Nowadays, most of us are familiar with a small but handy tool: a hand sanitizer. It is well-known and widely used mostly because, in 2020, the whole world dived into the COVID-19 pandemic which still keeps being a problem for some regions.
At the beginning of this massive pandemic, the market was full of hand sanitizers with different ingredients; some of them were of great quality, and others had dubious contents and unpleasant effects. Because the demand became extremely high, the prices skyrocketed, too.
From all sources, we have been hearing numerous recommendations begging us to purchase a hand sanitizer or two, pass them to our family members, and use them as often as possible. We have purchased these precious products everywhere we have seen them. But has it actually made any sense?
In our brief guide, we will explain the main details regarding hand sanitizers offered on the market and their effects, provide you with info on how to combine ingredients to create your own hand sanitizer, and — this is probably the best and most interesting part — suggest you the 10 top products currently available (yes, you can simply buy one of them, there is actually no need for mixing chemicals at home and produce DIY hand sanitizers).
Top 10 Sanitizer Products Currently Available on the Market
Now that you know all the basic rules and info about hand sanitizers, have received some instructions on using them, and understand why they can be quite helpful, finally, it is time to introduce you to our rating of the 10 best products you can find today.
Here, you will find different sanitizers: gel or liquid; sprays, tubes, or bottles; big or small; fragranced or not, and so on. Some are more affordable than others; still, the pricing is adequate for all.
All the goods mentioned below are developed in accordance with what CDC recommends. Hopefully, you will be able to find the perfect product for yourself.
A well-known and popular brand that has been on the market for many years now, Purell offers a fantastic yet simple product with 70% of alcohol that has no heavy metals or hazardous substances among ingredients. For your convenience, the manufacturer produces it in different sizes: you can buy a large bottle and put it somewhere in your house or purchase a tiny bottle that will serve you while you are far from home.
2. CBD for Life
This brand is famous for alcohol-based hand sanitizers that have hemp seed oil inside. Hemp seed extract helps to moisturize your skin very well and lets you forget about the necessity of using a hand cream together with your hand sanitizer. We recommend this product if you constantly have dry hands, even during warm summers. It is sold in various sizes, too.
The brand’s founder Katie Sturino declares that Megababe’s aim is to produce goods for body care that work to keep customers comfy. Her hand sanitizers work, too. Moreover, they have an amazing lemony smell and a set of oils and substances (aloe vera, almond, and others) that add up some points to your skincare. The bottle’s size is perfect to carry in your pocket or small purse.
Yet another top-quality product that has a nice smell instead of ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol harsh scent — this time, lavender. However, those who cannot stand having scented products around can purchase a neutral version of this product issued by EO. Both these also fit people with a tendency to dry skin. EO sanitizer is available in rather big bottles, not as pocket versions.
A vegan-friendly company that produces a huge variety of goods for pregnancy and kids, Pipette could not stay away and released its hand sanitizer with an appropriate level of alcohol. To keep your skin content and avoid cracks, the brand uses squalane from sugarcane. A tiny bottle will perfectly fit into your bag or pocket.
A beautiful bottle with a nice light-blue label is a spray, and we consider that sprays are the most convenient hand sanitizers. The ClimbOn company also promises that it works in accordance with vegan principles and its product fits those who suffer from dry skin. Nice aloe vera and citrus smells are a thing that makes you fall in love with this cute bottle.
This is one of the simplest alcohol-based hand sanitizers with a neutral fragrance but yet a high level of protection. Experts recommend it also because it has proven its power against the coronavirus disease. If you are looking for something that is reliable and mere, consider trying this brand’s products. It is available in different sizes and packages — if you have a big family or live alone.
8. Stay Clean
As you can understand from the brand’s name, its products have the main goal to keep customers, their hands, and other body parts clean. People who hate products that have scents will especially appreciate this alcohol-based hand sanitizer because it smells like nothing. It works against multiple types of germs and soothes your hands with aloe extract.
