With schools reopening around the country, it's now more than ever essential for teachers to ensure that they remain safe and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to learners and other teachers. Regular hand washing with soap and running water is one sure way to stay safe. However, at times, you don't have immediate access to them. That is where an ideal hand sanitizer comes in. The ideal hand sanitizer provides protection when you are at home, school, or any other public place where there is a high risk of contracting viruses, germs, and harmful bacteria. However, not all hand sanitizers are effective, as this recent study reveals. Some products contain ingredients that may cause your skin to dry and crack.
We will look at the six things to look out for when buying the best hand sanitizer:
There is an array of sanitizers available in the market today, however, not all of the products available will suit your skin type. You should go for a hand sanitizer that is mild on your skin. It should not provoke inflammation, skin cracks, or drying. If you have sensitive skin, ensure you thoroughly check the ingredients before buying any product. You can also consult your doctor when looking for an ideal hand sanitizer.
While alcohol hand-based sanitizers can effectively and quickly reduce the number of germs on your hands, it may not eliminate all microbes types. The percentage of alcohol in a hand sanitizer is critical in killing the virus and the germs. Sanitizers with higher alcohol concentration are more effective at killing germs than those with lower alcohol concentration. Alcohol destroys the outer layer of a virus. Once the virus's protein is exposed, it denatures, and the virus becomes inactive. An effective sanitizer should have an alcohol content of between 60 and 85 percent. There also exist non-alcohol based products that offer little protection.
Most hand sanitizers are made of ethanol (ethyl) or isopropyl. Isopropyl is synthetically made and comes with a pungent smell. Ethanol is more ideal because it is effective, less toxic, and friendlier to your skin. It also comes with a better scent than sanitizers made from isopropyl.
Sanitizer ingredients are also a factor to consider when buying the product. Go for a hand sanitizer that contains extra ingredients such as aloe and vitamin E. Aloe and vitamin E will militate against the drying effect of hand sanitizers. Besides, if you can find hand sanitizers with moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, by all means, buy them. Glycerin is suitable for dry skin.
How you apply the sanitizer is also essential. You should go for gel or liquid aerosol hand sanitizers. Gel hand sanitizers are thickened and will not run off your hands too quickly. They also won't dry too quickly and thus offer more protection. The fact that you have to spread the sanitizer mechanically helps in enhancing its efficacy. On the other hand, the aerosol hand sanitizers allow for quick, sanitizing on the go. They don't also roll of surfaces easily and are therefore ideal for sanitizing other common surfaces such as keyboards, countertops, and doorknobs.
Does the hand sanitizer leave a sticky, gooey residue type feel or does it leave the hands soft and smooth? Some cheaper, bulk hand sanitizers are made less expensive moisturizers, which can leave a tacky, sticky feeling. There are hand sanitizers available specifically formulated to counteract the drying efects of alcohol and leave the hands soft and smooth. This slick, smooth feeling is due to the emollients and other skin conditioners. One brand, Surgicept® hand sanitizer was created for the surgical and healthcare market whereby surgeons require the antiseptic to dry quickly and no friction so it’s not difficult to don gloves.
Because of the alcohol concentration, most hand sanitizers come with expiry dates. Alcohol is volatile, and it will slowly evaporate with time, and thus you have to store and use the sanitizer well. The sanitizer will lose its effectiveness if the alcohol concentration drops below 60 percent. Once it expires, the product will cease being effective in preventing infections and fighting viruses, bacteria, and other germs. Before you purchase a hand sanitizer, ensure you check the expiry date on the sanitizer bottle.
Although most sanitizers are made from excellent quality ingredients, the recent spark in COVID-19 19 infections has led to a spike in demand for the hand sanitizer. Consequently, many new companies have been licensed to make and distribute the product. With too many players joining the market, there is a likelihood of compromised quality standards. Some of the market products may therefore contain damaging substances that may cause trouble on your skin. Ensure the products you choose constitute a pure formulation that is safe for you and your loved ones.
Storage also matters when it comes to hand sanitizers. Because they are alcohol-based, the hand sanitizer you are using is highly flammable and must be stored with safety in mind. You should keep the sanitizer away from fire and young children.