When considering which hand sanitizer you should use, it is important to understand that there are separate ingredients for each individual purpose. Each of these ingredients has its own inherent benefits and drawbacks, and each of them should be evaluated separately. In general, the four most common hand sanitizer ingredients are chlorine, ammonia, bromine, and hydrochloric acid. The first three ingredients can be combined into a single sanitizing agent called xanthan Gum, which kills germs, prevents and eliminates the need for frequent hand washing.
Each ingredient in hand sanitizer is designed for a particular purpose: Antibacterial Activity: The goal of a sanitizer formula is to kill or prevent the growth of germs by adding a combination of substances designed to disrupt the DNA of bacteria and fungi. Each of these compounds has its own antibacterial activity. Other common sanitizers are commonly available in combination formulations.
Stimulation of the Eczema Response: This is another goal of an effective hand sanitizer formulation and involves adding an astringent to the product in order to promote swelling of the inflamed skin. Many of the products that accomplish this are also alkaline pH neutralizers, as well as surfactants (which increase the permeability of the substances to the atmosphere). Common ingredients in these products are sodium sarcosinate, potassium sorbate, and isopropyl alcohol. These chemicals have all been proven effective in causing eczema outbreaks. They are also effective against other types of skin irritations such as mild rashes and itching.
Cleansing of the Mouth and Throat: Some people with chronic bad breath will have difficulty getting themselves to spit or even rinse out their mouths. A primary component of a good hand sanitizer formula for the mouth and throat is the use of a pH-neutral astringent (such as is found in Covid-19). Other important ingredients in this formulation include xylitol and natural vitamin E. The pH in the mouth and throat must be maintained at a very low alkalinity to prevent the breeding of odor causing bacteria. A hand sanitizer formulation that contains lavender oil, tea tree oil, or chamomile may be preferred over other products, as these plant essences are known to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Deodorizing: This goal in a hand sanitizer formulation is achieved through the use of anti-microbial ingredients. Common ingredients in these formulas are Listerine, Chlorox, and Certain anti-bacterial herbs such as thyme, Rosemary, dill, and oregano. In order to reach the desired deodorizing effectiveness of a formula, the skin must be cleansed thoroughly. Sodium hypochlorite, a chemical commonly used in deodorants, is a key ingredient in most of these formulas and should be considered if an easier and safer alternative is desired.
Whitening: The goal of any sanitizers is to kill or remove the microorganisms that cause the stench and offensive odor. There are four primary ingredients used in most formulas; the first two are antioxidants in the general formula, and the last is a mild peroxide which act as a direct contact medium for the active ingredients. The combination of these ingredients provides maximum cleansing efficacy and a whitening effect. Other ingredients commonly used as ingredients in these formulas are sodium hydroxide, potassium nitrate, and silicone carbide.
Hand sanitizers are widely available and can be purchased in most drug stores and department stores. While most of them are effective, not all are. The most commonly reported incidents of allergic reactions to these formulations are due to one or more of the ingredients contained within them. Unfortunately, many health conscious people do not understand how hazardous exposure to these chemicals actually is. For example, alcohol is an ingredient commonly included in hand sanitizer solutions, but it is an extremely strong poison. The amount of alcohol in a solution is directly proportional to the concentration level of bacteria present in the actual liquid.
Studies have shown that concentrations of up to 40% of one compound, glycerin, have been responsible for serious chemical burns resulting from contact with these chemicals. The only way to completely avoid a reaction such as this is to use a sanitizer that contains nothing except natural, plant-based ingredients. Natural products containing aloe vera, tea tree oil, zinc, vitamin E, manuka honey, and various other plant extracts are now available. These types of formulas offer no irritation to the skin and often have a far more soothing effect on the body than their chemical counterparts. Glycerin, a byproduct of sugar cane production, is actually beneficial to the body in several ways.