This Power Mist ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer from Touchland has a stylish look, brightly colored bottles, and a good set of ingredients. There are more than 10 different scents, including lemon-lime, berries, peach, apple, and others, — try them all and keep your hands clean!
Curie is another great brand that offers various products caring about your skin. Among these products, you can find a wonderful alcohol-based hand sanitizer (only in a big bottle, though) with three different fragrances and proven effectiveness. Oils and other chemicals help you soften your skin while you make your hands clean with this product.
So, Do Hand Sanitizers Actually Work?
This question bothers many of us not only since the pandemic has begun but even before. Hand sanitizers are actively used among doctors, moms with kids, and other people who simply wish to keep their hands clean. And many of these individuals had known about hand sanitizers way before 2020 when COVID-19 spread all over the place.
Of course, manufacturers that produce hand sanitizers and present them on the market promote such products and promise 99,9% defense from various diseases and troubles.
However, there are plenty of customers who are way too skeptical about these products in general, regardless of the brand or content. They consider that a hand sanitizer might have harmful chemicals among its ingredients and even create strains of bacteria that will kill the effect of various antibiotics.
Well, a hand sanitizer will do no miracles if you contact a person who is sick because highly likely, that you will catch the disease, and this product will not help you at all. But hand sanitizers are a must-have in all healthcare settings all over the world because they allow keeping patients safe from various infections.
Protection from Infections and Diseases
The point is that a hand sanitizer will not protect you more than washing hands. However, how about the cases when you cannot use a sink and soap? Yes, exactly, this is the moment when a hand sanitizer becomes a lifesaver. Numerous diseases are received from dirty hands.
When your hands are visibly dirty or greasy, you can easily see it and understand that it is time to wash them. But often there is no trace of dirt and your hands can be dangerous for you because there are tons of invisible germs. Some types of germs are hazardous for your stomach when you eat — they can cause unpleasant diseases with vomiting and rising body temperature. Most hand sanitizers you see on the market nowadays are killing germs with ease.
Another point is hand sanitizers’ great effectiveness in the periods of respiratory diseases spreading. Mainly, it happens in spring and autumn. The principle is the same: you clean your hands anytime you cough, blow your nose, or sneeze. It helps you to reduce the risks of becoming ill.
Lastly, sometimes there’s just no clean towel, soap, and water around and you have to invent something to make your hands cleaner than they are. In these situations, a good-quality hand sanitizer is the only thing you can count on.
Use Hand Sanitizers Properly
And this means not only using but buying them. Here are some useful details regarding such products you should consider when selecting a hand sanitizer in the nearest store (because now they are sold almost everywhere, not only in drug stores as they used to be).
Before you purchase a coveted tube or spray, please ensure that the liquid inside contains at least 60% alcohol. It does not make any sense to purchase a hand sanitizer that contains less alcohol. Alcohol-free products will never protect you, and those with smaller alcohol content will not be able to kill bacteria and deal with the most dangerous germs.
When you use a hand sanitizer instead of soap and water to make your hands cleaner, do not forget to make sure that you have done the following:
- Carefully read the instructions on the back of the tube or spray
They will tell you how much liquid you need to actually clean your hands. Also, check the expiration date somewhere on the bottle. If the expiration date has already passed, do not use this product.
- Apply your sanitizer on both hands
Otherwise, you will not be able to rub it properly. You cannot clean one hand and leave another dirty with a sanitizer.
- Spread the liquid all over your both hands and fingers
Do it until both your hands become dry.
- There is no need to wash your hands after you have used a sanitizer.
You do not need to wipe them either. Simply wait for them to get dry, and that is it.
These recommendations have been developed by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Follow them to improve your hand hygiene when you choose a hand sanitizer or simply have no access to a sink, soap, and water.
