Debunking Common Myths About Hand Sanitizer

07/22/21 By Dana Szymkowiak

When it comes to staying healthy, proper hand hygiene is always a priority. Although washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is the most effective way to remove germs, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is strongly encouraged for times when soap and running water are not readily available. Unfortunately, with the rise in popularity comes an increase in misinformation. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend using alcohol-based hand sanitizer in healthcare because it is safe, convenient, and highly effective. However, when hand hygiene is vital but misinformation is prevalent, we need to understand the facts about hand sanitizers. 

Myth: Using hand sanitizer creates antibiotic resistance.

The use of instant hand sanitizer does NOT cause antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics are ingested and operate entirely differently than alcohol-based hand sanitizers. The alcohol in hand sanitizer quickly kills a broad spectrum of germs and is not left on the skin to let the germs become resistant.

Myth: Using alcohol-based hand sanitizers create “super germs.”

Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer does not create superbugs or contribute to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as the overuse of antibiotics does. 

The active ingredient in most hand sanitizers is ethyl alcohol, which kills germs within seconds by physically destroying the cell membrane and denaturing proteins within the bacteria, therefore is no mechanism by which the germs can become resistant to it. Moreover, the alcohol evaporates from the hands within seconds, meaning that germs do not have the chance to become resistant.

Myth: Hand sanitizer kills all germs, even the “good ones.”

Another long-standing myth is the notion that hand sanitizers kill all germs on your hands. On the contrary, alcohol-based hand sanitizers work by quickly eliminating transient or illness-causing germs. While eliminating transient germs, hand sanitizers will also dispose of resident germs, otherwise known as “good germs.”

However, unlike transient germs (which are not native to the skin), resident germs grow back quickly. This quick growth means that resident germs remain a part of the hand’s microbiota.

Myth: Hand sanitizers can make claims about effectiveness against viruses.

Hand Sanitizers are over-the-counter drugs and are regulated by the FDA. The FDA does not allow hand sanitizer brands to make viral claims. Instead, the claim is required to be more general, such as Safetec Instant Hand Sanitizer kills 99.9% of most common germs that can make you sick.

Myth: Frequent use of hand sanitizer dries out skin. 

Because the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to kill germs, hand sanitizer can be very drying. If you are concerned about dry skin, look for a hand sanitizer formula that uses a moisturizing agent. 

Safetec’s Instant Hand Sanitizer is formulated with 66.5% ethyl alcohol and an enriched moisturizing agent to condition and preserve skin’s health while preventing the spread of germ causing illnesses and infections.

Myth: All hand sanitizers are the same.

The truth is formulation matters, and hand sanitizer formulations vary. While the active ingredient (ethyl or isopropyl alcohol) and percentage of alcohol are important, the complete formulation affects the antimicrobial efficacy. The product should also be gentle on your skin and provide an excellent sensory experience, like the product’s scent. Perhaps the most critical part of the formula and manufacturing process is the safety of the product.

As a U.S. manufacturer, the team at Safetec adheres to the highest stands of product formulation and production. In addition, Safetec conducts rigorous quality testing of both the raw materials and the finished product, ensuring it meets FDA drug product quality standards.

Safetec Instant Hand Sanitizer

With our shared vision of protecting people, we offer the very best value in complete product solutions to keep you, your employees, patients, and communities safe.

Safetec’s Instant Hand Sanitizer is formulated with 66.5% ethyl alcohol killing 99.9% of widespread germs. Our formulations also include moisturizing aloe to accomplish the perfect balance of skin health and product efficacy with no sticky residue. In addition, we use only high-quality ingredients and rigorously test our hand sanitizers.

Available in multiple configurations, Safetec Instant Hand Sanitizer is perfect for any industry!