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What kind of Hand Sanitizer is the right one? Does it matter?

Posted At 2020-02-10 09:07:08


Did you manage to purchase any hand sanitizer?

Well. this is kinda weird question to ask in normal days. With the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus, it seems that hand sanitizer as well as anything that have disinfectant are selling like hot cakes. So, what do you know about hand sanitizer? What ingredients and the percentage needed to provide optimum effectiveness? 


Let's talk about what you can find in a typical hand sanitizer. It should have the following ingredients:

1. Water

2, Alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol or Ethanol)

3. Humectant (Glycerin / Propylene Glycol / Propanediol / other glycols etc)

4. Soothing Agent (Aloe Vera Extract, Allantonin)

5. Emollient (Oils)

6. Thickener

Ingredient 3, 4 and 5 are to counter the dryness caused by the alcohol. So, it may not be neccesary to include all 3 types of ingredients. The main ingredient as you know, is alcohol. If you want to understand more on how alcohol can disinfect as well as eliminating most of bacteria and virus, you can easily google them. Today, I am just here to explain if there are any difference in different hand sanitizer in the market now. You also heard of the effective percentage of alcohol. Preferably 60% and above to be effective, or did you?


This should be simple isn't it? We buy a hand sanitizer that state contain at least 60% alcohol. Or is it? Well, let's just say it is not so clear in recent days. Firstly, when a factory manufacture alcohol, they come in different percentage, common types are 70% or 99.8% variant. So what are the rest? They contain some denaturant or simply poison, basically to stop people from consuming which is understandable. Most hand sanitizer are formulated from these alcohol which is by the way, fine as well. 


Everything. The meaning of contain 99.8% alcohol does not mean 99.8% of the entire formulation of the hand sanitizer is alcohol. Understand that? Look at the sample ingredient list below: (which by right, all brands must include the full ingredient list of their products from the highest percentage to the lowest)

Water, 70% ethanol, glycerin, VP polymer

From the above list of ingredients, do you think the enitre formulation of the hand sanitizer contains 70% alcohol? Do some thinking, if water is the first ingredient, then it should be more than alcohol, and if indeed the alcohol is 70% in the hand sanitizer, then how can water be higher than the alcohol? Since everything should add up to 100% in math. 

So, when we purchase something, it is best that we understand the basic requirements. In any calculation, if the entire formulation of the hand sanitizer consist of 60% and above of alcohol, then, it should be first in the ingredient list. If any hand sanitizer does not contain the ingredient 1, 2, 6 & (3 or 4 or 5), then they are not informing consumers all the ingredients in their products and should avoid their other products in the future as well.

Lastly, know this. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer are not only use for eliminating germs during application, they are also there to preserve the formulation which contains water. As I have mentioned to many customers, anything with water, gives life. Whether the life is a friend or foe of humans. So, the high percentage of alcohol is needed and also exercise basic hygiene while using them.

Hope this is something useful for you and provide you some insight when purchasing hand sanitizer as well as any other products.


Update 20/2/2020: Take a look at our hand sanitizer here.