Hand Sanitizers and their Effectiveness {Skin Care}

A day back I talked about whether you wash your hands after your skin care routine or not? That time, Simran asked me my opinion on hand sanitizers. So, I thought I would rather do a post on it. I am not a fan of hand sanitizers. I like the feel I get from washing my hands instead.
Hand Wash vs Sanitizers
Sanitizers have hit the market with a vengeance and became popular within a very short time. The reason is because one doesn’t need to wash the hands and simply rubbing the sanitizer on the hands ensures no germs and clean hands. This seems pretty convenient and saves the hands from the harsh chemicals when they are repeatedly washed with water. So, why don’t I like the sanitizers?
The main ingredient of a sanitizer is ethyl alcohol. I remember that in Dettol hand sanitizer, it has around 65-75% of alcohol and its the first ingredient as well. And, as you all know, ethyl alcohol is drying for skin. No sanitizer can be made without alcohol coz alcohol is the ingredient which kills the germs so its an unavoidable ingredient. I did check out lifebuoy sanitizer as well which had around 30% of alcohol or something and that didn’t convince me. May be I am wrong here. Ok, while writing the post, I googled for the images and I went through one of the articles which says:
“I used to work in a virology lab,” Dr. Aiello said, “and we knew โ€” it has been known for decades โ€” 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.” (Source)
So, beware and when you buy your sanitizer, always check for the concentration of alcohol in it. Second reason is that I am a person who likes my hands completely clean and with no stickiness. And, the few times I have used sanitizers, my hands have become sticky even though alcohol does evaporate pretty quickly. Well, it can be psychological as well. And, another is that sanitizers are not as effective as they are touted to be. I had read somewhere (forgot the source) that sanitizers are effective for all of 2 minutes at max and then, again germs start building up on the skin. And, nothing can actually beat the effectiveness of soap and water. 
Do I ever keep sanitizers?
So, those were my reasons for not relying on sanitizers. Now, comes the second question that if I keep the sanitizers with me. I haven’t till today but my mom does carry it during travel and yes, it does come as a saver when there is no water nearby or if you are having “meals on wheels” ๐Ÿ˜€ So, yes, I think a GOOD sanitizer is important when you have no access to water. Also, don’t forget to take a hand cream so that you can counteract the dryness. 
Do you like sanitizers?
Image Courtesy:nytimes.com

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  1. dr_rashmi says

    I have used the mini pack of himalaya sanitizer . . but somehow i dint like the ‘feel’ of it . . so discontinued . .essentially a handwash person . . .i shift my handwash in some mini-bottle and use it while on train !!

    • says

      yeah on train, I use face washes as a multi-purpose thingy ๐Ÿ˜€ but, when you are travelling on roads and such things, it does become difficult to find water anywhere!! my family is high on road trips ๐Ÿ˜€

    • says

      you must be using medicated ones, right??? with high alcohol content which can actually kill germs. medicated ones are different but still I prefer a hand wash.

  2. says

    Hay Swati thanks for writing the post for My Query , it was needed badly, i used Avon vanilla sanitizer , I was thinking its natural, thanks for posting it.:)

  3. Indu indgal says

    Hi, Even I hate sanitizers for the same reason you have mentioned. Even i get the clean feel only when I use soap and water :)

  4. Nafisa says

    Nice post. I use hand sanitizers only to deodorize my hands “after” a meal. Am very uncomfortable using them to clean my hands before eating since am unsure if any residue is going to go into my mouth :-( N yea, like u, i prefer proper hand-washing anyday :-)

  5. Padmaja says

    I have used hand sanitizer only few times in the last few months…not sure if it cleans hands completely, but it can’t give the feeling of washing hands…may be medicated ones which docs use are good…they can’t keep on washing …so they have to use it…but we can generally avoid unless it’s an emergency…nothing wrong keeping one handy

    But one should not be in the assumption that using a sanitizer before eating food is good enough as washing hands with a soap or handwash.

    • says

      yeah…I guess doc sanitizers are way different and for their purposes, hand wash is not exactly enough either…they use pure spirits and alcohols too!!!

  6. says

    Nice post. I use hand sanitizers only to deodorize my hands “after” a meal. Am very uncomfortable using them to clean my hands before eating since am unsure if any residue is going to go into my mouth :-( N yea, like u, i prefer proper hand-washing anyday :-)

  7. says

    Soap and water can be good, but if you are a person that is always on the go, having a hand sanitizer around can really be a lifesaver. It is true that alcohol is its primary ingredients, but nowadays, people have developed sanitizers that are hypoallergenic and essentially good for skin care, even for children.

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