Do you use hand sanitizer? Many moms carry small, portable bottles in their purses. It is often seen being removed from a carry-on bag on an airplane (pre and post flight), and at the entrance of most hospital rooms. We have been trained that hand sanitizers are good for our skin to fight harmful bacteria. But, is this in fact true? Or, are we harming our skin?
Let’s take a look at what the potential dangers are:
- Dry Skin – Overuse of hand sanitizers can actually dry out your skin. Think about it. The alcohol content in many of these products is high and can cause your skin to become dry.
- Weaker Immune System – Hand sanitizers can kill the good bacteria on your skin. We all need good bacteria to fight the bad bacteria. When good bacteria is eliminated, skin may lose its ability to fight off harmful infections. This could potentially compromise the immune system.
- Exposure To Toxic Chemicals – If you are using a scented hand sanitizer, you could be putting yourself at risk to chemicals. Synthetic fragrances could potentially contain phthalates or parabens. It is important to know what we are putting on our bodies, especially as companies are not required to disclose the ingredients that make up their scents.
- Harmful Ingredient Triclosan – The The U.S. Food and Drug Administration The issued a ban for consumer antiseptic wash products (including liquid, foam, gel hand soaps, bar soaps, and body washes) containing triclosan and many other antibacterial active ingredients. This ban does not include hand sanitizers. If the FDA put a ban on soaps, don’t you think that it is still dangerous in other products and should raise concern?
Let’s take a look at why triclosan in hand sanitizers is not good.
Studies have raised awareness to the possibility that triclosan aids in making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. We know alcohol can strip good bacteria from the skin, however if the bacteria is altered by an active ingredient in a product, your body could build up a resistance to antibiotics, lowering your ability to fight disease.
What is recommended to replace hand sanitizer?
Soap and water
This is not always convenient, so we did some research to find a replacement product, and there is not much out there. Even the sanitizer from health and wellness company, The Honest Company, has alcohol as a 62% active ingredient.
Do you know of a product that is chemical and alcohol free? We would love your comments below.