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Is Hand Sanitizer Bad for Your Skin?

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Germophobia is a common phenomenon-and I am the queen of the germophobes. (P.S. When it comes to germs, chance are you’re cleaning all wrong.) You can’t go into a department store, gym, restaurant, office, or any other public space without being greeted and ushered out with a wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispenser. I use it compulsively, all to avoid bacteria, viruses, fungus, and other unwelcome microbes. But am I overdoing it? Is my fear of germs actually bad for me? Here are some important facts to know:

Nothing replaces good old hand washing. Before the days of manufactured alcohol-based concoctions, cleansing was the best defense against unwanted germs. Surgeons have scrub rooms, where they meticulously preen their hands before starting a procedure-because a few squirts of hand sanitizer isn’t going to take care of it. So if it’s an option, choose the sink.

Make sure to check the alcohol content. The label may say that it kills germs, but unless the alcohol content is 60 percent or above, it won’t work. You would be surprised how many products (especially those that have a more pleasing fragrance) don’t meet that requirement.

There is such a thing as being too clean. The accessibility of these hand sanitizers lends itself to frequent use. A Northwestern University study found that immunity-in this case of this research, children’s-can be affected by the use of hand sanitizers. The same goes for lots of hand washing with antibacterial soap, which btw, might be might be messing with your hormones. The authors found that more kids were getting preventable diseases after long term use. The researchers surmised that ultra-clean environments could lower immunity so much that it weakens the body’s defense mechanisms. The moral of the story: Some dirt is good for you. (Who knew there was a sneaky downside to washing your hands?)

Don’t use it on cuts. If you get a cut, avoid putting hand sanitizer on it, because… ouch! Also, avoid over-the-counter antibiotic creams, as they are some of the most common causes of allergic reactions in the skin. Compromised skin responds best to gentle cleansers and petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) to promote wound healing. (You can also use petroleum jelly on dry, itchy skin.)

Overuse can compromise the skin barrier. The alcohol base that makes these products effective can be irritating to the skin. Alcohol strips the barrier of essential proteins and lipids, resulting in irritation and dryness. Try to moisturize to avoid this consequence. (See the best moisturizers for dry skin.)

They don’t clean off food residue. You may think that the sanitizer you carry everywhere is the answer to anything visible or invisible that can soil your hands, but it’s not the case. Things like fats and sugar deposits don’t vanish from your hands because you added sanitizer. You need suds and water to wash them away.

All of that being said, hand sanitizer remains one of my best friends. I connect with it multiple times a day, and I never go anywhere without it. It has its faults, but don’t we all?

Source: Web exclusive: October 2009

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), 80 percent of common infections, including the H1N1 flu virus, can be spread through contaminated hands. That’s why the PHAC and the World Health Organization (WHO) are stressing proper hand hygiene as an important first-line defense against the spread of swine flu.

While proper handwashing technique is a vital part of keeping yourself healthy, good old soap and water aren’t always around when you need them (say, when you get an unexpected hug from a runny-nosed preschooler on the playground). That’s where alcohol-based sanitizers come to the rescue. The PHAC recommends hand sanitizers that contain between 60 and 80 percent alcohol as ‘an excellent’ way to clean your hands when you’re not near a sink. Here’s what you should know about them.

1. Hand sanitizers are effective

If your hands aren’t actually grimy, the best way to clean them is to use hand sanitizer, says James Scott, a microbiologist at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.’ cleans your hands much better than soap and water, so it reduces the bacterial burden to a much greater extent than soap and water,’ he says. ‘And your hands tend to stay cleaner longer than if you were to use soap and water.’

Not convinced that a bottle of gel can really get your paws squeaky clean? Scott was also doubtful. ‘For a long time, I was a skeptic about them, but as evidence started to emerge on the effectiveness of these alcohol-based hand sanitizers, I’m sold on them,’ he says. Take the 1991 study cited by the WHO in their guidelines on hand hygiene in health care that found that alcohol-based hand sanitizer was more effective than plain soap and water in preventing the transmission of bacteria from the hands of healthcare workers to patients’ catheters.

2. Hand sanitizers don’t cause super-bacteria

The idea that frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers will make bacteria resistant to treatment is bogus, Scott stresses. ‘The is based on cell-membrane disruption by the alcohol, and that’s not something that bacterium can acquire resistance to. It’s not physically possible,’ he says.

3. Hand sanitizers are easier on your skin than soap and water

‘Most of the modern hand sanitizers have emollients in them that will actually improve skin condition,’ says Scott. While that may seem counterintuitive because effective sanitizers contain so much alcohol, several studies have proven that these formulas are actually better for skin than soap. For instance, a 2004 study compared the effectiveness of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap for nurses who worked in neonatal intensive care units in New York. The study found that while nurses were using the hand sanitizer, their skin condition was much better than when they used the antibacterial soap to clean their hands.

4. There’s a correct way to use hand sanitizers

To use a hand sanitizer effectively, make sure your hands are free of visible grime and dirt before applying the product. Then, apply a palm-full of product and rub vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds, making sure to distribute the sanitizer between your fingers, under your nails and jewelry, on your wrists and on the backs of each hand. When your hands are dry, you’re good to go.

