Alcohol based hand sanitizer brands are laughing their way to the banks these days. Same is the case with mask, gloves, safety face shields makers. This post is dedicated to guide you which are the Best hand sanitizer in India. Nowadays every nook and corner of the markets is flooded with cheap and low quality ‘hand sanitizers’. There is just no surety of what their composition is and what effect they would do to your health. Reports of people developing skin problems are common apart from other health issues. So, do not just buy and rub your hands with any other blue or pink liquid sold to you as a sanitizer.
When it comes to the safety of you and your family from diseases and infections, personal hygiene always helps. On the contrary, do poor laborers and farmers wash hands with soap and dettol liquid? No, but look at their stamina and they can even digest a stone, isn’t it? So, it all depends on how one’s upbringing has been. People like us cannot take such chances else a big expense in hospital visits and medicines awaits us.
MAKE A QUICK CHOICE
1. BEST ETHANOL SANITIZER FOR SKIN CARE HIMALAYA PURE HANDS SANITIZER
2. BEST 75% v/v ISOPROPYL HAND SANITIZER GERMINOX SANITIZER
3. BEST 70% v/v ETHANOL SANITIZER GEL (NEEM & TULSI) BOROPLUS SANITIZER
4. BEST 70% v/v PROPANOL NON-STICKY SANITIZER DABUR HAND SANITIZER
5. BEST WITH ETHANOL & PROPANOL BOTH HYGIENIX GEL SANITIZER
BEST HAND SANITIZER IN INDIA
The Indian government has fixed the rates of hand sanitizers to prevent overcharging and profiteering. The maximum price has been fixed at ₹50 for 100 ml. Hence there is not much scope of finding a cheaper hand sanitizer from a good brand.
1. LIFEBOUY HAND SANITIZER SPRAY
Lifebouy sanitizer spray has Ethyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol with total 70% alcohol by weight. Shake the bottle well before spraying on surfaces and let it dry before touching. Sterilizing mobile phone screens, table tops, delivery packages, taps etc becomes easy with sprays. Its a little expensive since its a spray, the price regulation of the government does not hold true on it.
We all are used to seeing hand sanitizers as liquids or gel forms. Having it in spray form comes with its own advantages. Such hand sanitizers suit more as surface disinfectants than hand sanitizers. With a sanitizer spray you can secure the door knobs, but beware not to use on copper, brass, painted or lacquered or varnished surfaces, acrylic plastics and electrical devices.
2. HIMALAYA PURE HANDS SANITIZER
USP – Safe on hands
The Himalaya hand sanitizer comes in 100 ml and 500 ml plastic bottles. It comes in orange, litchi, lemon and strawberry flavors. I used the orange one and it does smell like orange pulp. Whats good about Himalaya hand sanitizer is that it doesn’t dry out the hands and is not harsh on the skin. The consistency is gel which is slightly less viscous than what I wanted. All due to the goodwill, this is a safe product from one of the best hand sanitizer brands.
Himalaya PureHands sanitizer has typical natural extracts of Coriander, Neem, Vetiver grass and Nutgrass. These extracts are processed in rectified spirit (alcohol 60% w/w).
At first it may seem sticky on the palms but the feeling goes away after it dries up completely. Overall, it is one of the Best hand sanitizer in India. Since all alcohol based hand sanitizers are prone to evaporation, close the flip-top cap tightly after use. I would have liked if there were a pump dispenser in the bottle. It prevents wastage if present and delivers a fixed drop size.
HOW TO USE
Take 0.5 ml to 1 ml of PureHands gel on your palms. Rub well over the palms, back of hands, fingernails and grooves briskly until dry.
3. WIPRO HYGIENIX HAND SANITIZER
USP – Contains both Ethyl and Isopropyl alcohol
Another great hand sanitizer I came across is the Wipro hygienix hand sanitizer. I liked its gel which is slightly thicker than Himalaya’s. Also, its smell is very mild and hardly noticeable on the hands. If you smell the bottle itself then you’ll experience its smell, its so mild. It gets evaporated quickly and doesn’t leave any stickiness behind. It too comes in a flip-top cap bottle.
The good thing about this product is that it contains both Ethyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol. As explained below, its good if your hand sanitizer has both for tackling a wider spectrum of germs. For hand moisturizing, it contains Propylene glycol.
- Ethyl Alcohol – 63.25% W/W
- Isopropyl Alcohol – 3% W/W
- Total Alcohol – 70% V/V
- Propylene Glycol
- Mild Perfume
4. PALMOLIVE HAND SANITIZER
Colgate-Palmolive is an American multinational company dealing in consumer products. It has 72% alcohol content which is more than the minimum required for effective hand cleaning. It too has a gel-based formula with a citrus fragrance. Since the alcohol content is more, its smell can feel strong to some. One thing which could have been better is that it lacks a pump dispenser. As a result, it gives out pretty more amount than you would have wanted.
