Hand Sanitizers became popular in the 90’s ~ back when I was in elementary school, they weren’t quite as popular as they are now.. Everywhere you go now – whether it be Walmart, or, the grocery store, even the school campus for your children, there is hand sanitizer.
It’s even at the farm we go to when we pick up our produce.
It’s society’s way of banishing germs in an effort to keep people from getting sick – but then we live in a society that is obsessed with people being germ free. That is one reason you can find Lysol Wipes, Disinfecting Wipes, Clorox Wipes and every other wipe known to man on the back to school lists.
In the entrance of every grocery store.
Even at the entrance of Target…
People use these before grabbing a shopping cart, before they leave the store, before and after they board a plane, and even when they play at the local playground. Hand sanitizer is EVERYWHERE.
But what you might not realize is that these sanitizers are not really helping but hurting your health and skin, too…
How do they work?
Sanitizers sit on your skin and kill germs on the spot – but, they can only do that when they have enough alcohol to “kill” the germs – 60% alcohol to be exact (Source). Too much alcohol isn’t good for your skin.
And once you put alcohol ON your skin it begins to evaporate.. so unless you use that sanitizer quickly, you will lose the effectiveness of killing germs.
Here are three reasons to ditch your sanitizer in lieu of healthier options.
1. Hand Sanitizers Develop Antibiotic Resistance
Hand Sanitizer does not kill “all” germs… by trying to kill off the bad bacteria, you are essentially training it to become resistant to it.
2. Irritating for the Skin
Hand sanitizer often has fragrances and harsh chemicals – which dry the skin and cause irritation. Ethyl alcohol makes up 65% of hand sanitizer – along with other ingredients (which make up the other 30%). Your hands will get irritated from using those chemicals over time.
3. Ingredients are Harmful for your Body
If you check out the EWG’s Skin Deep Database of products, where they rate the safety of popular items such as hand sanitizer, you will find many popular varieties including Purell, and Ulta’s brands rated as an 8 or 9 on a sale of 1 to 10, where 10 is most harmful.
Ingredient concerns include Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), and Fragrance, as well as Methylparabens – of which can cause developmental problems, allergies, immunotoxicity, and endocrine disruption.
Not what I would prefer to use for my hands – would you? You can see the details by heading HERE.
Instead of Hand Sanitizer…
Wash your hands, preferably with Non-Antibacterial Soap (read more HERE)… you can also use Essential Oils. Place a drop of the Essential Oil on the palm of each hand and rub your hands together.
The Essential Oil will sanitize the hand and are easy enough to carry around in your purse or bag.
Or.. opt to make your own hand sanitizer – using Essential Oils, Witch Hazel and Aloe – they are just as effective and you can take them with you as needed.