How to assess which hand sanitizer is effective?
On the shelves, especially now, during a viral pandemic, the focus is on many versions of disinfectants, antiseptics and products that “fight” or at least claim to “fight” microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, etc.), but it is very important to choose the right one. because not everyone is equally effective.
Before buying a hand sanitizer, it is important to know that no hand sanitizer prevents the spread of Covid-19 nor does it definitely protect against viruses or bacteria for a certain period of time, such as 24 hours. No consumer hand sanitizer that claims any of this is reliable.
Every store, cafe, restaurant, pharmacy, any space you visit, will not be happy to accept you if you do not spray on your hands what they have prepared for you. It should be an official disinfectant that kills the corona virus, but many doubt that it was served to them. Rarely does any disinfectant have a declaration at the entrances. These are mostly bulk packages. Which actually means spraying their preparations on pure confidence that it really is what the Headquarters orders, and that is the official so-called biocidal preparation approved by the Ministry of Health.
In order for the product to be completely correct and as such placed on the market, it must pass the inspection of the Ministry of Health. Only then, along with the declaration, can he get this mark - class and registration number. Many rightly wonder if doing so frequent disinfection may still do more harm than good. There have also been stories that frequent disinfection risks the development of super bacteria.
Your bottle says it ‘kills 99% of microorganisms’ and things like that? Alright. Maybe yes, maybe no. Now turn the back and start reading the declaration, that is, the list of ingredients. What do you see? If your COMPOSITION starts with ‘aqua’, you can already conclude that water is present in the largest amount (more water and less alcohol) which of course is not good in this case. Note, the percentage of alcohol must be a minimum of 60 - 70%, where 70% is ideal - enough to remove and prevent the spread of microorganisms from the hands. This alcohol may be labeled as ethanol, alcohol, isopropanol, ethyl or 2-propanol. "Alcohol" (Ethanol) must be at the top of the list of ingredients, which means that it is the most common. If the percentage of alcohol in the hand sanitizer is not pronounced, try to find one that transparently displays the ratios to make sure. Disinfectants containing less than 60 percent alcohol or benzalkonium chloride (non-alcoholic base) may be used, but they reduce the number of germs instead of killing them.
Consumers should not use disinfectants that contain methanol, wood alcohol or 1-propanol. They should also avoid household cleaning or disinfection products as a disinfectant. These ingredients and products are not intended for use on the skin and may be toxic.
Washing hands with ordinary soap and water is still the most effective method of hand disinfection. However, hand sanitizers can be used when washing is not possible, for example when we are in a store or other situations where our hands may be exposed to germs.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the level of germs on our hands, but it is important to note that they do not remove all types of germs. They should not be used on visibly dirty hands or to remove harmful chemicals, such as pesticides or heavy metals.
It is recommended to apply the disinfectant to the palm of one hand (the appropriate amount should be stated on the label) and then rub the product on the hands - palms, fingers and the back of the hands - until the hands are dry. Wiping your hands on pants or other items can reduce the effectiveness of a disinfectant, even if it has adequate alcohol levels. With a list of hand sanitizers that are growing daily, it is important to know what to look for when buying this product. To prevent the spread of infection, it is very important to follow some of the basic steps:
- Taking care of personal hygiene - it is very important to wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water - for at least 20 seconds
- Hand disinfection - use of antiseptics / disinfectants with a minimum of 60-70% alcohol
- It is also recommended to clean and disinfect work surfaces, products or food that has been exposed to the touch of other people, bank cards, etc. Washing clothes for min. 60 ° C destroys most pathogens, as well as preparing food at high temperatures and reducing the risk of infection long enough.
How long should I wash my hands?
Wash your hands for at least 20 to 30 seconds. The same goes for hand sanitizer: use a disinfectant that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub it into your hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure full coverage.
When should hands be washed / disinfected?
