The Dirt on Hand Sanitizer
If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all very aware of Hand Sanitizer quality. We've all been to the stores with super watery hand sanitizer that gets all over our sleeves and takes forever to dry. Then there's the gel like versions that are sticky and you feel like your hands are dirtier than before using the hand sanitizer (I'm looking at you Canadian Tire!). Clearly not all sanitizers are created equally, in texture, scent, or efficacy.
So what's the happy medium and how do you know if the hand sanitizer you are using is effective and not destroying your hands in the process?
Here’s what to look for:
1. NPN (Natural Product Number) - this is Health Canada’s approval number for the manufacturer. This is required by law in order to sell a hand sanitizer. If you don't see a number, you should not use it. For more info click here for the Health Canada requirements. Click here for a list of approved Canadian Hand Sanitizers (last checked we're on page 459 with our NPN 80099422).
2. Alcohol type and quality - hand sanitizers can use either isopropyl alcohol or ethanol as the disinfecting ingredient. Some alcohols, especially ethanol, have versions that are actually industrial grade and should not be used in hand sanitizers. They can cause irritation and even burns to the skin. Here's the link for more information on recalled hand sanitizers.
3. Alcohol Content - must be a minimum of 70% isopropyl alcohol (ethanol can be as low as 60%). While up to 95% is acceptable for efficacy, more than 85% gets very harsh on the hands. T•L Hand Sanitizer contains 75% isopropyl alcohol.
4. Expiry Date - hand sanitizers lose effectiveness over time due to evaporation of the alcohol so look for your sanitizer's expiry date. Most are good for up to 2 years from manufacture as long as they are kept in an airtight container.
5. Moisturizer - most hand sanitizers contain a moisturizer but not all. Look for a moisturizer like glycerin, or better yet olive squalane (click here to learn more about olive squalane). A moisturizer will make it gentler on your hands, especially with frequent use. T•L's Hand Sanitizer contains both glycerin and olive squalane.
6. Scent - depending on your preference or where you are using your hand sanitizer, you may or may not want any scent. If you do choose a scented version, one that contains essential oils will be better for your skin than one that contains fragrance oils. Fragrance oils, while pleasant and strong smelling, don't contain any natural benefits to your skin and can contain myriad of chemicals you may not want. T•L Hand Sanitizer is scented with our signature House Blend scent, a blend of 9 essential oils, 5 with antiseptic and 3 with antibacterial properties, making it effective and appealing to just about every nose.
So when buying Hand Sanitizer, choose wisely.
Rest assured, T•L has got your back…er hands.
T•L’s NPN (Natural Product Number): 80099422