Hand Sanitizer Using Vs. Hand Washing
So, what is better: traditional handwashing with soap and water or applying an alcohol-based hand sanitizer? Of course, it would be best if you clean your hands with water, in the usual way. CDC recommends washing hands anytime you need to. As CDC guidance says, your hands’ natural balance of bacteria becomes better if you often use soap and water to wash your hands.
Speaking of cleaning your hands with soap and water, there are also some important points to mention. CDC recommends that you rub your hands with soap carefully and hold them underwater for no less than 20 seconds (and this number is critical!). The water should be warm, by the way. Coldwater will not eliminate all the germs and can cause human skin irritation; hot water is just dangerous and inconvenient to use because obviously, you can burn your fingers and hands.
Cases When Hand Sanitizers Will Not Help
If you clearly see dirt on your hands or have contacted different chemicals that might be hazardous, there is no way you can replace soap and water with a hand sanitizer. Even a hand sanitizer that contains enough alcohol will not help you. Find a sink, soap, and water instead to protect yourself from awful consequences.
How to Choose a Good One?
Of course, when we speak of hand sanitizers, a simple tube or spray full of certain kinds of alcohol is not enough. It can affect your skin in a bad way. You need something inside that will moisturize your hands: for instance, an aloe vera gel or some essential oils.
We understand how difficult it can be to research the market and select your best option. That is why we have prepared a rating of the best goods for you to check out. No need to spend hours on comparing and choosing — just pick one from those below.
Bonus: Other Brands to Consider
We could go on for pages and pages describing various brands and products. Although we have decided to limit our rating to 10 positions, there are some other manufacturers that are worth your attention.
If you have not found anything that attracts you in the rating placed above, try checking these goods out:
These brands’ products are also alcohol-based, commonly chosen by customers with dry skin, and fit for frequent use.
As you can see, there are plenty of products to select from that can satisfy all consumers and fulfill the essential need for clean hands. They are widely sold around in various online and offline stores. Moreover, you can make a sanitizer by yourself — find out more details below.
How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
While many people prefer not to bother with creating their own alcohol-based hand sanitizers, others actively use online resources to find out the recipe and produce their own thing for hand cleaning. If you want to join these creators, believe us, there is nothing difficult about making your own sanitizer.
You will need rubbing alcohol, a bit of gel made of aloe vera plant, and some drops of oil with a scent that you prefer. Take two-thirds of alcohol, one-third of gel, and a couple of oil drops. Mix them well, so they blend fully. When you are done, pour the resulting liquid into a tiny bottle that will be convenient to use when you are on the go.
A homemade hand sanitizer allows you to save a lot of money on buying a new product over and over again. Although the DIY process is extremely easy, do not forget to moisturize your hands additionally because sometimes a gel added to your sanitizer is not enough.
Before we finish, let us also warn you about some products you should avoid for your safety. Not all sanitizers you will buy are effective, of course, but some of them have not managed to be approved by the US government.
Are there any hand sanitizers that I should never use? Yes!
Unfortunately, there are products that have dubious ingredients, and the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) has developed and issued a list of goods you should avoid when shopping for a hand sanitizer. Save this page and check it anytime you choose your best option among alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Also, let us remind you that you should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only and pay attention to the level of alcohol it contains. If it contains at least 60% alcohol (only ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol!), it is a good choice.
Hand Sanitizer Takeaway
Regardless of what hand sanitizer or soap you prefer to keep your hand hygiene in order, always remember the importance of keeping your hands clean. This will reduce the risks of catching unpleasant diseases and infections and make you much healthier.
Always wash your hands or at least use hand sanitizers before eating some food or after coughing, blowing your nose, or sneezing. If you have contacted any hazardous substances or see that your hands have become dirty, do not hesitate to clean them with warm water and soap, and remember that a hand sanitizer is not a solution in such circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ
We have developed a large FAQ section if you still have any questions or doubts about hand sanitizer usage. Check it out below.
How to select a hand sanitizer properly?
