04:00 Natural Living & Health

Different Types of Hand Sanitizer Ingredients: Natural vs Synthetic

Soap will always be our #1, but keeping a hand sanitizer on hand (pun intended) when you’re out of the house is a great option for staying safe when you’re on-the-go. You might recall a post we shared on how hand sanitizers actually work, but what we didn’t touch on was why not all sanitizers are created equal.

Here, we talk about some of the different components of the synthetic sanitizers on the market versus ingredients in natural hand sanitizers, and what ingredients to look out for in both. 

The Different Types of Hand Sanitizers

What Alcohol is in Hand Sanitizer?

Alcohol is the active ingredient in many FDA-approved hand sanitizers, but what many people don’t know is that there are different types of alcohols that can be used in these products. 

Many gel hand sanitizers that you’d buy from big brands are made with petroleum-derived isopropyl alcohol as the active ingredient (you probably know it as “rubbing alcohol”). Petroleum-derived materials are known to potentially contain toxic impurities, meaning that these isopropyl alcohol sanitizers aren’t the most sustainable products. Another little-known fact is that all gel-based hand sanitizers use microplastics in their formulas, which are needed in order to create the gel. There’s growing evidence that these tiny plastic particles accumulate in the oceans and end up in the digestive systems of marine life. 

In addition, many of these gel sanitizers contain synthetic fragrances which can be made from any number of unknown combinations. There are over 3,000 chemicals to choose from when creating a synthetic fragrance, and they’re not even required to be declared on the label. 

The good news is that there are natural, plant-based alcohol alternatives that are just as effective at keeping you safe.

What is Plant-Based Alcohol Hand Sanitizer?

Unlike isopropyl alcohol which is a petroleum-derived ingredient, ethyl alcohol is a naturally-derived, plant based ingredient that is used in our natural hand sanitizer. This plant-based alcohol can be sourced from many different kinds of starches like wheat, grain, sorghum, barley, potatoes, sugar cane and corn. We use ethanol sourced from crops grown right here in the USA!

Does Hand Sanitizer Dry Out Your Skin? Here's Why:

As you may or may not know, alcohol can actually dry out your skin if it’s applied in a high enough concentration, as is the case with many sanitizers. And while you want your hands to be clean, you don’t want them to look and feel like the Sahara Desert. Luckily, having dry, cracked hands and using an effective sanitizer don’t always have to go hand in hand. 

Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizers

You deserve a sanitizer that’s tough on germs, but gentle on your skin. Look for a sanitizer that doesn’t go overboard on the alcohol content and includes natural moisturizing ingredients to combat the drying effects of the alcohol. 

For example, our natural sanitizer is made with 64% alcohol so that it’s highly effective without being unnecessarily drying and contains added moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, a natural plant-derived humectant. Humectants are handy molecules which bind and hold on to water to help keep skin hydrated. Glycerin, also found in our bar soaps, can actually absorb more than its own weight in water. This, combined with apple extract which packs a powerful punch of nourishing anti-oxidants, help to keep your skin healthy and moisturized while you’re on the quest to keep your hands germ-free. 

The answer to what makes our natural sanitizer better than the standard options out there comes down to our ingredients. Squatch 64* is made with 64% plant-derived pure ethyl alcohol, natural essential oils for fragrance, and key naturally-derived moisturizers to make sure you’re only killing germs, not your hands. There’s no petroleum-derived ingredients, goopy gel made with microplastics, or synthetic fragrances like you’d find in big name synthetic sanitizers. Long story short, removing these questionable ingredients means our sanitizer doesn’t just leave your hands clean, but leaves your conscience clean, too!

*Under no circumstances should you ever try to drink our, or any, sanitizer.

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