95 percent are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower concentration, but very high concentrations are more drying to your skin.

The CDC says that all you really need is 60 percent ethyl alcohol. Also, you want to label read and avoid potentially hidden methanol content in some sanitizers.

If you have sensitive skin, you might want to choose an alcohol-free sanitizer. Benzalkonium chloride is one option. It doesn’t kill as many infectious microorganisms as alcohol-based sanitizers, but it is known to deactivate COVID-19.

When choosing a sanitizer that also moisturizes, then you need to look for these ingredients - squalene, glycerin, and coconut oil - all of which help attract water and maintain moisture.

Lastly, when choosing the best sanitizer, especially if you have dry skin, you should avoid fragrances in your sanitizer. Fragrances can be irritants and can also exacerbate other skin conditions, like eczema.