Never rinse your hands with water or wipe them with a towel after using a hand sanitizer’this will counteract the effect of the product.

Try one of these 5 hand sanitizers to keep your hands clean.

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5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Hand Sanitizer Anymore

This was a bit of an interesting article for me to write, because in the past, I was an avid user of hand sanitizer. In fact, you could almost say that I was addicted to it. So much so that I had one of those half-gallon canisters of the stuff sitting on my desk drawers, just in case I happened to need it at any particular moment.

I cut down on my use of hand sanitizer after some friends told me that I might have been going a bit overboard. They didn’t; however, give me any specific reasons. Luckily, after doing some research, I can share with you the exact reasons why overuse of hand sanitizer might not be such a good thing. If you are iffy about using hand sanitizer, or just want to know a little bit more about this mysterious clear-colored panacea, read on.

1. It Adversely Affects Your Skin.

If you are using a traditional alcohol-based hand sanitizer, then it’s likely the skin on your hands is a bit more worn than the rest of your body. This is because alcohol is a skin irritant, which disrupts your natural oil production causing both dry and flaky skin.

Over time, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause the skin on your hands to age more rapidly than it would naturally, as dry skin is prone to developing wrinkles and other blemishes.

If you do need to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, make sure to use some kind of hand lotion soon afterwords.

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2. It Can Lead to the Development of Superbugs.

If your hand sanitizer doesn’t contain alcohol, then it likely contains “triclosan,” which is a powerful antibacterial agent. The problem is overuse of antibiotics like triclosan can lead to the development of superbugs – which are essentially diseases that have developed a resistance to traditional antibiotics

Indeed, one study has shown that prolonged used of germicides like triclosan can lead to outbreaks of tough-to-kill bacteria that are potentially extremely dangerous to society. Just in 2013 alone, the CDC reported that superbugs were responsible for “at least” 23,000 deaths.

Not only that, but another study found that using triclosan might negatively affect your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to more traditional illnesses (like the common cold).

That’s not to say that using a triclosan-based hand sanitizer once or twice a day will necessarily lead to the rise of a superbug. Using it excessively; however, might lead to some complications further down the line.

3. It Contains Unknown and Possibly Dangerous Chemicals.

The main ingredient in hand sanitizer is usually either alcohol or triclosan — both of which are designed to kill germs. Those aren’t; however, the only things present in your hand sanitizer – far from it actually. This is especially true if your hand sanitizer is scented, as synthetic fragrances normally consist of phthalates, which at their worst, can cause abnormalities in hormone production.

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You also need to look out for parabens, which are essentially preservatives meant to prolong the shelf-life of your trusty bottle of Purell. What makes these dangerous is how they are absorbed into your skin each time you use your hand sanitizer.

Perhaps worst of all is that the companies who make these products are not required to tell us the exact ingredients used in the scents of their hand sanitizers. Thus, they can be made up of several undisclosed chemicals.

To minimize your risk, stick to the stuff that doesn’t have any added fragrance.

4. It Can Increase Your Skin’s Absorption of BPA.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a name you should be fairly familiar with by now. Just recently, there was a massive movement to get the chemical out of our plastic products (a transition that is still going on to this day). For those who don’t know, BPA is dangerous because it can do some pretty nasty things to your endocrine system, which in turn can cause numerous hormone disorders, cancer, and a litany of other bodily issues.

So, how does BPA relate to hand sanitizer? Well, one study out of the University of Missouri found that using hand sanitizer right before touching anything containing a high amount of BPA (like thermal receipt paper) can increase the amount of BPA absorbed through your skin by “up to a hundred-fold.”

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Perhaps even worse, a thin layer of BPA will remain on your skin even after it has been absorbed. Meaning that, if you first use hand sanitizer, get BPA on your hands, and then eat something, you’re essentially consuming a bit of that dangerous chemical with every bite. That isn’t good, which is why the University of Missouri’s researchers strongly suggest not using hand sanitizer right before touching something that contains BPA.

5. It Isn’t Even That Effective.

So, after reading all of this, you might be telling yourself, “well, at least hand sanitizer kills all the germs on my hands right? That at least makes it worth it.” Well, unfortunately, it’s not as clear cut as you’d think.

While certain hand sanitizers (specifically, those that contain at least 60% alcohol) are great at killing off microbial life, they can also remove naturally produced oils and beneficial bacteria present on your skin, which, ironically, reduces your body’s defenses against disease.

Not only that, but studies have also shown that traditional soap and water is more effective at washing away certain kinds of dangerous bacteria. Therefore, unless you have no access to soap and running water, stick to the standard hand-washing method. If you have no other option, then alcohol-based hand sanitizers with no added fragrance are your best bet — just be sure to have some sort of lotion on hand so that you don’t dry your skin out.

Alternatives

So, you’re convinced that you shouldn’t be using hand sanitizer all of the time, but also want to know if there are other ways to cleanse your hands when you don’t have access to soap and a sink.

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Well, there are a few things you can do. One of which is to create a homemade hand sanitizer, which keeps your hands clean without all of the negatives I listed above.

