COVID-19 Essentials: Best Hand Sanitizers, Common Questions, and Myths Busted

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The history of hand sanitizers can be traced back to the year 1966, but it was in the early 2000s that this magic formula made its appearance in the Indian markets. At that time when hand sanitizers were a thing in the medical world, none of the people except doctors and health and cleanliness freaks kept it as their prized possession. Back then maybe none of us knew that two decades later, hand sanitizers will go out of stock suddenly and all at once. With an unseen enemy hiding down the streets across the globe, hand sanitizers have indeed emerged as the need of the hour and somehow have made a significant impact in our lives.

COVID-19 has made the world brace for a catastrophe. While this pandemic has already claimed more than 2 lakh lives across the world, numerous others are still struggling to break free from its clutches. For those who are well, must take every precaution to keep this enemy at bay from them. And using sanitizers along with numerous other precautions is vital during these times. Let’s check out what all can we do to pick out the best hand sanitizer for ourselves.

Types of Hand Sanitizers Available in India

Hand sanitizers are effective but not all of them can be used to fight SARS-CoV-2. There are numerous brands of hand sanitizers available in India. Each of these sanitizers can be segregated into two categories:

Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizers

Alcohol as a disinfectant has been used since the first half of the nineteenth century. However, not all alcohol-based sanitizers help keep you safe during these times. Hand sanitizers that contain 60% or more of isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol or n-propanol are ideal for usage. These three intoxicants are known to be able to kill viruses & bacteria and keep you safe. While hand sanitizers with lower alcohol content are not void, sanitizers with higher alcohol content are preferred more. This is backed by numerous studies which state that sanitizers with 60% – 95% alcohol concentration have increasing antimicrobial efficacy.

Alcohol-free Hand Sanitizers

Alcohol-free hand sanitizers are mainly a blend of 0.1% Quaternary Ammonium Compounds, water, skin conditioners and vitamin E. These sanitizers can adequately moisten the skin and keep it hydrated. While these sanitizers are effective in reducing the growth of microbes, they are far away from killing bacteria, viruses, and germs.

Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing a Hand Sanitizer

  • All expensive hand sanitizers do not offer you long-lasting protection
  • Always read the label and know about the contents of the sanitizer. This can be very useful if you have allergies with specific ingredients used
  • Make sure your sanitizer contains a minimum of 60% alcohol content. Hand sanitizers with Benzalkonium Chloride or Quaternary Ammonium Compounds are not effective in killing germs
  • Never go for a sanitizer that has alternative disinfectant ingredients. Often, these disinfectants are not as effective as alcohol

Best Hand Sanitizers That You Can Shop For

If you are wondering which hand sanitizer can give you the best results, and keep you safe, check out the products given below. These hand sanitizers will offer you maximum protection and can kill 99.99% of germs & viruses that can linger on your skin for a long time.

The Man Company – Aloe Vera and Neem Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol Content: 70%

Price: Rs.250/-

Volume: 500 mL

A popular choice of many, this hand sanitizer by The Man Company has a non-sticky formula and can help reduce the burning effectively. This hand sanitizer gets absorbed by your skin quickly and can offer your hands a cooling sensation.

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Dabur Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol Content: 72.34%

Price: Rs.30

Volume: 60 mL

Dabur is a well-known brand that has carved its niche as India’s largest Ayurvedic and natural consumer products manufacturer. This hand sanitizer by Dabur offers on-the-go protection from germs and viruses, leaving your skin moist and free of infections.

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Solimo Hand Sanitizer Gel

Alcohol Content: 79%

Price: Rs.250

Volume: 500 mL

Rich in isopropyl alcohol, this hand sanitizer is quite effective in killing bacteria and viruses offering full protection against germs. This Instant hand sanitizer is marketed by Amazon’s in house brand – Solimo. The hand sanitizer gel contains aloe vera and tea tree extracts that can refresh your skin, is gentle on hands and provides maximum protection for long hours.

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When Should We Use Sanitizer and At What Frequency?

Hand sanitizers as already told are quite useful in warding off germs and viruses that could stick onto your hands if you touch a foreign surface. You can use a hand sanitizer anywhere and anytime, whether you are travelling, working at your office desk, sitting at your home or even before you consume food.

During these times, you can use a hand sanitizer once every two hours or as you find suitable. But once you are out on your own after everything rounds back to normal, ensure that you use it whenever you touch a surface which might contain bacteria, even if it is your office desk.

How to Store a Hand Sanitizer?

A hand sanitizer containing alcohol tends to evaporate quickly and is inflammable. You should always keep it in a dry and cool place if you want it to last longer. You can even keep a hand sanitizer in your bag if you travel too often. However, ensure that there is no heat source near it.

Common Myths and Important Questions

Can I use homemade sanitizer to keep my hands protected?

Homemade sanitizers can keep your hands protected, but there is no such official statement from health experts which can confirm that homemade sanitizers are effective in fighting COVID – 19.

Can I use Vodka or Whiskey to make sanitizer at home?

While many people have already been making homemade sanitizers using Vodka and Whiskey, it may not be a good idea to make a hand sanitizer using liquors. Leading health organizations like WHO and CDC have cleared that hand sanitizers require at least 60% of alcohol content to kill the microbes effectively. However, the alcohol content in both Vodka and Whiskey varies between 40% – 68%. Thus, it is recommended to use rubbing alcohol only.

What else can we do apart from using sanitizers to prevent COVID-19?

Numerous ways can help prevent COVID – 19. Washing hands is one of the best alternatives using which we can help prevent the spread of COVID – 19. Soap and water have always been used to keep hands clean and effectively kill germs, viruses and bacteria that can cause diseases. Other than this, one can prevent COVID – 19 from spreading by maintaining social distancing, refraining from touching their face often and covering their mouth while sneezing and coughing.

Which is better – using sanitizers or handwashes?

Using handwash is always better to keep yourself safe and protected. Sanitizers can, however, be effective if you don’t have soap and water near you. Soap and water can thoroughly cleanse your hands and skin, removing any kind of bacteria or virus growing on your hands. While hand sanitizers are effective in killing virus and bacteria, they do not cleanse your hands like soap and water can do.

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