There are various criteria that allow you to select a liquid or gel that will really work and help you make your hands clean in emergency situations and in daily life. Some of them are more important than others. For instance, we recommend you choose those goods that have a certain alcohol level (no less than 60%). If you do not take this number into account, you might accidentally buy a product that will not protect you.
Among other factors, you can consider the type (liquid or gel), the container (spray, bottle, or tube), the size that depends on your aims and needs, the brand, and additional features (like extra moisturizing, for example), pricing, availability in your area, and other parameters.
Which product is best?
Every person chooses all goods (whether it is a sanitizer or any other thing) in accordance with their preferences and needs; so, the best product for one consumer can be the worst for another. This is why we suggest you scroll up to our thorough rating that includes the top 10 positions and additional options to choose from.
Are there products that I should ignore?
Yes, there are some sanitizers that you have to ignore while choosing. Firstly, you must not be interested in products that contain no alcohol at all or have less than 60% of it. Secondly, you can check the list offered by the FDA to see what brands could not get governmental approval for their goods. It is not recommended to buy any goods from that list.
What lets a sanitizer clean hands?
Alcohol is what makes a good sanitizer and what allows it to clean your hands and prevent you from numerous bacteria and diseases. That is why products that have no alcohol trace at all are ineffective. Besides, only a certain level of alcohol we have mentioned above works; if your current product does not meet this requirement, we suggest you select another liquid or gel to clean your hands.
Is ruining bacteria a long process for a sanitizer?
No, that is why experts and scientists consider it so effective and convenient. According to various studies, it takes from 15 to 20 seconds for an average hand sanitizer to react and fight all hazardous things placed on your hands (even if you do not see any dirt on them).
If I use a sanitizer, when should I use it again or wash my hands?
Unfortunately, a hand sanitizer works only for a couple of minutes — at least, this is what scientists say. The thing is that using a couple of sanitizer drops allows you to eliminate germs that have already gotten to your hands. However, you will not be protected from the new ones that keep arriving all the time, literally every minute. So, the point of using a hand sanitizer is to clean your hands for a moment (for instance, before you eat) and defend yourself from the existing danger.
What is the average price for hand sanitizers?
They are quite an affordable product. Also, their availability is great: you can find them both online, in large stores, and in smaller shops nearby. Their cost starts from a couple of dollars and can go up to dozens of bucks — it depends on the brand you prefer, the bottle’s size, and other factors.
What ingredients do you need for a DIY sanitizer?
Making a DIY product is easy: all you need is pure alcohol, a gel of aloe vera so your skin is moisturized enough, and some oil that smells good for you. If you do not want your sanitizer to have any scent, you can simply skip the oil part: it will not affect the effectiveness of your future product. Before you start, ensure that you have chosen the proper alcohol for your product.
How do you make your own hand sanitizer?
With ease. To create a DIY product, you have to mix the above-mentioned contents and blend them very well, then pour them into a comfy container and use until it is over, then refill. You will need to mix it in the following amounts: two-thirds of alcohol plus one-third of aloe vera plus 5-10 drops of oil. It is a great solution that helps you use less plastic (because there is no need to buy a new container over and over again) and save funds (because you will not pay for the new product).
How to use hand sanitizer?
To ensure that your hands are clean after you apply a sanitizer, you have to spray or pour a couple of drops on your hand, rub it between both hands thoroughly and wait until your hands become fully dry. You do not have to rinse it anyhow after you finish the procedure. Before applying, make sure that you have read the guidance on the back of the container and understood how many drops exactly you have to pour to make your hands clean.
Is there any danger in applying a hand sanitizer?
Currently, there are no facts or research saying that using a hand sanitizer can be dangerous for anyone. Of course, because they normally contain alcohol, never use them near open flames. There is a theory suggesting they can worsen your resistance to different bacteria. However, so far, nothing has proven that. Still, experts advise washing hands if there is such an option instead of applying a hand sanitizer; this is also written in numerous CDC and FDA-issued guides. It is a proven method that will clean your skin and kill microorganisms that can lead to some diseases.