With peaks and valleys, folds and rifts, there are plenty of hiding places for a virus to stick. Yes, we are talking about hands. Hands are vulnerable to catch viruses every time. Moreover, the outbreak of COVID-19 has heightened the importance of hand sanitizers. Nowadays, masks, social distance, and hand sanitizers have become a part of our everyday vocabulary.
Many get confused between washing and sanitizing hands, but we want to clarify that sanitizing is a secondary substitute for washing. Global health organizations give more importance to washing but, there's a slight difference between them. In easy words, washing washes away the bacteria and sanitizing kills the harmful bacteria. So that you remain germ-free, we have prepared a buying guide on the best hand sanitizers in India. Also, this article is medically reviewed by a chemical engineer, Dr Gaurav Verma.
Gaurav Verma is a teacher and researcher in the chemical engineering department of Panjab University, India.
mybest editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in India in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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Table of Contents
CDC says that soap and water remove all types of germs from hands whereas sanitizer kills them. Sanitizers work fast in killing the germs but certain germs can only be removed by soap and water. Norovirus, cryptosporidium, clostridioides difficile, and heavy metals like lead and pesticides are some of the examples where sanitizer is not effective.
As we are adjusting to a new normal because of COVID-19, many of our habits have changed and for some, sanitizing is one of them. Today, we value sanitizing more than ever. Do not confuse cleaning and sanitizing, sanitizing is a part of cleaning and it kills germs, reduces the growth of viruses, fungi, and harmful bacteria. Washing on the other hand removes the germs.
Washing with soap and water is more effective but when they are not accessible, hand sanitizers must be used as it can also prevent you from getting infected with COVID-19.
Sanitizers are a handy way of managing cleaner hands, especially at places where water and soap may not be available. Water sources themselves sometimes carry germs and bio-organisms, which can be avoided by the use of sanitizers. It is much easier to carry sanitizers than soap and water everywhere.
While buying hand sanitizer, there are some things that you should keep in mind: the expiry date, type of sanitizer, nutrients, and suitability towards the skin. We have mentioned some points to make you clear before you step into the shop. This article has been medically reviewed by a chemical engineer, Dr. Gaurav Verma, so keep reading!
Commonly there are two types of hand sanitizers in India that are, alcohol-based and alcohol-free. Although to some extent, they both work similarly, one can compare the speed they have to react to the virus.
Alcohol-based sanitizers mainly contain two active ingredients - alcohol or isopropanol- that are both known to kill germs and bacteria. Some of the health organizations are of the view that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are efficient and fast in killing viruses.
Many health organizations like WHO recommend sanitizers with 60%-95% alcohol content as they effectively kill bacterias and germs; however, alcohol-based sanitizers are highly flammable and must be used with extra precautions.
Children below the age of 6 should use under the surveillance of parents. If consumed, it can lead to acute alcohol poisoning in children and adults. Overuse can also take away oils present in your skin and end up leaving you with dry skin or itchiness.
From your personal experience of visiting hospitals, you may realize that antiseptic cleaning solvents used there are alcohol-based. They have a minimum of 60% (v/v) alcohol which is volatile and can be sensed by smell. So if you relate the hospital to the smell in your sanitizer, you can guess it's alcohol-based.
And the exact concentration can be checked on the label. However, the type of alcohol used has to be accepted with caution as cheap products may use methanol base instead of ethanol, which can be detrimental to health conditions.
Alcohol-free sanitizers are water-based products made from Benzalkonium Chloride. Benzalkonium is a colorless liquid that is used for oil antiseptic. Alcohol-free sanitizers have less than 0.1% concentrations of Benzalkonium. Although many organizations recommend alcohol-based hand sanitizers, some believe that alcohol-free sanitizers provide the same level of protection.
They are non-flammable and relatively non-toxic. They don't cause dryness to the skin and cause less harm if consumed. But, they haven't gained real traction in the market, and many researchers believe that they are slow to react to the virus.
