What are Natural Hand Sanitisers and can they do an effective job in cleaning your hands and help maintain your efforts to healthy hygiene? With the topic of hand hygiene and COVID-19 blowing up the internet right now you might find yourself asking questions you’ve never thought twice about before.
Why Choose A Natural Hand Sanitiser?
Skip the chemicals in synthetic hand sanitisers
Opting for a natural choice means you’ll skip the toxic chemicals in synthetic hand sanitisers (more on those below) which can wreak havoc on everything from skin to hormones.
If you’ve got young kids, your family’s long term health is a priority so choosing a formulation without toxic chemicals is especially important.
Easy for on-the-go hygiene
Natural hand sanitisers keep hands clean, fresh and healthy when reaching for soap and water isn’t an option.
They’re also great to wipe down surfaces when you’re out and about; like a supermarket trolley or door handle that has been touched by who knows how many hands before yours.
Natural Hand Sanitisers – Beneficial Ingredients
Just because natural hand sanitisers aren’t packed with all the chemicals from the synthetic variants, doesn’t mean they can’t get the job done when it comes to killing bacteria and viruses.
Formulations may vary but a few of the key ingredients you’ll commonly find in an effective natural hand sanitiser can include:
Effective natural hand sanitisers will contain alcohol. Not the drinkable, martini kind – usually ethyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol.
Alcohol is effective against influenza virus and studies have found that hand sanitisers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are most effective at killing germs.
Look for percentages 60% and higher to help you avoid getting sick or spreading germs around.
Bonus points if the alcohol is derived from an organic or non-GMO source.
While alcohol is an effective natural option for killing germs there is a downside – it can really dry out your skin.
This is where aloe vera comes in. You’ll often find it in natural hand sanitisers thanks to its famous moisturising benefits.
Aloe vera contains mucopolysaccharides – long chains of sugar molecules – that help retain moisture in the skin.
Applied topically, aloe vera has been shown to boost the water content of the outermost layer of skin making it ideal to combat the drying effects caused by alcohol.
Some natural formulations may include glycerol, more commonly known as glycerine in place of, or in addition to, the aloe vera as a moisturiser.
You’ll usually find an essential oil or two known for their antibacterial, antiviral properties in natural hand sanitisers.
- Tea tree oil
- Peppermint oil
- Orange oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Lemongrass oil
- Frankincense oil
- Sandalwood oil
The uplifting and energizing aromas are a bonus, leaving you skin feeling smelling fresh. For men, try and opt for oils that have earthy masculine scents.
Frankincense is is known for boosting the immune system and also has great antibacterial properties. Sandalwood is popular in men’s grooming products for its woody tones but its also great for those suffering from dry skin. Combined in a hand sanitiser these essential oils will not only offer great scents but benefits to ensure the skin remain hydrated and healthy
Put a coin size drop of sanitiser in your palm and rub your hands together, palm to palm.
Then spread the sanitiser to the back of your hands and in between your fingers. Rub your palms together again with fingers interlocked.
Rub each finger tip into the palm of your hands and finish off by massaging the sanitiser into your wrist area. Continue until your hands are completely dry which may take about 30 seconds.
It’s important to know that if your hands are visibly dirty the sanitiser won’t be as effective.
Synthetic Hand Sanitisers – Ingredients To Avoid
When you scan the ingredients list on the back of a hand sanitiser, keep an eye out for these toxic culprits your body can do without.
The endocrine disruption capacity of parabens are well documented and have been revealed to cause female and male reproductive harm.
Look out for long-chain parabens (some names start with isobutyl.., butyl.., isopropyl.. and propylparaben) on the ingredients list.
If a product lists synthetic fragrance in the formula, it can be hiding all kinds of toxic secrets.
‘Synthetic fragrance’ is an umbrella term that covers approximately 3,000 ingredients – which don’t have to be listed separately on a label. Always opt for those with essential oils as mentioned above.
The family of petrochemicals include PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, and polyoxyethylene.
Why worry about these ingredients? They can produce a substance called 1,4-dioxane known to potentially contribute to some cancers.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Linked to skin and eye irritation, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, and endocrine disruption (to name just a few possible side effects) sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate are ingredients you definitely want to avoid. Not just in hand sanitiser, but all personal care products.
Commonly used to help ingredients blend together, triethanolamine is made from two toxic chemicals, ethylene oxide and ammonia. It’s a strong respiratory allergen, causing irritation and inflammation to eyes, skin, and hair. Keep away from this.
Quats (quaternary ammonium compounds) are certified by the EPA as pesticides and have been found to potentially trigger respiratory issues and cause serious skin irritation in some cases.
Remember, nothing beats washing with good old soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It’s still the most effective way to remove virus causing bacteria from your hands.
Natural hand sanitisers are an effective convenient option for healthy hands when you’re on-the-go without a sink in sight. Also, something that is often forgotten when constantly washing and cleaning your hands is to ensuring you moisturise your hands with quality natural skincare. Always look for and use botanically enriched natural men’s skin care before bed to help boost the skin with vitamin extracts that will help repair weathered or damaged skin.