They are convenient to use (and carry) and with studies backing them up, they are effective in preventing the growth of germs in your hands. hand sanitizers — when equipped with the right ingredients — indeed provide great benefits to people. And now that the world is facing the modern-day pandemic called COVID-19, it is only relevant to turn our attention to this product. In this article, we’re discussing how a hand sanitizer works and how effective it is in protecting its consumers from pathogens.
Why Hand Hygiene Shouldn’t Be Ignored
The practice of hand washing as an essential hygienic habit can be traced back in the ancient times. With the advancement of technology, humanity has become more aware why maintaining proper hand hygiene is vital: There are around 1,500 bacteria and germs living in every square centimeter of our hands. This figure increases once we get in touch with surfaces that are also teeming with microorganisms that can be harmful to our health.
With the goal of preventing getting infected, the products we use to protect our hands have become more sophisticated over time. From the time-honored soap-and-water combination, there’s also the emergence of the hand sanitizer.
How Hand Sanitizers Work
For hand sanitizers to be effective, health experts note that their main ingredient — which is alcohol — should be at around 60 to 95%. By saying “effective,” it means preventing the growth of pathogens and killing off microorganisms to a certain extent (not fully).
Scientists often claim that people should not completely rely on these products for their sanitizing properties are but limited. For instance, they may not fully work in cleaning hands that have come in contact with pesticides or toxins (in which hand-washing using soap is still the most recommended solution). They can’t also kill off certain pathogens like those that cause diarrhea.
While their effectiveness may be limited, one shouldn’t discount how that can be helpful in stopping the spreading of germs and bacteria. But how does a hand sanitizer work?
As mentioned, alcohol (either ethyl or isopropyl) is the main ingredient of sanitizers. Once they come in contact with disease-causing microorganisms, this chemical has the power to break apart proteins, split the pathogens’ cells into pieces, and mess up with the cells’ metabolism — essentially killing the pathogens and preventing them from getting into your body.
According to studies, solutions with as little as 30% alcohol can already contain such pathogen-destroying properties. The effectiveness becomes more heightened as the percentage increases. With the multitude of pathogens present in human hands, as much as 60% of an alcohol solution is needed to help kill them off significantly.
Another benefit of alcohol is that pathogens aren’t capable of developing a resistance
To it. Therefore, alcohol-containing products retain their effectiveness for quite a long time.
Though they are effective to an extent, the alcohol present in a hand sanitizer can cause skin to dry. This is why there are many products that include water and emollients (moisturizers) in their roster of ingredients. While moisturizers minimize the drying of the skin, water aids in helping sanitizers penetrate the skin and kill off more pathogens.
Sun Laboratories’ hand sanitizer was made using certified organic ingredients making it perfect for frequent use. Visit our online shop today!