Sales of hand sanitisers have gone through the roof in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak over the last few months. The result has been shortages in chemists and supermarkets around the world. While not a replacement for soap and water, sanitisers are an effective alternative for those at work, shopping or on the go.
Are all hand sanitisers the same?
With many sanitisers marketed as antibacterial, rather than antiviral, you can be forgiven for wondering if they are effective in protecting us against COVID-19. Yet many academic studies show how powerful they are in killing emerging coronaviruses.
But there’s a catch. Sanitisers are an acceptable way to practice good hand hygiene, one of the frontline defences against the virus — but only if they have an alcohol content of between 70% or higher, like YourSanitiser. This relatively high alcohol content helps to stop the spread of the virus, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
What is the ideal composition of a gel?
The active ingredient in a hand sanitiser should be ethyl alcohol (ethanol). Only this is effective in repelling the coronavirus by destroying the envelope protein that protects and allows it to multiply.
The ideal hand sanitiser gel should also contain natural ingredients that nourish the skin. These will counteract the harsh feel of the alcohol as the alcohol is applied to the skin. The best composition of a gel will allow the active ingredient to dry quickly and therefore provide maximum protection against the virus. YourSanitisercontains natural Vitamine E which is used in many anti-aging products and naturally moisturising Aloe Vera.
What ingredients in hand sanitiser should I avoid?
Many hand sanitisers are made with benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient, rather than alcohol. As a ProPublica article states, the CDC has advised that this ingredient is less effective in protecting against the coronavirus.
You should avoid any form of alcohol other than the recommended ethyl alcohol in the sanitiser. Many home recipes are suggesting regular shop-bought vodka is acceptable to use. This isn’t correct and should be avoided as its alcohol content isn’t high enough to kill the coronavirus.
Any product that is likely to harm us should also be avoided. Many sanitisers contain ingredients that damage the skin or when they enter the bloodstream. Always check the label and research for ingredients that cause harmful effects.
Why you shouldn’t make a hand sanitiser at home
The shortage of commercial hand sanitisers in the shops has sparked many attempts to make home versions. However, it isn’t recommended by health experts. While the World Health Organisation does include a recipe for making the sanitiser, it is intended for people who have limited access to clean water and soap.
Daniel Parker, assistant professor of public health at the University of California, Irvine, told CNN that it was difficult to get the concentrations of alcohol right. Too much or too little will reduce the effectiveness of protection against the virus.
Clearly, hand sanitisers are an excellent alternative to washing your hands with soap and water. This is particularly so for people who are away from a sink at a particular moment in time, perhaps commuting or shopping. However, you should always check that the product is at least 60 per cent alcohol-based.
YourSanitiser — with an ethanol content of 75 per cent — provides a high degree of protection against COVID-19. Clean and fresh, it won’t leave that sticky feel on your hands. YourSanitiser will give your skin a great feeling and your hands a pleasant aroma.