Hand sanitizers come in handy, especially when there is no access to a sink, water, and soap. The outbreak of COVID-19 has taught us that practicing good hand hygiene is one of the simple yet very effective ways to avoid getting infected by diseases. It is highly recommended that we wash our hands with water and soap as much as possible.
Hand sanitizers are a dime a dozen these days. It can be overwhelming to choose from so many brands currently available. But don't worry - we've prepared a guide below on how to choose the best hand sanitizer to keep your hands germ-free and squeaky clean. We've also included our recommended sanitizers and a few links to other hand-pampering products. Read on to find out!
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
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For more information, read through our buying guide below.
For more information, read through our buying guide below.
Per the recommendation of CDC, a hand sanitizer should at least have an alcohol content between 60-95% for it to effectively kill bacteria and reduce the growth of germs. Sanitizers with a lower alcohol concentration may simply reduce the growth of germs instead of killing them directly.
It must also be noted that the amount you put on your hands also matters. When using hand sanitizer, you must cover all the surfaces of your hands in order to achieve maximum effectiveness.
Indeed, the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is to use hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based sanitizers typically contain alcohol in the form of ethanol or isopropanol.
The ingredients used in a sanitizer indicate its effectivity and whether it's safe or not to use. Below, we specify what to look for in a hand sanitizer.
While they effectively kill germs, alcohol-based sanitizers can sometimes disrupt the skin’s natural pH level and cause irritation to sensitive skin. Thus, a non-alcohol sanitizer is a recommended alternative in such cases. The CDC, however, warns that alcohol-free sanitizers may not be as effective as their alcohol-based counterparts in killing germs.
Did you know that there are alcohol-free sanitizers? Alcohol-free sanitizers typically contain substances with disinfectant properties like benzalkonium chloride or antimicrobial properties like triclosan.
High content of alcohol or frequent application can cause flare-ups, drying, and irritated skin. Sanitizers that contain emollients will protect your skin from getting dehydrated. Thus, choose sanitizers that include skin-friendly ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin E, glycerin, dimethicone, and many more.
Our heightened efforts for hand hygiene have undeniably resulted in increased rates of hand dermatitis ranging from dryness to full-blown chronic hand eczema. Choosing a hand sanitizer with moisturizing ingredients helps reduce this risk. Good ingredients include emollients like glycerin that moisturize the skin and help restore the skin barrier.
Known to have antibacterial properties, triclosan is often used in detergents, deodorants, and other personal care products. However, the FDA banned the use of Triclosan in antibacterial hand and body products in 2016 due to its toxic nature.
Exposure to triclosan has been associated with health risks, so read the labels of hand sanitizers carefully to make sure that triclosan is not in the list of ingredients.
Triclosan has typically been incorporated as one of the ingredients in alcohol-free sanitizers as well as in anti-bacterial soaps. However, given that there are so many available choices, it's best to avoid this particular ingredient as it has been identified as one of the possible irritants by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.
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Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Aloe
Most Trusted by Medical Professionals
High Five Hand Sanitizer Spray
Infused With Nourishing Extracts and Essential Oils
Clean Hands Foaming Sanitizer
Guaranteed Kid-Friendly and Alcohol-Free Sanitizer
Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray
Certified Food-Grade and Safe for Babies
Instant Hand Sanitizer
12-Hour Germ Protection Between Washes
Cool Burst Natural Sanitizer
Eliminate Germs with All-Natural Ingredients
Care & Protect Hand Sanitizer
Bid Germs Bye-Bye With Clean and Moisturized Hands
Green Tea & Lime Hand Sanitizer
Natural, Chemical-Free and Anti-Bacterial Formula Safe for Everyone
Sanitizing Gel with Moisture Lock
Non-Sticky Hypoallergenic Sanitizing Gel
Bath and Body Works
Pocketbac Sweet Pea Anti-bacterial Hand Gel
A Pocket-Sized Sanitizer With a Big Sanitizing Effect
One of the leading brands that hospitals use, this sanitizer contains 70% alcohol and has a 99.9% effectiveness rate in killing germs. A squirt of the Purell hand sanitizer has two times more sanitizing effect compared to other brands.
It is FDA-approved, and ECOLOGO certified, which means that it has gone through rigorous scientific testing and meets environmental performance standards. Despite its high alcohol content, the triple action moisturizers help to keep dryness at bay.
The combination of vitamin E, aloe, and glycerin works overtime, so your hands won't get dry even with frequent use. This is one of the reasons why most doctors recommend Purell.
The Oxecure High Five Hand Sanitizer is highly recommended by a lot of users. It is a tiny, pocket-sized sanitizer that is quite deceiving - it can actually deliver up to 300 sprays! With a 70% ethyl alcohol formulation, it works hard to clean and disinfect skin at a 99.9% effectivity rate, perfect for people on the go.
It also boasts of a rich infusion of vitamin E, aloe vera extract, chamomile extract, and neroli essential oil. This powerful combination nourishes and softens skin that has been exposed to harsh cleaning agents. Users love it for its honeyed floral scent with a touch of citrus notes.
Moms concerned about the effects of alcohol and triclosan on their babies no longer need to worry. This alcohol-free sanitizer is clinically proven to fight 99.99% of disease-causing germs in just 60 seconds. It also contains chamomile flower extract to moisturize the skin without leaving a sticky feeling after.