You can also wear thin gloves if you happen to be somewhere with a lot of germs, like an airport or a public bus. Just be sure not to rub your face with your gloves or anything like that.

Lastly, you can try and buy one of the more natural/organic hand sanitizers, though those are rare. What you will want to look at is their ingredient list. Try and find one that doesn’t contain alcohol or triclosan, or any other kind of questionable ingredient. They’ll probably be more expensive, but your health is worth the investment.

What’s your personal verdict on hand sanitizer? Are you going to stop using it for good now? Will you seek alternatives? Or do you remain unconvinced? Whatever your takeaway, I’d like to hear your perspective in the comment section below!

Featured photo credit: Clean hands in the woods/smilla4 via flic.kr

Best Moisturizing Hand Gel Sanitizers Review In 2019 – A Step By Step Guide

Pros:

  • This can viably eliminate microorganisms and infections
  • There are diverse jug renditions accessible relying upon your requirements
  • This does not experiment with the hands

Cons:

  • It actually contains benzalkonium chloride
  • Some discover the cost excessively costly

2. PURELL Naturals Advanced Hand Sanitizer

Buy from amazon.com

The brand that makes this hand sanitizer is a standout amongst the most confided in brands in healing centers and other therapeutic offices. The way this is confided in mark implies that it gives different items that are known to be protected and powerful.

Significant Features

  • Takes out 99.9% of Germs – If you might want to dispose of germs from your hands, this might be the best alternative accessible for you.
  • Utilizations Plant-Based Alcohol – Who says that a wide range of liquor can dry out your hands? This can be adequate for your distinctive needs.
  • Fundamental Oils – Essential oils are required by the body because of the distinctive advantages and favorable circumstances that they can give.

Pros:

  • The jugs are recyclable so they won’t make hurt the earth
  • This does not dry out the hands
  • This functions as promoted

Cons:

  • Some say that they don’t care for its scent
  • It doesn’t list down the entire rundown of fixings that it employments

3. Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer Germicidal Gel

Buy from amazon.com

In the event that you are scanning for a hand sanitizer that is without liquor and would be viable in disposing of germs, you don’t need to look any further. This might be the one that you are hunting down. This is free from parabens too so you are certain that this will function admirably on your delicate skin.

  • Affirmed by Medical Professionals – You might need to utilize items that have been endorsed by therapeutic experts in advance. This implies they trust the item.
  • Made in the USA – This is a superb item that has experienced thorough testing before being discharged in the market.
  • Delicate and Silky – You may not understand quickly that you are really utilizing a sanitizer in light of how this feels on the palm of your hands.

Pros:

  • This is delicate on the skin
  • This additionally goes about as a lotion
  • You can be without germ

Cons:

  • This can be extremely vile
  • It can be awkward to utilize

4. EO Botanical Hand Sanitizer Gel

Buy from amazon.com

Would you like to shield your hands from regular germs that may cause certain issues with your safe framework? This will adequately slaughter these germs and additionally other microbes that may bring about additional issues and issues with your framework.

  • Reviving Lavender Scent – If you need to leave your hands feeling crisp and smooth, this is the best one for you to utilize in light of the rejuvenating lavender fragrance that you can smell staring you in the face in the wake of utilizing the item.
  • Vitamin E and Glycerin – These fixings will guarantee that the hands won’t dry out.
  • Gluten-Free – Allergic to gluten? Maybe you are simply maintaining a strategic distance from things that contain gluten. This can be ideal for your diverse needs.

Pros:

  • This scent incredible
  • It is light
  • The size is ideal for conveying around starting with one place then onto the next

Cons:

  • Some have detailed that it leaves a deposit staring them in the face
  • Some discover the fragrance somewhat overpowering

5. Avagard D 3M Healthcare Sanitizer Hand Gel with Moisturizer

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Would you like to have an exceptionally fundamental hand gel that can saturate your hand viably? You don’t have to look any further in light of the fact that this might be the one that you require. This is astonishing to have and you can utilize it at whatever point you require it.

  • Salve Hand Gel – This would nearly feel like moisturizer on the grounds that it is velvety when you apply it staring you in the face.
  • Utilized as a part of Hospitals and Other Medical Facilities – The way this is utilized as a part of different healing centers guarantees many individuals this is protected to utilize.
  • Utilized by Professionals – Ask experts what they utilize and some of them may answer this is the brand they trust the most.

Pros:

  • It can saturate broke skin
  • The aroma dissipates quickly
  • This does not cause a consuming sensation like other hand sanitizers

Cons:

  • Some have unfavorably susceptible responses after utilizing this item

6. PURELL Gel Instant Hand Sanitizer

Buy from amazon.com

You definitely realize that Purell is a confided in mark so there is no reason not to attempt this item that they offer. This is America’s number 1 hand sanitizer and there are great explanations behind it. It can give the majority of the highlights that individuals look for.

  • Accompanies Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera is known to be a characteristic cream that can help enhance the skin’s general condition.
  • Eliminates Germs Effectively – This is known to murder 99.9% of germs that you may have in your grasp particularly when you contact messy items.
  • TFX Bottle – You can refill this at whatever point you might want to carry this hand gel sanitizer with you. Bring it when you travel and have clean hands each time.