USP – High Alcohol Content
5. MEDIKER HAND SANITIZER
USP – Old Indian brand
Mediker has been a popular hair care products company. Its hand sanitizer has a somewhat strong smell similar to Neem oil but I felt it like coconut oil. The viscosity of the gel is satisfactory and it felt cooler than the other hand sanitizers on the palm. It has 70% Ethanol content in it which is a good percentage. There is no other information on any other ingredient. I found this Mediker hand sanitizer to be non-sticky too.
BEST HAND SANITIZER BUYING GUIDE
WHEN TO USE A HAND SANITIZER
The use cases cannot be quantified. A common example could be when you have to touch some person or surface but you know you have dirty hands. Or, when you know the person you just had a warm handshake with has a bad habit of digging his nose! You can get as imaginative as you want here.
Another one is when you are outdoors and need to have a quick meal or street food. Chances are that people would just eat the food with little or no regard to the cleanliness of their hands. It runs in the families of some people. Needless to say their immunity is also very well developed and strong. For those who make it a point to wash their hands properly before each meal, occasional carelessness may result in a host of stomach ailments and what know you. Hand sanitizers come in handy for quickly removing dirt and germs from the hands. If you have soap and water available, always prefer washing your hands with them.
Very frequent use of hand sanitizers must be avoided. Hand sanitizers find use in situations when you do not have access to soap and clean water. Rubbing a sanitizer on the palms and between the fingers kills most bacteria and deactivates viruses. I would even suggest to wash hands with plain water after rubbing the sanitizer.
HOW DOES HAND SANITIZER WORK?
Alcohol based hand sanitizers eliminate bacteria and viruses. You need to note that not all viruses are affected by alcohol. Alcohol attacks germs by denaturing (coagulating) the proteins that make up their cell walls. Some viruses are plain RNA strands with no protein as such for the alcohol to attack. But, these are rare cases.
WHICH ONE IS BETTER ISOPROPYL OR ETHANOL?
This is a common query which comes in the mind. Anyone who has noticed the two alcohol types used in hand sanitizers wants to know this. Ethanol vs Isopropyl alcohol, the competition is tough. Both alcohols kill germs equally well but there’s a catch. Research has showed that Ethanol is more effective against viruses. While isopropanol (2-propanol) or IPA as it is commonly called works exceptionally well against bacteria. So, for the current Coronavirus outbreak, you should prefer ethanol-based hand sanitizers. Moreover, you can choose the one which has both isopropyl (some %) and ethanol (over 60%). This way you can get the best of both worlds.
Alcohol based hand sanitizers are ineffective against the spores of bacteria. When germs sense unfavorable conditions like heat etc. they create a protective covering over themselves and become spores. Also, protozoan cysts and parasites are not completely killed by alcohol. Soap and water is the best way to overcome the danger from even those bacteria, virus, cysts and spores.
WHICH SANITIZER IS THE BEST AND SOFT ON HANDS
Out of ethanol and Isopropyl alcohol, the latter is soft on the hands. Ethanol has a tendency of causing skin dryness if used alone. This is the reason why glycerol and other things are added for moisturization. Isopropanol does not snatch moisture as much as ethanol does from living tissue. Hence for skin disinfection (read hand sanitization), you should prefer Isopropyl alcohol.
Do you know which sanitizer is used in hospitals? Its Isopropyl alcohol which finds most use in hospital and health facilities. The blue spirit that is rubbed on the skin to clean it when you go for a blood test is Isopropyl alcohol. Its also called Rubbing Alcohol as it has a minimum 68% and less than 72% isopropanol. Isopropyl alcohol is colorless but color is added to it for identification. Lest someone drinks it or uses it carelessly near fire.
HARMFUL INGREDIENTS TO AVOID
Most hand sanitizers have ethanol or isopropyl alcohol as the active ingredient. Some others have a mixture of ethanol and isopropanol. Problem arises when some harmful chemicals are also added to it under the name ‘fragrance’. This so called fragrance may contain many carcinogenic substances. As I said skin absorbs anything you rub on it. Hence you cannot prevent them from reaching your blood stream anyhow. Substances like phthalates (found generously in candles) and triclosan (commonly found in toothpastes) are hidden from the ingredient list but may be secretly present.
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Hand sanitizers should only be used when absolutely necessary. I’ve seen people becoming overly paranoid and using it at the drop of a hat. This is absolutely wrong. Our skin is not meant to be rubbed with alcohol so much. Furthermore, alcohol causes the skin to dry up unless some moisturizers are added to the sanitizer. This is the reason I suggest to use gel-based sanitizers.
