Alcohol is an ingredient in many skincare products, including hand sanitizers and soaps. Alcohol can rob your skin of its natural oils and result in drying out your skin, which may over time result in permanent damage.
Many people feel they need to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to help kill germs or fight acne. However, there are other safer formulas (without the use of alcohol and other harsh chemicals) that can treat acne and kill germs without drying out or harming your skin. More customers are demanding skincare products that are safer for their skin, and skincare companies are responding by making non-alcoholic sanitizers and cleansers.
Washing with Soap is Always Better than Hand Sanitizers
Most experts agree that washing your hands with natural soap is always better than using a hand sanitizer. All soaps, even those containing no alcohol, wash away germs and bacteria.
While any antibacterial soap with alcohol does kill bacteria, experts say it really doesn’t prevent disease any better than a natural, alcohol-free soap.
However, there are times when you just can’t immediately wash your hands with soap and water and so hand sanitizers are better than using nothing at all.
In addition, it is much easier to find non-alcoholic soaps than sanitizers, since there are a number of organic bath soaps on the market and have been for a while. Our favorites are the Neem & Aloe Soap Bar by Banyan Botanicals and the Rescue Bar Soap with Aloe by Wondercide.
When Should You Use a Non-Alcoholic Sanitizer
There are distinct times when you should use hand sanitizers, but mainly when soap and water are not readily available. For example, on camping trips in the wilderness, you may want to use a hand sanitizer before and after handling food.
In addition, construction workers sometimes don’t have water readily available to wash up before eating lunch, so a non-alcoholic sanitizer will kill germs (though they don’t remove dirt) before picking up a sandwich.
There are also many other situations in which soap and water are not readily available, and those are the times when a hand sanitizer comes in handy.
Does a Non-Alcoholic Sanitizer Work?
Many people wonder whether a non-alcoholic sanitizer will work or not. The answer is yes if your goal is to keep germs at bay. In fact, it is believed the more often you use non-alcoholic sanitizer, the better it may work. However, most experts state that the best non-alcoholic sanitizers use benzalkonium chloride in their formula, which can cause severe allergies. Some of the harsh chemicals in hand sanitizers may also cause you to break out, and may pose a health threat to young children.
On the other hand, one of the benefits of a non-alcoholic sanitizer is that unlike alcohol-based sanitizers that evaporate fast, a non-alcoholic sanitizer will remain on your hands much longer, which may afford you more protection from germs.
It does need to be noted that a non-alcoholic sanitizer will kill germs, but may not be nearly as effective as alcohol-based sanitizers, so they may not work as well in hospitals or medical facilities where viruses abound and pose a serious risk to large segments of the population.
While it is wise to keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer available for killing germs, remember whenever possible wash your hands with soap and water instead to ensure your hands are clean and germ-free.
When examining the sanitizers and cleansers on the market, it’s a sure bet that the safest non-alcoholic sanitizer is a 100% pure bar of homemade soap made with gentle ingredients like organic shea butter and glycerin. Look for options that are free of parabens, alcohol, fragrance, and formaldehyde. Your skin will thank you.