Pros:

  • This has a decent scent
  • This functions admirably in influencing the hand to feel clean
  • This is delicate on the hands

Cons:

  • More costly than other hand sanitizers
  • In the event that you buy the wrong refill, you would not have the capacity to utilize it

7. ArtNaturals Natural Hand Sanitizer Gel

Buy from amazon.com

Would you like to have an arrangement of common hand sanitizer gels in only one buy? This is the item that you are scanning for as you can purchase once and get four items with everything taken into account. The items come in different aromas as well. It will be enjoyable to pick the fragrance that you like best.

  • Slaughters 99% of Bacteria Found in Your Hands – This is the primary motivation behind a hand sanitizer – to dispose of microscopic organisms that may cause issues with your wellbeing.
  • Supplement Rich Formula – Expect that these hand sanitizers won’t dry out your hands.
  • Paraben-Free – Parabens are awful for individuals’ wellbeing and you won’t be presented to them in light of the fact that these hand sanitizers don’t have them.

Pros:

  • This feels like salve
  • The aromas are light and new
  • This does not leave any sticky buildup

Cons:

  • This accompanies propylene glycol
  • It requires a long investment to dry

8. Nano Pure Next Generation Hand Sanitizer & 24-Hour Skin Protectant Spray

Buy from amazon.com

Would you like to have a hand sanitizer that will likewise be powerful in securing your skin for 24 hours? You don’t have to look through any further in light of the fact that this might be the one that you require. This is water-based so expect that it won’t leave an oily inclination staring you in the face.

  • Germ Barrier – It will help ensure your hands against germs upon application and the assurance can keep going for 24 hours.
  • Non-Flammable – Even on the off chance that you would unconsciously open this to different materials, it won’t erupt or cause a blast.
  • Versatile – This is advantageous to bring as it can fit most packs particularly when you have to movement and you don’t know about the neatness of the spots that you will visit.

Pros:

  • This is anything but difficult to apply
  • The sprayer makes it productive to utilize at whatever point and wherever you are
  • This has a charming scent

Cons:

  • This is costly
  • Some are farfetched about the 24-hour insurance

9. Germ-x Original Foaming Alcohol-free Hand Sanitizer with Pump

Buy from amazon.com

Would you like to have a hand sanitizer that is anything but difficult to utilize? This might be one of the hand sanitizers that you will consider however observe this does not contain any liquor so it won’t dry out your skin at whatever point you utilize it.

  • Delicate for Everyday Use – Unlike other hand sanitizers that you can just utilize sparingly, this can be utilized each day and it will leave your hands feeling crisp and smooth.
  • Quick – This can work quick in executing the microorganisms found staring you in the face.
  • Crisp Scent – This will leave your hands feeling new.

Pros:

  • This can be utilized a few times each day with no issues
  • This isn’t solid noticing
  • This does not leave any deposit staring you in the face

Cons:

  • Some don’t care for its fragrance
  • Some say that it may spill when set inside the sack

Conclusion – Wrapping It Up

There are distinctive alternatives that you can look over that will keep your hands clean however for what reason would it be a good idea for you to pick hand gel sanitizers over the various choices? Many individuals may wash their hands occasionally however a few people do it without cleanser particularly in the event that they are in an open bathroom. A great deal of times, cleanser isn’t even accessible. Hand gel sanitizers can help keep the hands clean and sans germ in an advantageous way.

There is a considerable measure of hand gel sanitizers that you can look over. Among the diverse ones accessible, which one do you think will work best for your distinctive needs? The decision will be dependent upon you. Make a point to check the elements of every one. You can do additionally examine about the diverse brands as well on the off chance that you are as yet undecided about which one you will pick. For whatever length of time that you settle on the correct decision, you will have clean hands that will fend off you from infections and microbes. The less presented you are to conceivable ailments, the better.

The Best Hand Sanitizers

Antibacterial protectors that won’t dry out your hands in winter.

Flu season is here in a big way, and the bad news is that this year’s flu shot is only 10% effective against the most common strain. That means we need to be vigilant about keeping our hands free from germs. Hand sanitizers do not appeal to everyone. They often have a noxious smell and they can be very drying to your hands. Here are ones we either use ourselves or have had recommended.

Aēsop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Soap has a popular and appealing scent. It is an alcohol-based non-sticky gel with mandarin rind, rosemary and cedar which give it a lovely woodsy/citrus scent. It is pocket-sized and ensures clean, bacteria-free hands without using water. The oils prevent hands from being stripped of moisture. 1.7 oz. for $10.00.

If you prefer sprays, a good one is The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray in Grapefruit Grove. It is a plant-based sanitizer that claims to kill 99.9% of bacteria and germs. The spray is quick drying and the glycerin and aloe leave hands feeling soft and moisturized. No rinsing required. Each bottle is 2 oz. A two-pack is $5.95.

Another spray is All Good Hand Sanitizer which is made with 100% organic ingredients. It’s so natural it can even be used as a breath freshener. It has peppermint essential oil and 62% alcohol. It claims to kill 99.9% of germs. It can be used without water, which helps keep hands from drying out. The 2 oz. size is perfect for a purse or backpack. $4.99.