WHAT CONCENTRATION OF ALCOHOL IN HAND SANITIZER IS BEST?
A mixture of alcohol and excipients make up a hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers must fall in a range of v/v concentrations. For best results, 80% Ethanol and 75% Isopropanol should be present. Higher concentration of alcohol would mean lesser amount of water. Water is necessary to act alongside alcohol to break the protective covering of germs.
HOW TO CHOOSE A SAFE AND BEST HAND SANITIZER
First and foremost you must purchase from Best hand sanitizers brands for the trust factor. Brands like Dabur, Dettol, Himalaya, and Lifebouy have been present so long and can be trusted. I would suggest to buy smaller bottles of each brand. This way you can try them out and observe the effect it has on your skin. Later on you can buy a bigger bottle of whichever brand’s hand sanitizer suited you the best.
Your hand sanitizer must only contain ethanol (ethyl alcohol) for it to be considered safe for health.
Here’s The Key Points-
- Always check the label for ingredients. Your hand sanitizer must not have methanol at all. Remember, skin is our largest organ. Everything you apply on your skin gets absorbed in the blood. Methanol is toxic. This is the same alcohol found in spurious alcohol which kills many people or blinds others.
- For effectively eliminating bacteria and pathogens, your hand sanitizer must comprise of alcohol. Check that your hand sanitizer has a minimum 60% v/v or (70 – 80% is the most effective) of Ethanol. If using Isopropanol (IPA) based sanitizer, it should be a minimum 70% v/v (75% is ideal) concentrated. Anyways, this is common knowledge now.
- Check for the quality of the bottle and pump especially if its a larger bottle.
- Prefer using gel-based hand sanitizers as they are gentle on the skin as compared to plain alcohol or spirit. Many products use natural ingredients like Aloe Vera, Citrus fruit extracts etc. in a gel.
- Generally bottles with atleast 500 ml quantity come with pumps. Pumps are useful as they give out a measured amount in each press. This avoids wastage and hence is more economical. Alcohol in the sanitizer has a tendency to evaporate. Furthermore, with a pump you need not quickly open and close the bottle. Also, having a pump avoids wastage due to spillage.
- Observe the scent is not too strong. Some users dislike a particular scent and find it nauseating. This is another thing to look for while choosing a hand sanitizer.
- Children may accidentally drink the sanitizer, so keep it out of their reach.
DO HAND SANITIZERS KILLS ALL GERMS?
No, some strains of bacteria are unaffected by sanitizers. But, yeah mostly all bacterial types are eliminated by alcohol.
Viruses are a mystery in themselves and are rightly called as the ‘Missing Link between Dead and Living”. A virus can be as dead as a dodo when it is outside a suitable host. But, once it gets inside a body there’s no stopping it. COVID 19 is the best example for this statement. Again you know this that a virus remains active on different surfaces for different duration. Which means once it is inactive you can play with it on your fingertips (obviously if you can see it somehow and the skin should be intact else you can be doomed).
There was an initial flurry of messages suggesting to use hand sanitizers to kill Coronavirus. the word ‘kill’ here is redundant here, you now know why. Unless the cell wall or the structure which holds the identity of a virus is ruptured, it is indestructible.It can just be deactivated until it finds suitable conditions again. Soap and water generated lather is the best enemy of this virus. Since, its cell wall is made of fat (lipid), soap can easily break it which then destroys the virus in the real sense of the term. Note I used the word ‘destroy’ and not ‘killed’.
DO GERMS GROW BACK AFTER SANITIZER USE?
Yes, that’s right. Use of sanitizers for skin disinfection can just suppress germ growth for sometime. Some bacteria still manage to remain active despite our rubbing alcohol. Our nails are the most common site where colonies of bacteria manage to remain safe. Since the majority of germs are eliminated, the count of residual germs does stay low for a long time.
Our mouthwashes contain Chlorhexidine and Triclosan. If these are added to the hand sanitizer then a prolonged protection against bacterial regrowth can be achieved. If you see (rarely) any sanitizer with 4% Chlorhexidine, do not get alarmed. Rather, grab it if other considerations as explained above are satisfied.
EFFECT OF HAND SANITIZERS ON SKIN
As already pointed out, rubbing soap and water are the best way to clean your hands. Ofcourse there’s a proper way to wash hands. Hand sanitizers when used for many days in continuation can cause skin problems. Hence do not make it a habit to start looking at sanitizers as an alternative or escape from soap.
Itching on the palms, dryness, irritation and mild cracking of the skin can result. Rubbing the alcohol sanitizer for just a few seconds kills the germs. But, doing so many times a day is an unnatural thing. Human skin is not made to be rinsed with alcohol. After using a sanitizer, do wash hands the good old fashioned way with soap and water when they become available.