When Americans ran out of hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the sterile solution became worth it’s weight in gold. The CDC recommends using hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol to help stop the spread of germs.
Hand sanitizer isn’t more effective than washing your hands, but it’s definitely more convenient. Here are 9 benefits of using hand sanitizer.
One of the biggest benefits of using hand sanitizer over soap is that you don’t need to be near a sink. There are many instances where the need to rinse your hands is highly inconvenient.
You might not be near running water or have to wait in long lines at a public restroom to get access to a sink. Hand sanitizer is similar to using lotion in that it requires no other resources or prep work in order to use it.
You can never replace the use of hand sanitizer with hand soap while on the go. Soap isn’t portable and won’t remove any pathogens from your hands unless you have water to rinse them off.
Portability makes hand sanitizer a smart choice for protecting your hands from germs throughout the day. Keep a bottle handy in your pocket or briefcase to use after you come in contact with surfaces in public spaces.
Food trucks and other street food vendors won’t have a place for you to wash your hands before eating. Having your own hand sanitizer gives you the option to clean your hands before you eat.
3. Kills Microorganisms
It’s very common for bacteria to live on your hands, but not viruses. Still, you want the option to remove both while you’re out on the go.
Bacteria on your hands usually fall into two categories: resident and transient. The resident bacteria lives underneath a thin layer of skin cells on your hands.
Transient bacteria lives just on the surface and is easily removed. When you use hand sanitizer or wash your hands, you’re mostly removing transient bacteria.
According to the CDC, soap and water are better than hand sanitizers at removing germs like norovirus, Cryptosporidium, and Clostridioides difficile, and some harsh chemicals. But hand sanitizers still kill many germs on the surface of your skin.
Unlike soap, hand sanitizers kill germs on contact. The key is making sure your hand sanitizer has at least the minimum amount of alcohol needed to kill as many microorganisms as possible.
4. Good for Sensitive Skin
One common complaint about hand soap is that certain formulas are irritating for sensitive skin. Using commercial grade soaps found in public restrooms might contain ingredients that lead to rashes or itching on your skin.
Applying hand sanitizer is usually much better for sensitive skin especially if you’re using your own recipe.
5. You Can Customize It
Hand sanitizer can be made at home to meet all your sensitive skin needs. Make homemade hand sanitizer using organic ingredients or with essential oils that match your favorite scent.
The ingredients are easy to find in stores and won’t cost much to make. If you have a large family, you might actually save money by making your own hand sanitizer recipe for everyone in the household.
The amount you invest in your formula is completely up to your budget and wellness needs.
Hand sanitizer is great to have because it’s easy to share in groups. One Harvard study showed that most people aren’t truthful about washing their hands after using public restrooms.
If you’re in a group setting, share your hand sanitizer before sharing a meal with friends or coworkers. This cuts back on having to trust that everyone practices the same level of hygiene.
If you’re especially germaphobic, squeeze the hand sanitizer into the hands of everyone in the group instead of passing the bottle around. This creates a completely touchless situation for everyone.
Another important benefit of using hand sanitizer is that it’s more moisturizing than soap. Depending on its ingredients, hand sanitizer can be just as moisturizing as some lotions or oils.
If your skin dries out after washing your hands, create a hand sanitizer recipe to help keep your hands soft throughout the day. Hand sanitizers with aloe vera gel are great options for protecting your skin from dryness.
8. Bacteria Can’t Become Resistant
Bacteria won’t become resistant to the ingredients of hand sanitizer like they can with soap. Antibacterial soaps use an ingredient called Triclosan which has been suspected of worsening the strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria present on the hands.
There is no similar concerns with hand sanitizer. The active ingredient in hand sanitizers is alcohol.
Alcohol has been used for thousands of years as an antiseptic. It kills bacteria through a process called denaturation. This is just a way of saying alcohol can completely dissolve bacteria.
A common reason people don’t wash their hands is that it’s faster just to walk away after using the bathroom. If you’ve got to walk to the bathroom before getting a snack and you’re really hungry, it’s easy to find an excuse to skip hand washing in order to satisfy your hunger faster.
Hand sanitizer is far more convenient because it’s fast. There’s no washing with soap and water for 20 seconds to make sure you’ve removed all germs. Simply, rub for a few seconds and go.
Benefits of Using Hand Sanitizer to Prevent Illness
The benefits of hand sanitizer during a viral outbreak are tremendous. Killing pathogens on your hands can be the difference between infecting someone you love with germs or keeping your family safe.
Opt for strong hand sanitizer blends that are soothing on your skin to keep your hands moisturized. For more information and lifestyle tips, visit our blog for updates.