Bath & Body Works Pocketbac hand sanitizers come in many scents. They are gels that clean your hands without drying them, and they smell great. They are tiny at 1 oz. each and a 5-pack is $6.00.

Friends swear that Jao Refresher Not Just For Hands sanitizer will not dry out your hands. It blends aloe, glycerin,and panthenol with lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree and chamomile essential oils that do everything from disinfecting hands to shrinking pimples. 2 oz. for $10.00.

EO Lavender Hand Sanitizer Wipes are convenient for travel. They have sugar cane ethanol, a natural disinfectant and a wonderful lavender scent. They claim to be 99.9% effective against germs and bacteria. A box of 24 single packs is $10.84.

For babies and small children who constantly put their hands in their mouths, Babyganics offers an alcohol-free plant-based hand sanitizing wipes in individual packets. They are ‘skin-nourishing and extra gentle’, and soothing to sensitive hands. Each pack has 74 wipes. A pack of two is $26.58.

Babyganics also makes travel-size foam hand sanitizer for babies and small children. 1.6 oz. pump bottles in a pack of 6 is $18.75.

There’s no place like a hospital for germs. Include some of these in the Go Bag for the new mom.

‘Go Bag’ – Packing and Presents For The Hospital

When it comes to hand sanitizer, there are two types of people. Some of us have kept a little bottle in our bag for a decade, while others only associate it with hospitals and doctors. Whichever camp you fall in to, we all want to stay as healthy as possible. To help, we asked the experts to explain the ideal way to use hand sanitizer — and recommend a few of their favorites.

Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, breaks down the basics of how to use hand sanitizer properly. “Hand sanitizers are designed to kill bacteria and viruses that cause infection,” he tells Allure. “In order for hand sanitizers to be effective, you need to use enough to fully cover the entire hands and fingers.”

How much is that exactly, though? “I typically recommend about a quarter-sized dollop,” says Zeichner. “After applying, rub your hands together for about 20 seconds and let them dry fully.” Hand sanitizer can be drying, so after applying, make sure to use moisturizer on your hands to restore hydration and improve the skin’s moisture barrier.

Keep in mind that hand sanitizer is meant to kill germs, not erase visible dirt. “Sanitizers simply don’t work as well when your hands are covered in actual dirt and grime. Soap and water is a better option,” says Boston-based dermatopathologist Gretchen Frieling. Similarly, if you’ve touched harmful chemicals, like pesticides or heavy metals, opt for good ol’ fashioned soap and water.

For an on-the-go cleaning, Frieling recommends a sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol. “The alcohol acts as what’s called a denaturing agent, versus soap, which acts as a detergent. Essentially, alcohol kills or inactivates viruses,” she says.

If you have sensitive skin, or a skin condition like eczema, opt for an alcohol-free version — but keep in mind that “non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers may not reliably kill all microorganisms,” according to Zeichner.

Just in time for flu season, we’ve gathered the seven best hand sanitizers we could find. Ahead, find options from Aesop, Babyganics, Purell, and more. We promise, you’ll find something you want to carry around in your purse.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

10 Amazing Facts about Hand Sanitizer You May Not Be Knowing

Hand Hygiene is one of the most important hygiene practices. And a hand sanitizer plays an important role in hands hygiene. It involves not only washing your hands with hand wash but also sanitize your hands with an appropriate proportion of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Sanitizing your hands involves hand washing your hands with soap and water; after drying, hands apply it over your palm and rub your hands thoroughly. But what if there is no soap and water available like in traveling, camping, at some public transportation services? You need to carry it in your bag while traveling, camping. In addition, it is necessary at hospitals to avoid the spread of many hazardous diseases. It can also be used in kitchens to avoid food poisoning, at workplaces, and at schools and colleges.

Many healthcare centers recommend cleaning hands in a specific way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The guidance for effective hand washing and use of hand sanitizer was developed based on data from a number of studies we have done. Still, there are some questions arises in our mind which are as follows-

1) Washing your hands with soap and water is always best. What if soap and water are not available?

Only washing your hands will not kill invisible germs, bacteria, and viruses. Sanitize them with alcohol-based hand sanitizer after washing hands. They are so much useful when water is not available.

Many healthcare studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers may not work equally well for all classes of germs, bacteria, and viruses. The alcohol-free hand sanitizers merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright whereas alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills germs and bacteria completely. Alcohol-free hand sanitizer causes more skin irritation as compared to alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

2) Do you know the correct steps for use of hand sanitizer?

While using it, take a coin-sized drop of it to the palm of one hand and then rub it all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands become dry.

People should cover all the surfaces of both hands with it, and have been found to provide similar disinfection effectiveness provided here the detailed steps for rubbing it.

How to use hand sanitizer

3) Are hand sanitizers really that much effective?

Many studies have shown that hand sanitizers work well at places like hospitals where hands come into contact with germs but generally are not heavily dirty or greasy. Some studies also have shown that hand sanitizers may work well against certain types of germs on slightly soiled hands.

However, hands may become visibly soiled or dirty at some places such as while playing sports, working in the garden, or go for camping or fishing. It may not work well at such places.

Hence, the better way to use hand sanitizers when hands become visibly dirty first wash your hands with soap and water, let them dry for few seconds and then apply hand sanitizer.