Due to health concerns for excessive use of alcohol-based volatile sanitizers, certain chemical-based sanitizers have entered the commercial market. These hand sanitizers may contain unapproved chemicals and could have serious toxicity issues. The absence of alcohol may ensure non-flammability, but nothing is assured as many do not have requisite approvals.
Triclosan is an ingredient added to some products like soaps, toothpaste, and some cosmetics to prevent bacterial contamination. According to the FDA, high doses of triclosan can decrease the levels of some thyroid hormones. Also, Some studies suggest that exposure to triclosan might affect fetal development, asthma, and fertility negatively. They are not even capable of dealing with the common cold; hence they should be avoided.
There is another substance called methanol, it is a type of alcohol made from natural gas. Methanol is also used to make clothing and as a chemical agent in pharmaceuticals and agrichemicals. However, FDA has warned against methanol in sanitizers as it can lead to nausea, headaches, blindness, and even coma.
Many gross chemicals have started to be used for sanitizer formulation. These chemicals have serious consequences as they have unknown hazards. They have not been tested for efficacy as well as toxicity. Hence it is important to be doubly sure for your safety to investigate the ingredients carefully.
Most of us are not usually in the habit of checking the manufacturing date before buying the product. This is very important for your safety because if the sanitizer is expired then it is 90% less effective.
Typically, the industry has maintained the limit for the validation of a sanitizer and if it has an expiration date it means that the ingredients present in the product are active. An expired sanitizer will not harm you but it will not be as effective. Generally, the expiration date is 2-3 years for an authentic product.
Every synthetic product has an expiry, and usually, this is inscribed on the manufacturing label. If used after the expiry date, the chemicals may have unprecedented hazards, which may not be easy to prove or disapprove.
Ever heard of hand eczema? It is a medical condition that makes the skin rough with blisters that can cause itching and bleeding. It can happen when the skin is overexposed to chemicals, harsh soaps, or raw fruits/vegetables. Alcohol-based sanitizers can cause the skin to become rough also called hand dermatitis.
So, people with sensitive skin can experience such things more often than others. You can look for moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera, glycerin, vitamin E, or Ayurvedic sanitizers.
Repeated use of hand sanitizers can rob the skin of essential oils secreted by our skin. It is not natural to use sanitizers and chemical-based formulations all the time. Some proven moisturizing agents can recharge the skin with external oils being used, which can provide some hydration to dry skin.
Both of them are equally effective but have a different texture. The researchers have observed that liquid sanitizers kill disease-causing bacteria in 15 seconds, whereas gel hand sanitizers take 30 seconds. Gel-based are more friendly to the skin than liquid-based.
Gel-based can spread evenly and gives full protection to your hands. Although not all liquid-based sanitizers come with the spray version, those with this facility have a scattered approach and can be wasteful. Gel-based can take a little longer to dry. Hence, they both have their points but work the same way.
Sanitizers can be in solution (water-like) or semi-liquid (gel-based) forms. Based on ease of mobility, it can be a personal choice to opt for either. The idea is to ensure in whatever form it is used, it has to be rubbed vigorously all over the intended surface like hands.
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Alcohol-Based Sanitizer Made From Ayurvedic Formulations
Hand Sanitizer Made from Natural Ingredients
Non-Alcoholic Hand Sanitizer
Alcohol-Free Sanitizer That Kills the Germs in 9 Seconds
Quick Drying Non-Sticky Hand Sanitizer With Glycerine
Instant Hand Sanitizer
This Product Has Been Recommended by Indian Medical Association
Pack of 4 With 70% Alcohol Made With Tea Tree Leaf Oil
Hand Sanitizer Mist
A Hand Sanitizer With Orange Extracts and Vitamin E
A Multipurpose Instant Sanitizer With Combination of Flavors
70% Alcohol Made With Tulsi, Neem, and Aloe Vera Extracts
Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer
An Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer That Will Leave Your Skin Soft and Refreshed
It comes with Ayurvedic formulations which can kill 99.99% germs without the use of soap and water. It is non-sticky and is suitable for people with dry or sensitive skin. It comes with two variants, strawberry, and lemon.
