Hand Sanitizers seems to be everywhere these days and they seem like such an easy alternative to hand washing. Not all hand sanitizers, however, are created equal. Some Hand Sanitizers, such as Dial, contain potentially hazardous ingredients such as parabens. Others such as Purell and Germ-X contain toxins as well and most traditional hand sanitizers rank from a 4-6 on the Cosmetics Database.
Since you’re not washing your hands after use, any chemicals contained in hand sanitizers are absorbed directly into your skin. Most traditional brands contain the following chemicals related to allergies, neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, or chemicals that enhance the absorption of chemicals (called a ‘penetration enhancer’): fragrance, propylparaben, polysorbate 80, methylparaben, tocopheryl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, propylene glycol, and ethanol. So, before you pump out another drop of hand sanitizer, look at the ingredients and decide whether it wouldn’t make more sense to wash your hands instead. Alternatively, you can buy safer hand sanitizer and carry it with you. If you’ve got kids, especially really young kids, I would always opt for buying and using your own. I’ve reviewed All Terrain Hand Sanz Fragrance Free Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer.
Ingredients: Ethyl Alcohol; Purified water; hydroxyethyl cellulose (wood cellulose); vegetable glycerin; aloe vera (aloe barbadensis leaf juice).
Cosmetics Database Score: 1 (low end of low hazard)
Potentially Hazardous Ingredients: ethanol
Pros: It works well, absorbs well, doesn’t smell offensive and is considered very safe.
Cons: A little drying but not terrible.
Notes: If you do get this, go with the fragrance free alternative. They do make a pump variety and they also make it in travel sizes.
Overall Score (0 being worst, 10 being best): 10
Where to Buy: Whole Foods, some sporting goods stores, online