The proper way of sanitizing hands

4) Does washing your hands kill more germs than using a hand sanitizer?

No. Only washing your hands with normal soap won’t kill many invisible germs. Soap just cleans up soiled and greasy hands.

Most people using hand sanitizer or anti-bacterial soap. However, using hand sanitizer over dirty hands cannot be so much effective. Hence, cleaning your hands in a proper way (i.e. washing, let them drying and then applying hand sanitizer over hands) kill more germs.

5) Some essential precautions you have to take while using hand sanitizer. Which are those?

It should be used as directed. Swallowing of alcohol-based hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning.

Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning. Some people think that gargling of alcohol-based hand sanitizer can clear your throat. However, alcohol-based one contains ethyl alcohol and swallowing of ethyl alcohol could be very harmful and poisonous.

It should be kept away from the reach of children. Children may be likely to swallow it that are scented and brightly colored.

6) When, where and how often should you use hand sanitizer?

They are used after washing your hands or can be used without washing your hands. That means sometimes when you are at outdoor activities and water is not available; that time you will need hand sanitizer.

It should be used in kitchens before cooking, before and after eating. It should be used after going to bathrooms; also should be used in hospitals by doctors and nurses; in public transportation services such as railways, buses, etc; in schools and colleges; at outdoor activities such as camping and traveling.

But, if hands have touched harmful chemicals, wash carefully with soap and water and then apply it over them after letting them dry.

7) Does alcohol-based hand sanitizer kill flu virus?

It kills most types of germs, bacteria, viruses. The transmission of some flu-like diseases can be prevented by using hand sanitizers. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer definitely fights against germs and kills 99.9% germs.

Scientists have shown that alcohol-based hand sanitizer does not stop diseases. However, it helps in preventing the transmission of contagious diseases like cold, flu, H1N1 and other viral and bacterial-based diseases.

An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can work up to 6 hours.

8) How does it work?

It works on the phenomenon of friction. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer contains 65% of alcohol which has a very low boiling point. So, as you rub it on your palm, in between your fingers, heat is generated due to friction. The heat evaporates alcohol and other particles, which takes germ particles with them.

It must be used as in directed way- Firstly take a coin-sized drop of hand sanitizer on your palm; spread it all over your inside and outside of your palm; Rub your hands together until they become dry. Hands are becoming dry means alcohol is killing germs.

9) 8 surprising uses of hand sanitizer

There are some other surprising uses of it-

  • A drop of it and a soft cloth will make your phone’s screen shine.
  • It also helps in making your glasses and sunglasses shiner.
  • Applying it on zit or a pimple will make them dry and helps in to remove them.
  • You can use it over permanent marker’s stain on whiteboards, clothing, and walls to erase its stain.
  • You can also clean your mirror and windows with just a pinch of it.
  • Stop itching after mosquito bites.
  • It is useful to remove your fingerprint on stainless still. Moreover, effective on the refrigerator.
  • Sanitize your make up brushes with the help of it and allow them to dry.

10) How could I find out hand sanitizer online?

The best hand sanitizer Clean & Safe is available on Flipkart –

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In a more formal follow-up study, Mr. Reynolds and two colleagues replicated the results, and confirmed that the lack of sufficient alcohol was to blame. If anything, he said, the faulty gel seemed to mobilize the bacteria, spreading them around the hand instead of killing them.

Allison Aiello, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan who has studied the use and relative effectiveness of alcohol-based gels and antibacterial soaps by consumers as well as hospital workers, said she wasn’t surprised by Mr. Reynolds’s results from the low-alcohol sanitizer, but she was concerned to read that such a product was on the market.

“I used to work in a virology lab,” Dr. Aiello said, “and we knew — it has been known for decades — that an alcohol concentration under 60 percent won’t kill the microbes. It’s really frightening to think that there are products out there that contain levels lower than that.”

Sometimes much lower. One recipe Mr. Reynolds and his colleagues discovered on the Internet for a bubble gum-scented sanitizer aimed at children called for half a -cup of aloe vera gel and a quarter cup of 99 percent rubbing alcohol, with a bit of fragrance. That translates to a concentration of roughly 33 percent alcohol, Dr. Aiello said.

Since 2002, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that health care workers routinely use high quality alcohol-based gels instead of soap and water on their hands when moving from patient to patient — as long the worker’s hands aren’t visibly soiled.

Alcohol doesn’t cut through grime well, so dirt, blood, feces or other body fluids or soil must be wiped or washed away first, if the alcohol in the sanitizer is to be effective. In such cases, hand washing with soap and water is advised.

In October 2005, a committee appointed by the Food and Drug Administration met to discuss, among other things, whether consumers should also be encouraged to use the alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Is Hand Sanitizer Actually Bad for You?

Image zoom Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images

This article was originally published on RealSimple.com.

Hand sanitizer is commonplace in schools, hospitals, and purses everywhere. In the early 2000s, travel-sized hand sanitizers were even one of the hottest back-to-school accessories, thanks to Bath and Body Works and its amazing scents. Hand sanitizer has long been seen as a quick fix to help prevent the spreading of germs during cold and flu season. It’s convenient and portable, so it’s no wonder that many of us have gotten in the habit of using it regularly, but is hand sanitizer really doing us any good? Or is there a cost to its convenience?

