According to the CDC, hand sanitizers work perfectly in clinical settings such as hospitals where hands come into contact with pathogens but are not greasy or soiled. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, hand sanitizers have become essential, both in an outdoor and indoor environment. Scientists believe that sanitizing hands is one of the effective infection control measures.
The CDC notes that hand sanitizers with higher alcohol concentrations (60 percent to 90 percent) work best. The report notes that if the alcohol content is lower than the recommended level, the sanitizer may reduce the growth of germs instead of killing them. For this reason, according to experts like Brandability, you should ensure that you choose the right-hand sanitizers. Here are essential considerations you should make when choosing hand sanitizers.
Check the Alcohol Type and Content
As mentioned earlier, hand sanitizers with approximately 60% to 95% of alcohol content are more effective when it comes to killing germs compared to hand sanitizers with a lower percentage of alcohol content. It is essential to mention that there are manufacturers who make hand sanitizer with no alcohol content. According to scientists and medical researchers, such products are not the way to go, particularly if you’re looking for an effective hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic.
Keep in mind that products with a high alcohol level, approximately 60% or more, tend to work faster and can kill different types of germs more than 60% or less of alcohol hand sanitizers. However, these products can irritate your skin. In case you realize that your skin is getting irritated due to a certain hand sanitizer you have been using, it is essential to consider one with a 60% content of alcohol.
There are two different types of alcohol that have been recommended by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for use as hand sanitizers. These include isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol which is also known as ethanol. An alternative and chief ingredient in effective hand sanitizers that you may want to consider is benzalkonium chloride, which is not considered alcohol. However, it can be considered effective against various viruses and bacteria, according to a report released by the CDC.
Avoid Toxic Hand Sanitizers
Recently the FDA issued a warning that some hand sanitizers that have been imported from various countries such as Mexico may contain methanol. This is wood alcohol that is commonly used to create antifreeze materials and fuel. This chemical can be very toxic, particularly when absorbed through your skin and can cause life-threatening effects, particularly when ingested.
If you plan to buy a hand sanitizer and find that the product contains methanol, it is recommended to steer clear of such products. Keep in mind that some companies may not list methanol as one of the active ingredients in a hand sanitizer, and this is the main reason it’s essential to check the list given by the FDA of hand sanitizers that should not be used. You may also want to check other lists given by your country’s ministry of health just to be on the safe side.
Can you Make your Own Hand Sanitizer?
During the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a cute shortage of hand sanitizers, and most people wondered whether it was possible to make your own hand sanitizers.
However, experts warn that if a homemade sanitizer is made incorrectly, it can be ineffective when it comes to killing germs or can cause severe skin burns.
Most people who recommended making their homemade hand sanitizers didn’t have verifiable information on the specific method used to prepare such hand sanitizers. Besides, these methods have not yet been tested, and the products are not widely approved for human use.
How to use Hand Sanitizer Safely
Purchasing an effective hand sanitizer is essential, but you should also use it carefully. Here are some of the top tips that will help you use hand sanitizers safely and effectively.
- According to the CDC, if you use inadequate sanitizer, it’s not going to kill all the germs in your hands. It’s essential to use a generous dollop that will cover your hand surface.
- Apply the sanitizer to one of your palms and rub it over the surface of your hands until it is completely dry. Don’t forget to rub your wrist, fingertips, nails, and the back of your hand.
- You should apply a good moisturizer immediately after using the hand sanitizer, particularly when it dries completely.
- If you do not have hand sanitizer, consider washing your hands with enough soap and water thoroughly whenever possible to maintain cleanliness.
- To reduce the risk of dryness and irritation, choose a hand sanitizer with emollients.
No matter the specific hand sanitizer you choose, it is recommended to consider the tips given in this article.