Hand Sanitizing 101

We live in an era where sanitizing on the go and having a surplus of hygienic supplies have become the norm. Whether hand sanitizing has always been a part of your routine, or you are adapting in response to Covid-19, it is important to not only know the correct method of sanitation but also to ensure that your sanitizing product is effective.

If your hand sanitizer boasts about an alcohol-free formula, please proceed to your nearest waste bin. At the very least, the CDC recommends an alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) with 60-95% alcohol. Nonalcohol-based sanitizers have been increasing in popularity as hand sanitizers become a more frequent part of our daily routines. This is primarily in attempt to spare our hands and not dry them out. Ironically, the latter can actually be more irritating—or toxic, if it contains triclosan (a hormone disrupting toxin that companies sneak into their antibacterial products) and certainly not as effective at combatting germs.

Here's the bottom line: a good quality hand sanitizer uses medical grade alcohol and should be good enough for hospital use. We had these exact components, and more, in mind when developing our hand sanitizer. In fact, both our Hand Sanitizer Spray and Disinfecting Surface Spray were developed for the medical community, but anyone can use them. We wanted to have a safe, defensive product for anyone to be able to carry with them or use at home without worry.

Luminance Skincare Organic Hand Sanitizer

The Manufacturing Process Matters

Since the spread of Covid, the number of manufacturers producing hand sanitizing products have skyrocketed as we continue to use these products as a first measure of defense against the virus. The rules behind who can produce and sell hand sanitizer are worth mentioning. Per the CDC’s website, “The FDA policy allows for ethanol or isopropyl to be used as the active ingredient in ABHR manufactured by entities that are not currently registered with the FDA to manufacture drugs.” This means that many boutique businesses that normally would not produce hand sanitizing products are now allowed to and for profit. Why is this a bad thing? We have no idea what their manufacturing process entails. Cosmetic sanitizer manufacturers use industrial-grade alcohol at best, are not always required to list the alcohol percentage on their labels, and while they can claim that their formulation is effective against 99.9% of germs, this doesn’t necessarily include viruses like Covid. While a bit of bacteria isn’t always a bad thing, a product should still be safe and live up to its claims. Ours does.

There have been several recalls on products containing methanol-based formulas, or wood alcohol. This is the same alcohol used to make antifreeze, and when absorbed through the skin it’s incredibly toxic. If your sanitizer comes from a company that manufactured their product using industrial grade alcohol, know that there are dangerous impurities associated with the lower quality (and lower price point), such as heavy metal contamination, and possible methanol contamination. We don’t recommend trying to make your own, either. There have been recipes for homemade sanitizers floating around on the internet that claim to be safer that the industrially produced version, but there are risks associated with these DIY recipes, i.e.: skin burns.

There is a lot of research to consider when making a quality sanitizing product. We have done that research for you. Instead of using industrial grade alcohol, we use medical grade. Instead of using synthetic fragrances, irritants, or toxins, we use natural emulsifiers and oils. Instead of a gel formula, we use spray. Most importantly: our products are made by humans, not machines.

Spray Versus Gel

Does method of delivery matter? In short: yes. This is exactly why we use a spray. A traditional gel sanitizer is simply not as effective as a spray. Gel sanitizers take an average of 4 minutes to kill and prevent growth of bacterial and viral strains it comes into contact with. This is a significant amount of time. When you sanitize your hands before a meal, do you wait 4 minutes each time before you eat? Most likely not. Not to mention, gel doesn’t fully dissolve. The oils in our hands prevent this from happening, leaving traces of bacteria and viruses behind. This is where the details and safety matter most. Our hand sanitizing spray can kill germs and viruses on contact in 9 seconds. Remember, the latter will take 4 minutes to accomplish the same.

How to Use It

Since alcohol can evaporate off of the skin at a rapid rate, the recommended usage of a spray hand sanitizer is to spray 2-4 pumps directly into the palm of your hand, and then rub your hands together making sure to cover the entire surface area until completely dry. Like washing your hands, this process should take approximately 20 seconds. It is important to remember, alcohol is highly flammable. For safety reasons, avoid close proximity to fire and gas while you’re applying your hand sanitizer. Since our hand sanitizer contains nourishing oils to help replenish moisture lost and maintain a healthy barrier, you likely won’t feel the need to follow up with a lotion. If you would like to follow up with something, we recommend giving our Hand Cream a try.

We hope this helps you understand the importance of choosing a quality hand sanitizer and knowing exactly how to use it for its intended purpose. Stay safe and healthy out there!