The Lowdown on Hand Sanitisers
From acids, to SPF, to retinol - there’s always an ingredient or product that is the must-have beauty buy of the moment. Yet in what is most certainly a sign of the times, the product currently dominating the industry is the humble hand sanitiser.
What was previously a festival staple or the traveller’s trusty sidekick has now become the everyday essential that everyone’s looking to arm themselves with.
So, we’re here to break down those need-to-know facts and answer your most burning questions.
Hygiene experts suggest that for a hand sanitiser to be effective, it needs to contain a minimum of 60% alcohol. While it’s hard to ever guarantee complete protection, this level of alcohol content helps to top up the cleanliness of hands and ultimately helps to limit the spread of germs, bacteria and viruses.
Natural formulas provide just as much protection as the more ‘synthetic’ mainstream products. As stated above, it’s the alcohol content that makes a sanitiser effective. However, the added bonus of natural products is that they tend to contain less fillers and synthetic ingredients, and more naturally-sourced, skin-loving ingredients instead.
Not all sanitisers are made equally, and as with skincare, we suggest checking the ingredients before finding the right match for your hands. The nature of sanitisers means they can be quite irritating especially if you have more sensitive skin, so it’s important to opt for a formula that balances out the harshness of alcohol with something a little more soothing.
Let’s take a look at the key credentials of some of our bestselling sanitisers...
Despite the undeniable convenience of the hand sanitiser, it's worth noting that experts advise that washing hands with soap and water is still the most effective method for staying protected against germs.
Therefore where we have access to soap and running water, we should definitely still be using our trusty hand soaps for a thorough cleanse. But seeing as we are all now rinsing those hands off a lot more frequently, finding the right hand wash formula is essential.
Our Hand Washes
Hand sanitisers are perfectly safe to use. However, the main side effect that we're all experiencing right now whether using soap or sanitisers is dry, uncomfortable hands.
So, the best way to care for those hands while still ensuring you’re keeping them thoroughly clean is to firstly ensure you’re drying them correctly. Avoid air dryers and instead dab hands with a clean, dry towel until all moisture is gone. If using a hand sanitiser, allow the formula to thoroughly dry onto skin.
To truly soothe skin? Follow with a nourishing hand cream of your choice. For particularly dry hands, you may want to invest in a cream containing ultra-hydrating ingredients such as jojoba, avocado oil or shea butter, all of which penetrate down into the deeper layers of skin to leave behind a soothing layer of moisture. These powerhouse ingredients can also help to create a protective barrier against further dryness or irritation.
All in all, it’s easy to see why the humble hand sanitiser has become this year’s standout star. Providing the all-important top ups alongside those essential hand washes, they provide an effective method at protecting you and those around you. Just don’t forget to treat yourself (and those thirsty hands) to an indulgent hand cream to follow. Our top tip is to apply a cream just before bedtime so your hands can drink in all of that moisture uninterrupted overnight.