We Demystify Hand Sanitizer So You Don't Have To
If you are wondering what all the hype is about hand sanitizer, then read below. We offer tips on how to properly apply it to your hands, as well as recommendations for the right kind of hand sanitizer solution for you and your family.
Does Hand Sanitizer Work? The answer depends on your definition of working. Hand sanitizer in itself cannot kill all bacteria, germs and/or viruses. Nothing can do that other than radiation or extreme heat and neither of those is great for the skin.
Radiation tunnels are used to sanitize medical devices that go inside the body and extreme heat does similar things. Our skin and hands cannot withstand the amount of heat needed to kill off all bacteria, germs or viruses. The next best thing is a good strong disinfectant used as a prevention.
When you use a well-rated hand sanitizer along with proper hygienical behaviors, then these two defensive strategies work extremely well and can give your immune system the help it needs to turn the corner on some of the more aggressive strains of germs out there.
Let me share with you an example to explain this point. Your immune system is in a constant battle to keep your health in check. It fights air bound agents, things you touch, things you eat and even things you cannot see. It does do a great job of fighting these, but when it comes in contact with something that is unknown or very strong, it has a harder time and can become overwhelmed.
If your immune system is already compromised, then it is much harder for your immune system to fight on multiple fronts. An already low or compromised immune system often times will not be able to fight as well and that is where the problems start.
Hand sanitizer may not be 100% effective in fighting all baddies out there, but it allows your immune system to focus on more important germs than the ones coming from your hands.
Does Buying a Premium Hand Sanitizer Make Sense?
This all depends on what you value in your life and your family’s life. If you are a hardcore naturalist that only uses raw materials in your hair shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, etc., then it makes all the sense in the world to pay extra for something that has no chemicals.
Or perhaps you read a lot about Tea Tree Oil or the benefits of Raw Aloe Vera and you want that ingredient in your hand sanitizer, then a premium brand would most likely be where you spend your money.
A lot of times the smaller batch companies will provide other natural ingredients that will enhance the germ-fighting properties or add in natural moisturizers to fight dryness.
In my opinion, I think the small-batch manufacture provides more benefits in regards to quality, natural raw materials, and is more friendly to the environment.
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What Are the Different Types of Hand Sanitizers?
- 60% Isopropyl - Common and can be found in almost all big brand stores (Price point is low $2 – $7)
- 70 – 75% Isopropyl – Less common and can be found in almost all big brand stores (Price point low $4 - $10)
- 90 – 99% Isopropyl – Rare and often found only in online small batch manufacture brand websites and very limited big brand stores (Price point is high ($12 - $45)
The higher the concentration of Isopropyl the more capable it is in killing most germs, bacteria and other nasty things.
For example, hospitals, beauty salons, and other medical companies use a high rated 99% isopropyl to disinfect surfaces, equipment and more.
The only drawback by going with a higher Isopropyl percentage is the drying effect it has on the skin. If all you used was straight alcohol on your skin, eventually it will get very dry and crack. There is a simple solution to this. After your hands dry, follow up with Aloe Vera or hand lotion. That is all you need to keep your hands moist and avoid the drying effects.
Another way is to buy a hand sanitizer with the correct percentage of moisturizing properties in it, so you don’t have to use a separate lotion or plant-based moisturizer.
What Drives Up Cost of a Hand Sanitizer?
Now you may wonder why some hand sanitizers are priced higher than others. There are a few reasons why. A company that mass produces hand sanitizer does so at a lower cost because they buy their ingredients in massive bulks, reducing their overall manufacturing materials. They also provide a much lower concentration of isopropyl, usually around 60 to 70 which is less effective on many of today’s nasty things.
Now if you look at a Made in the USA, hand sanitizer produced from a small batch, it will most likely contain additional ingredients like a whole plant or raw materials. These materials are costly to warehouse and purchase. But the benefits are better for your skin and may provide a lot more protection than the store-bought versions.
Steps to Properly Applying Hand Sanitizer
Using a spray bottle is a little easier than using a thick gel as you can control the amount and areas where you want to apply it.
Make sure you follow a three spray pattern.
- If your bottle is a liquid and not a gel, always shake it first to mix the solution.
- First, spray your fingers.
- Then spray the palms of your hands
- Finally, spray the lower wrists and work the solution into your skin.
This will provide a proper germ barrier for most activities indoors and outdoors. Avoid any contact with your face or eyes. Apply more than once a day for the best results.
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