The best hand sanitizers for flu season during the pandemic
By Monica Godnick
November 4, 2020
Image Credit: Coco Li for The Campus Trainer
The flu season is upon us, but this year it arrives during a global pandemic. In times like these, one can never have too much hand sanitizer on hand (pun intended).
“Many feel stressed and overwhelmed in these dire times,” said Michael Auth, a freshman mechanical engineering major. “Keeping a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my hand calms my nerves.”
Hand sanitizer is like a personal weapon now more than ever, and it is important to understand what makes hand sanitizer so effective. Dr. Sriparna Mitra, a Maryland-based pediatrician, explained what people should look for in hand sanitizer per CDC guidelines. First, it must be alcohol-based.
“The only two FDA-approved alcohol compounds are ethanol or ethyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol. To be effective, the strength should be at least 60% of ethanol or at least 70% of isopropyl alcohol,” said Dr. Mitra.
Dr. Mitra also warned that sanitizer formulas should not be mixed with methanol.
“It can cause fatal poisonings,” she said.
While many have been sanitizing more frequently since the COVID-19 outbreak began earlier this year, people have also felt like the hand sanitizer is too harsh on their skin, and others are becoming acutely sensitive to the strong, vodka-like smell. Not to worry, here are some options that meet CDC guidelines while smelling great and keeping hands hydrated.
Bath & Body Works Hand Sanitizers (price: $1.95 - $6.50)
Bath & Body Works was already known for its cute, little hand sanitizers even before the pandemic began. “The Bath & Body Works mini hand sanitizers were such a trend in middle school,” said Jessica Llewellyn, a freshman computer science major. “They had fun colors and they smelled so good.”
The store offers both gel and spray options. Both also have the same percentage of isopropyl alcohol, 72%. The only difference besides their texture is their size. Gel sanitizer is more compact and easier to carry around.
Bath & Body Works also sells adorable holders for gel sanitizers. The hand sanitizing spray is bigger in size, making it perfect to keep in your car or at home.
Both options have a wide array of aromas that can go from citrus to floral to fruity. Many of the scents are the same ones that match their body wash, body lotion and body spray collections. For instance, they offer signature fragrance “black cherry merlot” in gel sanitizer and “a thousand wishes,” a mix of pink prosecco, peonies and amaretto creme, in hand sanitizing spray.
The reviews of the different hand sanitizers range from 4.7 to 5 out of 5 stars, according to their website.
Image Credits: Monica Godnick for The Campus Trainer
Touchland Hand Sanitizers ($12.00) Touchland hand sanitizers have been all over Instagram lately. This vegan and cruelty-free company focuses specifically on scented hand sanitizers that still provide moisture for the skin.
Their dermatologist-tested formula includes aloe vera and essential oils. The formula includes 67% of ethanol, making it compliant with CDC guidelines. The brand also claims to be fast-absorbing, meaning it doesn’t leave a goopy residue that other hand sanitizers might.
Touchland also provides a variety of scents including citrus, mint, lavender and watermelon, among others. However, for people who prefer no fragrance their “neutral” hand sanitizer is fragrance-free.
Per Touchland’s official website, their hand sanitizer’s overall reviews are 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Sanitizer Spray ($3.49)
Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Sanitizing Spray’s garden-inspired scents is amazing for those who love fresh and floral scents. Their formula contains 62% of ethanol combined with essential oils. According to their website, their two scents on the market right now are lavender and basil. These can also be found at your local Target.
According to their official website, the hand sanitizer has 4.9 out of 5 stars.
Megababe Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer ($6.00-$18.00)
The brand Megababe is recognized for their hygiene and body care products. Their hand sanitizing gel is no exception. The formula is more on the natural side, free of synthetic fragrance, parabens, phthalates and sulfates. The product also contains 62% corn-based ethanol. Megababe sells this gel in a small bottle as well as a large one with a pump. This hand sanitizer can be found on their website, Target and Ulta.
According to Ulta’s website, this product is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars.
These are only a few of the hundreds of products in the hand sanitizer world. Now is a perfect time to find the hand sanitizer that feels best for you (as long as they follow the previously mentioned guidelines). Besides, sanitizing and staying healthy is always important, even when the pandemic and flu season is over.