We did our research to find answers to some of these common questions surrounding the ultra-convenient germ-fighter. Here’s the good news: You don’t have to quit your habit of using hand sanitizer altogether—you just have to know the right way to use it.

Is hand sanitizer bad for you?

There’s some concern surrounding hand sanitizer that it can have a too-much-of-a-good-thing effect, causing antibiotic resistance and creating superbugs. Fortunately, this has largely been disproved. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the ingredients in hand sanitizers, mostly ethyl alcohol, work differently than antibiotics do to attack germs. While overuse of antibiotics has been identified as problematic, the CDC assures us that with the use of hand sanitizers, “there is no chance for the germs to adapt or develop resistance.”

Hand sanitizer vs. soap and water

According to Tiffany Wiksten, the manager of infection prevention and control at Rush University Medical Center, both using hand sanitizer and washing hands with soap and water are “acceptable ways to perform hand hygiene, as long as they’re used correctly.” Knowing when to use soap and water versus hand sanitizer may mostly involve common sense, but it’s important to understand their different functions.

How and when to use soap and water

The most basic way to know when you should use soap and water to clean your hands is when they’re visibly dirty. Hand sanitizer is no substitute for cleaning off grime and dirt. Good hygiene and good manners go hand in hand (no pun intended), and it’s recommended that you wash your hands with soap and water before preparing or eating food to avoid cross contamination—and of course, you should always wash them after using the bathroom. Soap and water is also more effective than hand sanitizer at fighting off certain germs, such as norovirus and C. dif.

The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 15 seconds to ensure all areas of your hands get a thorough clean.

How and when to use hand sanitzer

Hand sanitizer can’t and shouldn’t take the place of soap and water altogether, but its convenience factor keeps the product from going obsolete. As long as you are still regularly using soap and water, hand sanitizer is an effective way to fill in the holes when you don’t have access to a sink. It’s especially helpful for healthcare professionals who need to disinfect their hands frequently, or for your own peace of mind when you’ve been around highly populated areas and surfaces.

Just make sure you are just as thorough when applying hand sanitizer as you should be when using soap and water: The thumbs, fingertips, and between the fingers are commonly missed spots in hand sanitizer application, according to the CDC.

What kind of hand sanitizer should you use?

With so many different scents and accessories, hand sanitizer sometimes becomes more of a novelty item than a product meant for hand hygiene. When buying hand sanitizer, be sure to find an alcohol-based solution that will actually get the job done.

“Alcohol-based hand sanitizers work by denaturing the proteins of germs, which kills them,” Wiksten says. Hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 to 95 percent alcohol are said to be most effective at warding off germs. According to the CDC, hand sanitizers without this amount of alcohol content may either be ineffective on many types of germs or simply work to reduce the growth of germs, rather than kill them.

Hand Sanitizer No One-Hit Disinfectant Wonder

The world’s No. 1 germ killer isn’t a one-hit wonder or a one-trick pony.

Hand sanitizer is also a Swiss Army Knife in a bottle, a versatile cleansing agent that has more uses than Baskin Robbins has flavors. Killing 99 percent of all germs on contact is just the beginning of hand sanitizer’s superpowers.

“You won’t believe how many ways you can put that bottle of hand sanitizer gel to use,” Reader’s Digest’s Lauren Cahn writes.

Let’s count the ways:

  • Polish Silver: Hand Sanitizer cuts right through tarnish. Just squirt a few drops on a soft cloth and rub away the dull.
  • Clean Your Eyeglasses: Sure, you can spend nearly $20 on special name brand lens cleaning fluid, or you can use the helpful hand sanitizer standing just a few feet away on your sink top to remove fingerprints from your eyeglasses.
  • Emergency Deodorant: Run out of Old Spice or Degree? Rubbing hand sanitizer on your armpits removes the bacteria that is giving your underarms a bad reputation.
  • Acne Relief: Blackheads beware: Just a tab of hand sanitizer can deliver immediate relief from that pesky pimple.
  • A Dry Shampoo: No time to wash and blow dry on a Manic Monday? Have no fear, your instant cure for a bad hair day is here. Simply squeeze a bit of sanitizer onto your fingertips, massage lightly into your roots, and voila, you have fresh-washed and good-looking hair. Eat your heart out, Head & Shoulders.
  • Remove Permanent Marker From Clothes: Mr. Clean doesn’t work this fast. Save your clothes from the embarrassing stain of permanent ink by dabbing hand sanitizer on the stain, placing a piece of newspaper between the layers so the ink doesn’t bleed from one layer to the other, and let dry.
  • Take The Hurt Out of Ripping Off A Band-Aid: One of the world’s worst stings is instantly made comfortable thanks to hand sanitizer, which gives removing adhesive’s a mother’s sensitive and caring touch. Instead of ripping off an adhesive bandage, rub some hand sanitizer over the sticky ends to release the adhesive. Wait a minute, and then painlessly remove the strip.
  • Clean Your Keyboard: Your office and home PC keyboard is a germ jungle by nature, and some days even dirtier than a toilet seat. Wiping down your keyboard with a hand sanitizer-coated cloth – ideally microfiber – can have your keyboard looking brand new and, most importantly, typing germ-free.
  • Clean Your Mouse: While we’re de-germing your desk, why not give your mouse a bath? Again, a simple microfiber cloth coated with sanitizer can have your mouse working as clean as Listerine.
  • Clean Your Phone’s Touchscreen: Don’t put away that microfiber cloth yet. Wash your phone’s touchscreen, which naturally is a human fingerprint.

