Keeping our hands clean has never been more important than it is today, not only for our own protection, but also for the prevention of passing dangerous germs on to others. Every year it seems like there's some new virus or bacterial infection going around; hand sanitizer can be a great way to quickly kill germs while on the go! ...however, after long days of frequent use, hand sanitizer can really dry out the skin on our hands; pair that with the regular rubbing together of our hands in the process of washing etc., things can get pretty uncomfortable!
So, we already know it happens, but why does it happen? ...and most importantly, what's to be done about it?
Simply put, hand sanitizer does not have to be so harsh on your hands, you just need to be aware of the ingredients involved so that you can select the best option on the market. Like any other product out there, run-of-the-mill varieties are usually made of the cheapest, low-quality, high-chemical ingredients that leave us doubting their safety (okay, maybe it would be better to say that we are fairly certain they are not safe!).
If you pick up a bottle of hand sanitizer and the ingredient list on the label is comprised of alcohol, fragrances, and little else, you can expect negative results from frequent use, including dry chapped hands. Here's why.
The ability of hand sanitizer to instantly kill germs comes from its high content of alcohol. Whether it's the ethanol or isopropanol varieties (both are used in sanitizers), alcohol is a powerful antiseptic/antimicrobial agent that breaks down the outer layer of virus and bacteria cells; once the protective layer of the germs are removed, the cells' interior components quickly die from exposure. Most sanitizers have an alcohol level of 70% and can eliminate as much as 99.9% of germs!
In addition to the successful rate at which alcohol kills viruses and bacteria, it also evaporates quickly, which is quite convenient for frequent hand use (it sure saves a lot of paper towels!). The molecules of alcohol are less clingy that H2O, and they fly apart from each other, resulting in rapid evaporation along with the accompanying cooling effect.
The potential problem comes in when hand sanitizer products don't provide any (or enough) moisturizing elements in the midst of all that evaporation. Without effective moisturizers, alcohol applied many times throughout the day will cause your skin to become very dry; and eventually it will be also be chapped and sore.
These much-needed moisturizers are called emollients; gel-like or (sometimes fatty) substances that "fill in the cracks" of your dry skin, help the cells retain hydration, and leave it feeling smooth and soft. The best emollients will mimic the natural oils of your skin without leaving a sticky residue. The more often hand sanitizer is used, the higher the content of emollients is required in order to keep the skin from drying out.
Although the average hand sanitizer will contain a small amount of emollient ingredients, they really aren't designed to protect your hands in the case of frequent usage. For individuals whose professions and lifestyles require above-average hand cleansing, it is very important to choose a hand sanitizer that will adequately replace the moisture that is lost with each use of the alcohol-based product.
While it can be difficult to tell what's what in the ingredient lists (in terms of emollients), an easy way to know which products are best is by taking advantage of other people's experiences. In other words, read reviews!
Medical Professionals have found a product that is an absolute perfect fit for long days of almost-constant hand cleansing. Surgicept was designed to do the job well, while at the same time preventing all the negative side effects associated with frequent sanitization, including dryness, cracking, and chafing.
Surgicept is a high-quality hand sanitizer that contains a grand total of 6 effective emollients to thoroughly moisturize and condition the hands with each use; and while other brands so often leave a sticky residue on your hands, the unique blend of ingredients in Surgicept leaves skin feeling soft, clean, and dry.
This clear and fragrance-free formula has been used successfully for over 10 years by surgeons, doctors, and other medical personnel; now it is also available in smaller amounts for the average individual! Ready to get some and try it out for yourself? Ready to try our hand sanitizer products? Try Surgicept for yourself.