Should your hand sanitizer contain alcohol?

Germs are everywhere. Everything that we touch, breathe, and smell contains bacteria. Our immune system is meant to protect the body from infectious diseases, however, there is still a slight risk that it can be compromised by harmful bacteria or viruses.   

Handwashing with soap and water is the most effective way to stay clean, but hand sanitizer is a convenient alternative to maintain cleanliness while in the car, at work or when soap and water are out of reach.

The misconception that alcohol-based sanitizers are harsh on the skin has led people to opt for “alcohol-free” options. But according to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sanitizers need to have at least 60% of alcohol to be effective. Alcohol is the mechanism that destabilizes the structure of the bacteria or virus, neutralizing it. Non-alcohol-based sanitizers don’t do so effectively.

Still, in 2020, sales for non-alcohol-based sanitizers skyrocketed on Amazon.

Are home remedies just as good?

Using home remedies as opposed to Health Canada-approved hand sanitizers can be risky. The World Health Organization (WHO) set up a guide to creating a homemade hand sanitizer formula, but it needs to be carefully prepared and followed accurately.

It is important to do your research prior to purchasing a hand sanitizer. Many trusted brands will outline their ingredients in their products openly.

Ethisan hand sanitizers are plant-based products that contain seven ingredients or fewer with 70% and 80% USP grade ethanol. They’re environmentally friendly and 100% Canadian sourced and made,