Hand sanitizing solutions have entered our daily life, because they represent a bulwark against the Coronavirus. We have examined 14, choosing 4. Find out by what criteria
Regularly pass on the hands a hydroalcoholic gel it is essential (in the absence of soap and water), to counter the spread of Covid-19. At the beginning of the pandemic, those who had a pack of Amuchina at home were considered lucky: it had become impossible to find or very expensive. Then pharmacists, perfume companies, and liqueur manufacturers started using the alcohol they had in stock to formulate hydroalcoholic gels.
Thanks to them today there is no shortage of hand sanitizers, rather. There are all kinds and for all budgets. So much so that it is difficult to understand which are the most valid formulas and what difference is between a disinfectant or a sanitizer and if a generic cleansing gel is fine anyway.
«To be effective against the Coronavirus it must contain at least 60% alcohol, a task carried out effectively both by hand disinfectants such as classic medical surgical aids, and by products not classified as medical aids (it is a certification that costs and not all companies require it), but defined as “hand sanitizers”, while other gels , from the generic name of “detergents” they do not declare the total percentage of alcohol so we cannot consider them safe », explains Dr. Alessandra Cantù, a Milanese dermatologist.
We therefore decided to take into consideration, not hand disinfectants, all effective but also very similar, but the most varied world of sanitizers, in search of a formula that combines virucid performance and pleasantness. Of course, an alcoholic preparation cannot be asked not to dry out the skin, but it can be expected that it smells good and that using it becomes a barrier gesture that, instead of weighing, is almost a cuddle. We then screened 14 hand sanitizers, in gel or lotion, rewarding 4. This is how we came to prefer them.
“The minimum amount of alcohol for a sanitizer is 60%, but we gave priority to formulas that reached 70% to ensure maximum effectiveness on the virus, while being aware of its drying effect on the skin”, says cosmetologist Umberto Borellini.
“However, the remaining 30% can be very different from product to product: there are those who focus on density and therefore add many gelling excipients, others on perfume (the cologne was also used to wash hands without water, in origin), those who want to offer a longer lasting performance and add Triclosan (the same ingredient in many mouthwashes) which prolongs the effect of alcohol by about half an hour, those who add botanical extracts or essential oils to enhance the sanitizing effect or give greater comfort to the skin », specifies the cosmetologist. We therefore preferred the formulas “with something more”, which, together with the sanitizing performance, also offered a pleasant experience, which, repeated many times during the day, did not weigh too much.
We then promoted the products that, with the same formula, they had the best cost-benefit ratio.
We used hand sanitizers according to the technique suggested on the website of the Ministry of Health (salute.gov.it): on dry hands, otherwise they are not effective, rubbing for no less than 30-40 seconds and with an adequate amount to completely cover the hands: palms, fingers, including thumbs, backs and wrists. When your hands are dry, they are also clean. We evaluated packaging, ease and pleasantness of use, sensation on the skin immediately and after a few minutes.
“Hand washing with warm water and soap for no less than 60 seconds remains the most effective barrier gesture against the Coronavirus: not only does it remove the deposits that can form on the epidermis due to contact with the outside, but it is more respectful of the hydrolipidic mantle and therefore less irritating for the skin, especially the sensitive and reactive one. The soap, in fact, removes any viruses and germs, while the hydroalcoholic gels neutralize them without removing them.
Therefore, hydroalcoholic solutions should only be used when it is not possible to wash hands, in order to limit the phenomena of sensitization and also of bacterial resistance due to prolonged or excessive use. To counteract the dryness that involves continuous hand hygiene, after washing it is good to apply a restorative cream based on shea butter, panthenol and vitamin E that soothe and hydrate, but be careful: never after the gel because it would nullify the effect. During the day, when it is useful not to smear the fingertips, the cream is applied only on the back of the hands, in the evening before going to bed it can be abundant, massaging carefully until absorbed », concludes Dr. Cantù.
Puressentiel Purifying Hand Spray Lotion 80 ml, € 5.70 in pharmacies and parapharmacies
The strong point. It is multipurpose.
We really liked the formula based only on ingredients of natural origin. Aloe vera counteracts dehydration, while the pool of essential oils with purifying and soothing virtues (lemon, lavender and tea tree) enhances the sanitizing effect of plant-derived alcohol (71.4% of the total). The vape bottle is light and the sprayer never jams, even after traveling in a handbag. The label is exhaustive, the correct price.
Use it like that. A couple of sprays are enough for your hands, but if needed, the lotion can be used on the steering wheel of the car, the bus seat or on the handles.
Sanamani Sanitizing Gel by ABC Farmaceutici 80 ml, € 5.50 in pharmacies and parapharmacies
The strong point. The prolonged action.
We liked this gel for the synergy of the ingredients with which the alcohol (71.8%) is enriched, especially the purifying essential oil of tea tree and Triclosan: the latter ensures a deep sanitization and which can last over half an hour thanks the slow release of chlorine particles from the biotech molecule. Menthol gives a balsamic scent and refreshes the hands. The vial is simple and convenient, the gel viscosity is good.
Use it like that. Useful in all situations of mobility, especially when handling money. The mentholated fragrance will also appeal to men.
Hand Sanitizing Gel with Essential Oils of Mint and Sage by L’Erbolario 100 ml, € 3.90 on erbolario.com
The strong point. The price ratio.
Produced and donated to healthcare workers during the months of the emergency, today it is on sale at a very advantageous price. Contains 99% natural ingredients. With a high percentage of alcohol, 76.6%, it contains a pool of plant extracts with purifying, protective and sanitizing properties: basil, thyme, mint, sage and patchouli. The scent is fresh and pleasant, the texture easy to rub.
Use it like that. The 100ml format is convenient in the family, in the car or on the road because there is enough for common and repeated use. On dry skin, pour and rub all parts of your hands for 30-40 seconds.
Omnia Sanitizer Mani Regina di Taïf by Essentially Laura 50 ml, 8 € on essenzial mentelaura.it
The strong point. The scent.
With its 70% alcohol it sanitizes properly without drying thanks to a pinch of hydrating glycerin and erythritol, but the real plus of this solution is the perfume based on the precious essence of Taif rose, creation of the Laura Bosetti Tonatto “nose”. An authentic cuddle, a moment of pleasure that combines the usefulness of hygiene with the pleasure of a fragrance of great quality, neither too intense nor excessively shy. Minimalist but chic glass vial. The cost is adequate for the quality.
Use it like that. Suitable for those seeking refinement even in “barrier” gestures. One spray of solution per hand is enough.
Our Lab testers: Dr. Alessandra Maria Cantù, dermatologist; Umberto Borellini, cosmetologist; Laurence Donnini, journalist.
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Article published on n. 20 of fitness-inc.com, on newsstands and in the app from 14 July 2020
Tag: sanitizers, fitness-inc.com Lab.