Good hand hygiene is paramount to good health, especially with the current pandemic of 2020. One of the simplest ways to reduce your risk of getting sick is to make sure to wash your hands frequently and if you do use hand sanitizer, make sure it meets the minimum alcohol concentration requirement to kill harmful bacteria.
Hand sanitizer can be seen everywhere these days in offices, airports, malls, and most public bathrooms. The small portable bottles have become a must have for many to carry in their purses or cars. Since hand sanitizer made its commercial debut in the early 1990s, there has also been a constant debate on whether it is completely safe and healthy to use.
- Most importantly, it kills germs and bacteria. Alcohol-based sanitizers can reduce about 97% of the bacteria on your hands.
- Hand sanitizer has proved to be effective at reducing the number of sick days in work environments as well as preventing the spread of viruses at schools.
- Accessibility. When you don't have access to soap and water, a small bottle of hand sanitizer can feel like a life saver for someone who is constantly on the go. It can conveniently be stored just about anywhere.
- It's cost effective and long lasting. Most hand sanitizers are relatively inexpensive and have a shelf life of 2-3 years. Small bottles can last for weeks at a time with consistent use, while large bottles can last for months, making less of a need for frequent purchases
- Some brands are ineffective. While most popular brands do meet the 60 percent minimum alcohol concentration required to effectively kill viruses and bacteria, there are those available in stores that do not. As with any product, it's very important to read the label to know what makes up the product.
- Hand sanitizer may be effective against germs, but it's no substitute for soap and water when needing to remove grease, dirt or blood from hands. These substances need to be completely removed. Using hand sanitizer on them will just move around the bacteria.
- Weakens immunity to germs. This is a hot topic when talking about the use of hand sanitizer. Some researchers say that frequent use of hand sanitizer will cause a resistance to both good and bad bacteria, which could hurt your immune system in fighting off infections. The Food and Drug Administration acknowledges this data and stresses that hand sanitizer is not a replacement for frequent hand washing. (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-drug-class/qa-consumers-hand-sanitizers-and-covid-19)
- The alcohol content in hand sanitizer often causes drying of the skin, causing cracked skin, itching and irritation. Constant use of hand sanitizer, especially when using after washing.
New Horizons for Hand Sanitizer
The newest and most advanced development in curbing bacteria, germs and even viruses is an ingredient called Benzalkonium Chloride (BK). This ingredient can be used in place of alcohol in hand sanitizers, while still offering a 99.9% reduction in bacteria, germs and viruses. Not only is this ingredient effective in anti-bacterial defense, it has also been shown to have efficacy for up to 4 hours, alcohol based hand sanitizers provide only 2 to 3 minutes of anti-bacterial protection, according to a study published by theAmerican Journal of Infection Control.
Because of the nature of BK, it is much easier for formulating into esthetically beneficial products as well. GLOWBIOITCS is releasing a new Probiotic Alcohol-free Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer. This lightweight, luxurious hand cream will not only hydrate and soothe chapped, dry hands but it will reduce bacteria, germs and viruses longer than typical alcohol-based sanitizers. Find out more here.