Important facts, CDC recommendations, and how to keep hands from drying outPosted on April 9, 2020 Written by: 100% PURE ®
If there’s one thing we appreciate now more than ever, it’s a good old fashioned hand washing. While we’d love to keep hands germ-free 24/7, sinks aren’t exactly portable – the next best thing is a quality hand sanitizer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that “If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.” That means while out and about, an alcohol-based sanitizer is your best alternative for fending off a variety of harmful microbes.
But can hand sanitizer actually be safe for your skin, while helping to reduce disease-causing bacteria?
If you’re used to neon green sanitizers that slap you in the face with a bouquet of synthetic fragrance – before drying your hands beyond recognition – fear not! We’ve formulated a natural Hand Sanitizer Spray that’s gentle on your skin (and your nose), and can help with disease-causing bacteria in a pinch.
While some of us are used to carrying around an arsenal of hand sanitizer well beyond flu season, those not familiar with their everyday benefits have had a crash-course in recent weeks.
According to the CDC:
“Many studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers without 60-95% alcohol 1) may not work equally well for many types of germs; and 2) merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright.”
In an effort to slow the spread of viruses, consumers are realizing the benefits of carrying a hand sanitizer with them everywhere they go. Personally, we keep one in our car cup holder, one in our purse, one at work, and a few at home. You could say they’re like our lip balm 2.0 – we keep one everywhere!
Even on a short neighborhood walk, hand sanitizers can be a helpful tool for reducing transmission of disease-causing bacteria. Since you can’t properly wash your hands while away from the sink, a hand sanitizer is useful in a pinch.
PRO TIP: Note that if your hands are visibly dirty, you have handled harmful chemicals, or if you have been caring for someone who is sick, hand washing will be far more effective than a hand sanitizer.
Examples of when we like to use hand sanitizer are before and after:
Checking the mailbox
Pressing the button at a crosswalk
Shopping at the store
No matter the circumstances, if you’re unable to wash your hands and are in contact with high-touch surfaces handled by anyone outside your home, portable sanitizing solutions can certainly be a helpful tool.
If you’re just tuning in, you’ll be excited to know that Allure has already named our Hand Sanitizer Spray at the top of its list of the 14 Best Hand Sanitizers of 2020! People.com praised its nourishing formula, noting that “unlike other sanitizers, it actually hydrates your skin while cleaning it.”
Check out some key ingredients and features below!
Antibacterial – may act as a natural disinfectant in place of harsh detergents
Antiviral – may kill or suspend viral activity or inhibit it from multiplying or recurring
Antifungal – may kill or prevent fungal growth on hair, skin, and nails
Beneficial for dry, inflamed, and sensitive skin
Supports deep hydration for thirsty skin
Creates a protective barrier over dry, flakey, or damaged skin
Softens skin with powerful humectant properties
Enhances moisture retention and absorption
Has a similar pH level to skin, making it gentle and beneficial for all skin types
Our hand sanitizer is made with 62% ethyl alcohol, sourced from grain. If you have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, you may be wondering: is hand sanitizer gluten-free? During the distillation process, the proteins and sugars that trigger gluten allergies are removed, meaning that even grain-sourced alcohols can be deemed gluten-free.
Why we use Ethyl Alcohol, not Isopropyl Alcohol
Our hand sanitizer spray is made with ethyl alcohol (also known as ethanol), instead of petroleum-derived isopropyl alcohol. This decision was made in line with our dedication to providing clean, non-toxic products to our customers.
So how is ethyl alcohol sourced in comparison to isopropyl alcohol, and why is it preferable in terms of purity standards?
Ethyl alcohol is made through the fermentation, distillation, and filtration of sugars or grains. Source materials include corn, wheat, barley, and sorghum. In small amounts, for example in distilled spirits, ethyl alcohol is safe for ingesting. Isopropyl alcohol is considered toxic when ingested. This alcohol has the same efficacy as isopropyl alcohol in a hand sanitizer formula.
Isopropyl alcohol is derived from non-renewable sources. “Propene is one of the basic materials necessary to produce isopropyl alcohol. This compound comes from fossil fuels – petroleum, natural gas and even coal.” In a nutshell, isopropyl alcohol is far less sustainable for the earth than ethyl alcohol, and is also made from toxic petrochemicals.
In terms of the 60% vs. 70% debate on the minimum percentage needed to kill bacteria, it all depends on the type of alcohol being used. The "CDC recommends the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the preferred form of hand hygiene in healthcare settings, based upon greater access to hand sanitizer.”
In summary, some brands claiming to be ‘natural’ use isopropyl alcohol in their hand sanitizer formulas – but in our commitment to using only clean ingredients, we stuck to our guns and opted for what we believe to be the safer alcohol option for your skin.
Why don’t we claim our Hand Sanitizer Spray as 99.9% effective against germs?
Our Hand Sanitizer Spray is FDA compliant as an over the counter (non-prescription) drug, and meets the CDC suggestion for its capacity to help reduce disease-causing microbes with 62% alcohol. However, it is not recommended that any product claim an ability to kill 99.9% of germs or harmful bacteria.
A similar claim was previously made by Gojo Industries for their over the counter Purell products. Marketing claims insinuated that certain sanitizing products could kill “more than 99.99% of most common germs that may cause illness in a healthcare setting, including MRSA & VRE”.
The FDA questioned the validity these claims, citing:
“FDA is currently not aware of any adequate and well-controlled studies demonstrating that killing or decreasing the number of bacteria or viruses on the skin by a certain magnitude produces a corresponding clinical reduction in infection or disease caused by such bacteria or virus.”
So what does this mean for hand sanitizers being sold with a claim to kill a certain percentage of germs or bacteria? Simply put, it means that these are marketing claims and not direct results of clinical testing.
To uphold these claims, the product would be required to prove to the FDA that it can treat, cure, prevent, or mitigate disease like a prescription drug. In reality, hand sanitizers are simply over the counter products with germ-fighting capabilities.
The best way to prevent the spread of disease-causing bacteria is by washing your hands regularly, according to CDC instructions. However, in the case that you are away from a sink, here are the key steps for effectively using hand sanitizer:
Apply enough hand sanitizer to cover the entire surface of both hands; depending on the size of your hands, this amount will be different for everyone.
Rub hands together thoroughly, until the sanitizer is completely dry (about 20 seconds).
To prevent overdrying after hand washing or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, follow up with a moisturizing hand cream. To ensure proper protection and function from your hand sanitizer, be sure it has dried completely before applying your hand cream.
However, balancing the ratio of moisture to sanitizing can be a fine line. Experts at UCLA warn that overly moisturizing hand sanitizers may reduce their ability to kill bacteria, so find a balance that works for your particular products.
At 100% PURE™, our core mission is to improve the lives of our global and local communities. In an effort to help those in desperate need of sanitizing supplies, we have donated a large delivery of Hand Sanitizer Sprays to local San Francisco-based organization, HealthRIGHT360.
“We are extremely appreciative for the generous donation of 100% PURE Hand Sanitizer Spray,” said Vitka Eisen, MSW, Ed.D President & Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit organization HealthRIGHT 360.
“HealthRIGHT 360 cares for over 30,000 Californians annually, we encircle our clients with quality services, we hold them in high regard, and they feel better and they get better. During this hard time, we are keeping our doors open for the people who need us, and when organizations like 100% PURE extend their generosity to us, it makes us feel like we’re not alone, and for that we are so grateful.”
To donate to HealthRIGHT 360 please visit https://www.healthright360.org/donate or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information in this article is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.
We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.
The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.