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Hand Sanitizer and Your Skin

hand sanitizer Hand sanitizers have surged in popularity since the onset of COVID19 and there are plenty of recommendations for which ones to buy. For one, those that contain at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol are the most effective at eliminating germs. Even with that, they play second fiddle to washing your hands with soap and water for twenty seconds. In those times when soap and water are hard to come by, hand sanitizers are the best option.

Before choosing or recommending a hand sanitizer, it’s important to know of any pre-existing skin conditions, such as eczema or dermatitis, that could be exacerbated by some hand sanitizers.

The increased demand for hand sanitizers has also meant innovation. There are now many options that are kinder to the skin, regardless of any pre-existing conditions. Normally, these include at least one of the following ingredients. For those who know their moisturizing tactics, these four will come as no surprise.

  • Vitamin E: A well-known skin ally, Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is simply good for our skin. In terms of hand sanitizers, it protects our skin and reduces the drying effects of the alcohol. Please note that some people may be sensitive to Vitamin E.
  • Aloe: Besides its anti-inflammatory healing qualities, aloe contains antioxidants and Vitamins A and C. These combine to bolster the epithelial level of the skin to help skin bounce back from frequent hand sanitizer use.
  • Shea butter: The fatty acids in shea butter form a protective layer on the skin to retain precious moisture. It’s also a healthy companion for our skin, because it mimics the oils our skin produces naturally.
  • Coconut oil: The superiority debate between shea butter and coconut oil continues, but both are showing up in hand sanitizers. The main differentiator is simply which one the person prefers.

These four are just the tip of the iceberg. Hand sanitizers are also being dressed up with colorings, glitter, and almost anything else to make them more fun or pretty. Some hand sanitizer manufacturers are even doing something to tone down the scent of alcohol. That’s great for applying them in small spaces, like in the car between stops at the gas station and the grocery store.

It may not be convenient to constantly think about how long it has been since you last touched a public surface or put on more hand sanitizer, but the good news is that the innovations will continue and there will be even more options to suit every kind of skin.