Living in the time of COVID-19 — when most streets are virtually empty and people are constantly advised to stay at home — it is only vital to reassess what a “normal” lifestyle means. With the virus being easily spread through droplets and contact transmission, everyone should become more aware of how essential it is to make hand-washing a necessary habit.
From washing your hands with soap and water to placing a hand sanitizer in every strategic location possible, you and your family have the responsibility to do your own part in helping contain the rather infectious disease.
In this article, we are particularly focusing the discussion on hand sanitizers. Here are five must-know tips on how to choose the best one to help keep your place COVID-free.
Make sure it has an ample percentage of alcohol. Health experts recommend that for a hand sanitizer to be effective, it has to contain at least 60% ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. Without this key ingredient, the sanitizer you’ll buy won’t be able to kill off viruses and bacteria. Nonetheless, scientists are quick to clarify that while sanitizers can provide great benefits (especially if you’re in transit or in a public space) — they don’t replace soap-and-water combination in keeping your hands clean and germ-free.
Look into the ingredients and be wary of harmful ones. Speaking of ingredients, many are skeptical about sanitizers with the simple reason that they contain toxic ingredients. This is why it is careful to thoroughly check the label — below are the top ingredients you need to avoid when buying your sanitizer:
Triclosan. Though recognized for its antibacterial properties, this synthetic pesticide commonly found in soaps and detergents is actually linked to hormone disruption and even cancer.
Phthalates. If you have ever wondered how certain products have an unusually long-lasting fragrant smell, phthalates are the culprit behind it. These chemicals contain asthma triggers, neurotoxins, and carcinogens.
Parabens. Commonly used in personal care products, these preservatives are linked with reproductive toxicity, skin irritation, and cancer.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). These surfactants pose a variety of health risks — from skin and eye irritation to organ toxicity and cancer.
Decide if you’re going for an organic one. With the prevalence of sanitizing products that often do more harm than keep you healthy, it is important to choose what you buy wisely. With this in mind, many consumers are now patronizing organic personal care products — including hand sanitizers. While they contain natural ingredients (you can even make one at home using alcohol, aloe vera, and essential oils), there are still no studies that confirm their effectiveness.
Know that the manufacturer matters. Whenever you are in doubt, it pays to rely on the reputation of the hand sanitizer manufacturer. The company or supplier should be duly certified and licensed by approving bodies, guaranteeing that their products comply with industry safety standards.
Carefully read the instructions for proper use. Though this is more of an after-purchase tip, you shouldn’t also discount the significance of reading proper-use instructions in order to maximize the efficacy of your product of choice.
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