Sure, during this miserable cold and flu season, hand sanitizer is our best ready defense against germs and bacteria. But this jack of all trades cleaner is much more than just a germ terminator.

“If you think hand sanitizer is just for sanitizing your hands, think again,” Bruce and Jeanne Lubin wrote for Quick and Dirty Tips.

Top survival uses for hand sanitizer

One of the most overlooked survival items of all time is hand sanitizer. It’s cheap, abundant, and a common staple in homes and offices. Yet for whatever reason, it never receives the attention as a survival item it deserves.

Fortunately, you’re about to learn why hand sanitizer can become one of the most useful survival items you have available to you. It’s definitely not something that you’ll want to leave out of your bug out bag or survival kit.

How can you use hand sanitizer in a survival situation?

Here are the top ten hand sanitizer survival uses:

Personal Hygiene

The number-one reason for hand sanitizer is for personal cleanliness. Photo Credit

This is why we have hand sanitizer in the first place, right? It’s also arguably the best use of hand sanitizer in a survival situation. If you don’t have access to clean running water and soap, hand sanitizer will be a perfectly suitable alternative because of its ability to kill 99.99 percent of all harmful bacteria. Make it a habit to use hand sanitizer after using the restroom and before you eat in a survival or disaster scenario.

Starting A Fire

After personal hygiene and cleanliness, the next most important hand sanitizer survival use is to get a fire starting. We should all understand the importance of fire in a survival situation. It gives us warmth, light, security, and the ability to boil water or cook when you need it most.

With its high alcohol content, hand sanitizer can help build fires.

Hand sanitizer is great for getting a fire started thanks to its high alcohol content. In fact, you can get a fire going with hand sanitizer even when it is raining or windy outside. Simply dab a small amount of it on your kindling or tinder and then light it up with a spark. Just make sure to read the label on your hand sanitizer before packing; some brands have discontinued using alcohol in their product.

Clean Your Clothes

Clean clothes is another important part of staying clean when in a survival situation.

You’re going to have to take extra good care of your clothes in a survival situation since you won’t have access to a traditional clothes washer and dryer. Fortunately, if you have hand sanitizer available, it will be great for removing stains caused by ink, blood, or a drink. Simply rub hand sanitizer over the site of the stain, wash it with some water, and then dry it for the stain to disappear.

Clean Surfaces

Keep food preparation areas clean.

Just as hand sanitizer can be used to clean your hands or your clothes, it can also be used to clean surfaces as well. Hand sanitizer will serve as a great alternative to other cleaning agents when those items are not so readily available. Simply use a clean cloth to wipe hand sanitizer over a surface such as a table or a desk to sanitize it. This will be most useful after cooking food or tending to a wound on the surface.

Clean Your Glasses

Hand sanitizer can help with the ability to see if you use glasses.

This method works for eyeglasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, goggles, and whatever other kinds of eyewear you can think. When your glasses or goggles get dirty, simply wipe them down with hand sanitizer and a clean cloth to restore them to as good as new.

Remove Adhesive Material

Remove pesky residue from tape with hand sanitizer.

While this isn’t a life-or-death survival use, it is certainly a nice survival hack. If you ever have any sticky adhesive material left over from Scotch tape, duct tape, or glue, simply rub some hand sanitizer over it to make it go away.

Remove The Grease From Your Hands

If you happen to be covered in grease, hand sanitizer with other supplies can aid in its removal.

Another neat little survival hack for hand sanitizer is to use it to clean the grease from your hands. Mix it with salt and warm water, and the grease will come right off.

Acne Treatment

When resources are rare in a disaster situation, you can use hand sanitizer to treat acne.

Since acne treatment medications and products will become rare in a disaster scenario, you can use the far more common hand sanitizer as an alternative. Take a cotton swab and dab it in a small amount of hand sanitizer. Then apply the sanitizer directly to your acne, and it will cause the itchiness and the swelling from the acne to go away.

Treat Mosquito Bites

Calm down the itchiness of mosquito bites with hand sanitizer.

Mosquito bites are incredibly annoying, especially from the resulting itchiness that can pester you for hours if not days. While hand sanitizer cannot make the actual bite go away, it can help to calm down the itchiness. Simply rub a small amount of hand sanitizer to the site of the bite, and the pain and itchiness will no longer annoy you as you go about your other tasks.

Storing Items

Don’t throw away the hand sanitizer bottle after you’ve used it up. That bottle can be used for storing basically anything else from food to seeds to water and so on. Just be sure to rinse out the bottle so you get the taste and smell of the sanitizer out of it.

There are many uses for hand sanitizer besides cleaning hands.

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Hand sanitizer for acne

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