The pump on the bottle can be locked, so one doesn't need to worry if it is pressed mistakenly. It gets expired within 24 months. It is a rare combination of alcohol-based Ayurvedic formulations and reviewers are all about its texture and fragrance.
It has been made from dhanyaka (coriander), ushira (vetiver), nutgrass, spiked ginger lily, and neem. These ingredients are rare to see in a hand sanitizer.
Every ingredient has its importance as, coriander is anti-microbial, vetiver is anti-bacterial, nutgrass is reported to possess anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity. This product is suitable for all skin types and it also acts as a moisturizer that helps skin dryness.
It is an alcohol-free product that claims that it can kill the germs within 9 seconds. Due to its natural formation from tulsi, it acts as a moisturizer which will help your skin from drying and it can also be used by children.
If you're looking for an alcohol-free and children-friendly hand sanitizer which also has tulsi extracts then you can buy this product. Some of the reviewers are of the view that it is sticky.
It is an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer that has over 60% alcohol content. It is non-sticky and very quick at drying. Many reviewers are of the view that it doesn't have a very sharp smell as other sanitizers but it comes with a very mild fragrance which is soothing enough to apply it again and again.
It contains glycerine, so people with sensitive skin can also have this alcohol-based product. It should be kept away from children below 5 years of age.
This product has been on the hit list for many years. It is known to protect you from 100 illness-causing germs so it has been recommended and certified by IMA, which is the pan-India voluntary organization of modern medicine doctors.
Reviewers have confirmed that is a non-sticky product and comes with a mild fragrance. It is not suitable for all skin types and can irritate but it works well with people having oily skin. One can stop the usage immediately if it doesn't suit the skin.
This product is value for money which comes with a pack of 4. It has 70% alcohol content and made from a variety of ingredients like neem and tulsi. The special thing about this product is that it is made from tea tree leaf oil that can make your skin smooth and clear.
It has no damaging effect on the skin and can also be used by children. Although, many reviewers are very positive about this product some of them are not satisfied with the fragrance.
This hand sanitizer comes with 83.3% alcohol content and can last long. It is non-toxic and doesn't hurt the hand. It has vitamin E that is a skin-friendly cleanser and glycerin that helps to moisturize the skin.
Reviewers are all about its non-sticking and non-irritating qualities with a very decent smell of orange. Because of its alcohol content, it is highly flammable so one has to be cautious all the time and avoid keeping it closer to the fire.
Contains 70% alcohol which helps to kill 99.9% germs. It comes with a spray and can be used anytime without having to worry about the residue. Whether it be skin or any dusty surface which you feel like sanitizing with alcohol, this product can be used anywhere.
It has been made from a variety of ingredients like lemon, aloe vera, neem, tea tree oil, tulsi, and more. All these ingredients are good moisturizers for the skin. According to the reviewers, this is one of the best products because it has a good fragrance, it is very skin-friendly and non-sticky.
It is an easy anti-fungal and anti-bacterial spray with a very enriching aroma of neem and tulsi. It is a self-drying sanitizer that can be used anywhere from the skin to infected areas like doorknob or switches.
This sanitizer is highly flammable so it must be kept away from children and fire. Some reviewers claim that the quality of the spray is not that good and it breaks after a few days.
It is an antiseptic, non-sticky liquid hand sanitizer that leaves your skin soft and refreshed. It is quick in drying and non-irritating to the skin. The alcohol content is 73.34% so must be kept away from fire and children.
Right from the packaging to the texture of the product reviewers have given mixed feedback, some say that the packaging has not been up to the mark, and the cap of the bottle was seen unsealed. It doesn't have a very strong alcoholic smell but at the same time, it can be a little sticky.
If you have that dry and rough skin and you are struggling to get that moisture, we have some more options for you. Check out our top 10 body moisturizing creams.
Our hands do a lot for us and we are very much dependent on them but we can help them by maintaining proper hygiene. One must maintain the habit of sanitizing the hands, there are a plethora of hand sanitizers available on amazon or flipkart and we've made it a little simpler for you to choose one of them. Always remember, using a sanitizer is an effective way of killing the germs but is secondary to washing.
Author: Nikhil Deora
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