How To Find The Best Hand Sanitizer For You
Aug 19, 2020
By now, you know how important it is to sanitize your hands throughout the day. Whether it’s after taking public transport, before a meal, while working in the office or upon returning home, keeping your hands bacteria-free is arguably the most important thing you can do for your health.
That said, when it comes to choosing among the best hand sanitizer brands, few of us know what to look for. Should we get a hand sanitizer with alcohol? Should it say “antibacterial hand sanitizer” to really work? Are foaming hand sanitizers just as effective? And how to pick a proper hand sanitizer for sensitive skin? Read answers to all that and more in our quick hand sanitizer guide below.
What Makes The Best Hand Sanitizer?
Metaphorically speaking, the best hand sanitizer is simply thoroughly washing your hands (for 20-plus seconds) as frequently as possible. An actual hand sanitizer should only substitute hand washing in water-constrained environments. Otherwise, think of sanitizers as just an additional layer of protection.
For the basics of choosing the right hand sanitizer, we should refer to the guidelines given by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), which state that to effectively reduce the number of microbes, you need an alcohol based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. CDC also notes that hand sanitizers don’t eliminate all types of germs (as hand washing does), but are indeed better than nothing.
To properly use a hand sanitizer, apply it to your palm and rub all over your hands until dry. CDC doesn’t explicitly mention the difference between different types of sanitizers, so you can get a hand sanitizer spray, hand sanitizer gel or foaming hand sanitizer, depending on your preference.
So what are some of the best hand sanitizer types you can buy today?
Pick your favorite scent
If you’re going to get addicted to cleaning your hands all day long, you need a hand sanitizer that not only works well but smells good too, or at the very least doesn’t reek of alcohol. Citrus-based fragrances as well as lavender tend to work really well. If you’re ready to go pro, you could also try matching the scent to your perfume.
Avoid irritating your skin
Anyone who doesn’t want their hand sanitizer to be scented due to skin irritation or allergies should look for odorless brands that still have above 60% alcohol content but also feature very simple ingredients — the fewer the better.
If your skin is prone to dryness, a moisturizing hand sanitizer is a must. Look for products with sugarcane-derived squalane that will soften your skin with plant-based glycerin. Alternatively, organic aloe vera and marula oil are great options as well.
Switch to sprays
Small spray-based hand sanitizers are often easier and quicker to apply and carry around. Make sure they contain at least four most essential ingredients: alcohol, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide and purified water. There are lots of brands available right now that make spray sanitizers in the US too, so try to shop local.
Spread sanitizers around
To paraphrase, the best hand sanitizer is the one you always have with you. So it’s not a bad idea to put a backup bottle everywhere you go on a daily basis: your apartment, your office, your car, etc. To properly stock up on hand sanitizer spray, look for six or 12 packs at your local stores — you’re likely to save too!
Get one large bottle
While most hand sanitizer gels are sold in small quantities, you might want to get something that will last to put at the entrance of your home, for example. If you don’t live alone, something like a 30-ounce bottle will make sure you don’t have to replace it every few days.
As we’ve mentioned above, moving around the city without a sanitizer in your bag is borderline dangerous. But lugging a large bottle around isn’t the most convenient thing either. Feel free to buy small bottles too and pick a variety of scents, from refreshing lime to soothing sweetness, to give some variety to your days
It’s likely that to find your favorite product you’ll have to sample a few of the best hand sanitizer brands out there. Each one will feel a bit different, but our guide above is a good starting point. For complete protection, we advise you pick an eight-ounce bottle to use every day, a bulky one for your office or home and lots of small, travel-sized options to never run out and share with friends. Stay safe!