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What are the ingredients in hand sanitizer?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-04-13      Origin: Site


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With the Covid-19 pandemic, some of the lifestyles we have adopted have changed. "Wallet, phone, mask" is the new mantra for leaving home, and a bottle of hand sanitizer is something we need everywhere.

Things such as hand sanitizers are becoming more and more popular, which raises the question: "Should and shouldn’t I be in my hand sanitizer? What ingredients are used?"

This passage is going to talk about the following questions of hand sanitizer:

(1)Hand sanitizer types

(2)Other commonly used hand sanitizer ingredients

(3)Avoid hand sanitizer ingredients


(1)Hand sanitizer types

Now that we have more choices available, we are able to differentiate more in the type of hand sanitizer we buy.

In summary, there are two main types of common hand sanitizers: alcohol-based cleaners and non-alcoholic cleaners. Since the CDC, WHO and FDA all believe that alcohol disinfectants are the most effective, we will continue to analyze this type of ingredient.

The FDA has approved two types of alcohol hand sanitizers for hand sanitizers, namely ethanol (or ethanol) and isopropanol (or isopropanol) hand sanitizers.

In most cases, you will find a combination of the two in hand sanitizer, but sometimes only one or the other exists. They have very similar structures, and when used correctly, they can effectively kill bacteria by breaking down proteins and destroying the structure of bacteria.

Isopropanol, also known as topical alcohol, is synthetic rather than distilled from grains or other plants. This alcohol is usually used for disinfection. It is very toxic when ingested and is not drinkable alcohol.

However, ethanol is found in distilled spirits such as whiskey and tequila, also known as grain alcohol. This alcohol is drinkable (in a way, because we all know that excessive tequila is never a good idea), and it is also considered a good preservative.

It is worth noting that although the ethanol in liquor is for drinking, the law requires that the ethanol used in hand sanitizer be denatured. This means that adding chemicals will make it unsuitable for drinking, and if you ingest it, it will definitely make you feel very sick.

hand sanitizers 

(2)Other commonly used hand sanitizer ingredients

Therefore, since we know that we should look for hand sanitizers that contain at least 60-70% isopropanol and/or ethanol, what other ingredients should you also make sure that the hand sanitizer’s ingredient list is included?

Most hand sanitizers come in the form of gel wipes. Unless the disinfectant is a liquid spray or foam, a thickener is usually added to form a gel. These can be listed as "carbomers" or "cross-linked polymers" in the ingredient list and are only used to make liquid mixtures (such as alcohol and water) into gels for easy application and spreading.

They usually come in the form of a white powder and usually make up less than 1% of the disinfectant ingredients. Carbomer is non-toxic, has not proven to have a negative impact on the environment, and is considered safe for all types of skin. You will find them as inactive ingredients in various cosmetics.

Sometimes it is necessary to use a pH adjuster to achieve the desired gel thickness. These compounds are used to control the acidity or alkalinity of topical medications to achieve an appropriate consistency. If the acidity is too strong, your gel may be too fluid, the pH value is too high (or too alkaline), and the gel is too thick to be easily poured or extracted from the bottle.

Common pH adjusters include triethanolamine and aminomethylpropanol. These ingredients sound scary, but they are non-toxic and approved by the FDA for use in hand sanitizers at a very low percentage (usually between 0.3-0.5%).


(3)Avoid hand sanitizer ingredients

Here are some ingredients that should be avoided when buying disinfectants:

Benzalkonium chloride. This is the main active ingredient in "alcohol-free" disinfectants. As we mentioned, you want to choose an alcohol-based disinfectant for maximum efficacy, so if you see it on the ingredient label, please keep using it!

Methanol. Methanol is also known as wood alcohol. Because of its high toxicity, it is not approved for skin use. You won't find this ingredient on the label, but many hand sanitizers have recently been found to contain methanol and have been recalled. At least 10 milliliters of methanol can be fatal, and even less can cause permanent blindness and neurological damage. Find the complete list of FDA recalled products here.

Synthetic flavor. These fragrances usually contain phthalates and other ingredients that may irritate the skin.

You should always check the ingredient list for any substances in your body or on your skin, and hand sanitizer is no exception. By purchasing products with a minimum alcohol concentration of 60-70%, a large amount of moisturizers and no avoidable toxins or irritating substances, ensure that your disinfectants are safe and effective.

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