To protect yourself as much as possible from coronavirus, be sure to wash / disinfect your hands:
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After staying outside, especially in public transport, shops, markets and other public places
- After touching surfaces and things (outside your home), and especially money
- Before, during and after caring for a sick person
- Before and after meals
In general, you should always wash your hands:
- After using the toilet
- Before and after meals
- After you throw out the trash
- After touching pets and / or other animals
- After changing children’s diapers or helping them use the toilet
- When your hands are visibly dirty
ALCOHOL DRYS THE SKIN
We have to be honest. Yes, alcohol in itself dries out your skin, so this is in a way inevitable when using a disinfectant frequently. But when it comes to health and it depends on us, then we will ‘see’ through his fingers. That is why it is important to add some ingredients such as Aloe vera, glycerin, lavender essential oil, tea tree, etc. With them, we ‘alleviate’ the drying of the skin and the skin thus gets at least that amount of ingredients that nourish it. protect and nurture.
WHAT SHOULD WE PAY ATTENTION TO WHEN CHOOSING A NUTRITIVE HAND CREAM?
The use of nourishing hand creams also plays an important role. Wounded and dry skin is easier to miss the intake of microorganisms, which of course is not desirable. In addition, many creams contain harmful ingredients that can:
- cause allergic reactions
- hormonal imbalances
- severe drying of the skin
- clogging of the pores
- skin irritations
- and many other, even much worse health problems
Although it is known that disinfectants are not the best for the delicate skin of the hands, due to the danger of coronavirus, daily use is necessary.
If you have noticed that your hands are drier than usual during the winter, then you will need to introduce additional measures of regular hydration of the skin of the hands with the help of hand cream or lotion.
Sara Webster from Young LDN says that over time, excessive hand washing and the use of products will damage the skin's natural protective barrier.
She also recommends that dryness can be corrected by more frequent use of moisturizing creams, especially those enriched with vitamin B, hyaluronic acid, almond oil, macadamia nuts, avocados, wheat germ and shea butter, which deeply nourish and nourish chapped and dry skin. Like La PIEL rich and nourishing hand cream.
The best preparations for the care of dry and cracked skin of the hands are those that contain natural substances that promote the hydration of damaged skin, enabling re-epithelialization and faster healing and restoration of the hydrolipid layer of the skin.
In the skin itself, we have a perfectly tuned healing mechanism, in which hyaluronic acid, a natural mucopolysaccharide and an integral part of our skin, play an extremely important role. Hyaluronic acid can increase the volume many times over due to the large capacity of accumulation of moisture (water) and thus fill the skin from the inside out, enabling good hydration. It is also important for skin elasticity because it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin fibers and structural proteins.
In addition to hyaluronic acid, it is desirable that the product also contains cold-pressed vegetable oils such as almond oil, which nourishes and protects the skin from drying out, thus restoring the natural barrier.
It is best to apply a lot of moisturizer after each use of hand detergent. Repeat this beauty ritual in the evening when you go to bed to deeply nourish the skin.
Read the declaration and AVOID products that contain the following ingredients:
- PARABENS - methylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben
- SILICONE - ingredients that end in -thicone and -siloxane. Dimethicone, dimethicone, cyclomethicone or other ingredients ending in -thicone or -cone. Cyclopentasiloxane and other ingredients ending in -siloxane or -silanol.
- PETROLEUM DERIVATIVES - Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly, Paraffin Oil, Mineral Oil, White Petrolatum
- PHTHALATES - dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), dimethyl phthalate, butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP)...
- Formaldehyde (FRP) - quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), glyoxal and oxaldehyde
- Polyethylene glycol (PEG) - polyethylene glycol
- ETANOLAMINS - Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TE
- Octinoxate, Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), parsol, parsol MCX, parsol MOX, escalol, 2-ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
The fine for placing an incorrect disinfectant on the market is from 1320 to 13200 euros, but it is doubtful whether it is about putting on the market something that is not sold but only put to use. Increased demand for disinfectants has also led to increased supply recently. Anyone who can get hold of either alcohol or some other disinfectant is trying to get into the business.
We have listed only some of the potentially harmful ingredients, unfortunately the list is much larger, but we hope that we have made your job of reading the declaration a little easier.
Take care of your skin and treat it to the best possible care!
* You can learn more about antiseptic and disinfectant action in a scientific paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC88911/