It comes in a bottle with a foaming pump which makes it a fun way for kids and adults to keep their hands clean. The advantage of a foam formula is that it doesn't slide off your hands easily as a typical gel sanitizer would. This product is also triclosan-free and paraben-free, guaranteed to be safe for kids and people with sensitive skin.
Keeping kids germ-free is no mean feat. After all, babies and toddlers love to put things in their mouths as they explore the world around them. With this sanitizer from Kindee, parents can rest easy knowing that they can sanitize their kids' hands safely. Made of organic food-grade ingredients, this product contains 72.5% alcohol and leaves no residue on the hands.
It has passed the test of the Nano Tech Institute in Thailand and is certified by recognized global institutions such as Dermscan Asia and Ecocert, to name a few. It can kill a wide range of harmful germs, from bacteria to viruses and molds. Best of all, it is safe for use even for 6-month-old babies!
This list wouldn't be complete without Safeguard in it. Trusted by experts, Safeguard's instant hand sanitizer claims to effectively get rid of 99.9% of germs to keep you safe from common diseases. It fights 3 types of germs - gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and fungi, which all cause diseases and infections.
With the inclusion of vitamin E, you can surely avoid dry and flaky hands. It also offers up to 12 hours of protection between washes, so that should take a load off your mind, sanitation-wise. Lastly, the gel is non-sticky and leaves a clean, fresh scent.
With 60% alcohol from sugarcane-derived ethyl, this all-natural hand sanitizer meets CDC standards and kills up to 99.99% of germs. It has skin-nourishing ingredients that include aloe extract, vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and amino acids to keep the skin moisturized.
This product is triclosan-free and contains peppermint leaf essential oil for a cooling effect. Users love how it does the job of eliminating germs with a fresh, minty scent. Some users even use it as a substitute for cologne on extra-humid days! This product is also available in citrus, floral and fruity variants.
Knowing Dove's reputation for creating products with moisturization in mind, you know that this newly-launched hand sanitizer definitely won't dry your hands out. Many hand sanitizers do the job well, but they are extremely drying. So, this product from Dove is a welcome addition to the range of available options.
At the same time, its high 70% alcohol content ensures a 99.9% rate of eliminating germs. Dove means business when it comes to keeping you germ-free. As an FDA-approved and dermatologically-tested product, this product definitely assures quality care and protection for your skin.
Giga is a company dedicated to producing only natural and locally sourced personal care products of high quality. True to form, their hand sanitizer performs admirably in keeping users germ-free. Using anti-bacterial plant-based ingredients, this sanitizer contains 70% alcohol that will effectively clean your hands.
This sanitizer is also enriched with aloe vera extract to keep hands moisturized and itch-free and comes in a fresh green tea and lime scent. It is also available in lavender-chamomile and orange scents so you could take your pick on which one you like best - fresh or calming.
This sanitizing gel from Green Cross is dermatologically tested and proven safe for kids. Even though its alcohol content isn't specified, it uses a Triple Acting System to instantly kill 99.9% of germs and give protection against disease-causing bacteria for hours.
On top of that, this product is hypoallergenic, so it's suitable for use by people with sensitive skin. It also uses a Moisture Lock Formula that includes glycerin to keep your hands feeling moisturized. The gel also feels quite cooling with a light and fresh scent, and the non-sticky formula is especially welcome in hot and humid weather like ours.
Fans of Bath and Body Works' unique signature scents love this little hand sanitizer. Designed to fit into your pocket and small purses, you definitely won't have any excuse not to sanitize your hands. Users love how it provides a seamless scent experience from cologne down to hand sanitizer.
The scent is a lovely combination of sweet pea, watery pear, freesia, and raspberry. But don't let the luscious smell fool you! It contains 68% alcohol that could kill germs in seconds and contains nourishing shea extract, vitamin E, and aloe to prevent dryness and keep the skin soft.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz.
A small amount on the palm of one hand that is sufficient enough to cover all surfaces of the hands and fingers while rubbing hands with the sanitizer should be used.
If you have an open wound, better to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Hand sanitizers are not an alternative to hand washing. Instead, they can come hand in hand in our fight against this pandemic and as we entire this new normal.
Hand hygiene is a key in the prevention of disease transmission. With that, hand sanitizers do come in handy given their convenience, especially in situations with a lack of water and time alongside their proven efficacy in lowering the microbial load.
However, for the hand sanitizer to remain effective, it should be used on hands that are free from soil, dirt, blood, or lubrication.
Continue your hand sanitation efforts, especially during this global pandemic. Remember, washing hands with soap and water is still preferable as it reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. If soap and water are not available, then you can opt to use a hand sanitizer with a final concentration of at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.
Sometimes, handwashing or using a sanitizer will just not cut it. Have a look at some of our recommendations below to make sure that your body is protected from within.
Author: I. Honda
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1: Purell | Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Aloe
No. 2: Oxecure | High Five Hand Sanitizer Spray
No. 3: Sanicare | Clean Hands Foaming Sanitizer
No. 4: Kindee | Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray
No. 5: Safeguard | Instant Hand Sanitizer
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When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
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