It seems like everywhere you go there’s a jug of hand sanitizer sitting out. Have we become obsessed with cleaning our hands? We all know that washing our hands can get rid of germs that might make us sick, but could hand sanitizers be doing more damage than good?
Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about hand sanitizers.
What Are Hand Sanitizers Made Of?
Many hand sanitizers contain alcohol as the main ingredient. Most brands use ethyl alcohol. Companies claim that this alcohol kills 99.99% of germs.
Those that don’t contain alcohol are made with an ingredient called triclosan or triclocarban. This ingredient has recently come under fire through the FDA for its use in antibacterial soaps.
Put simply, the risks associated with this ingredient outweigh any of the benefits. Other ingredients in hand sanitizers may include fragrances, dyes, water, and gylcerin.
Are They Bad for Your Skin?
One of the main concerns when it comes to the skin is that the alcohol found in many hand sanitizers can dry the skin. Studies have shown that hand sanitizers can also damage skin cells.
Not only that, but the alcohol can help chemicals found in the product penetrate the skin. This means that the toxins, such as triclosan or triclocarban, can more adversely affect those that use hand sanitizer on a regular basis.
Can Hand Sanitizers Lead to Illness?
Yes. The ingredient triclosan or triclocarban was recently brought under fire for causing antibiotic resistance. What this means is that bacteria are not affected by antibiotic use. What’s worse is that hand sanitizer kills not only bad bacteria, but good bacteria.
When good bacteria is killed, the immune system weakens. Choosing hand sanitizer over washing your hands with soap and water can actually cause you to get sick more often.
Are There Other Reasons to Avoid It?
Yes. Hand sanitizers can also cause hormonal disruption. The toxins used to scent the product can contain endocrine disrupters that can affect genital development.
If you’re using hand sanitizer before handling your baby or if your child is using a lot of hand sanitizer, there could be major problems that occur.
Hand sanitizer may be convenient, but it comes with a cost. While it can kill germs, the problem is that it kills good bacteria. This can lead to a weakened immune system.
In some cases, hand sanitizer can even lead to hormonal changes. If you want to protect yourself, take the time to wash your hands with soap and water instead of reaching for hand sanitizer.
There are times that you absolutely need hand sanitizer because washing with soap and water isn’t possible. For those times I like to use Thieves Hand Purifier.
How do you deal with hand sanitizer?