August 3, 2021

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The 7 best hand sanitizers of 2020 (that kill germs AND ALSO nourish the skin).

If hand sanitizers are going to be the new essentials, might as well make them chic. And cheerful. And skin friendly. Right?

So, I have spoken to both health and skin experts to find the seven best hand sanitizers of 2020. The overarching criterion for this selection was that they had to conform to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols, which means there has to be at least 60% alcohol as that’s the bottomline for killing germs.

After that, they had to be free of harmful chemicals and be kind to your skin as hand sanitisers can be notoriously harsh. 

And finally, bonus points for chic packaging. Because you could do with a hit of happiness every time you pull it out. Isn’t it?

Finding hand sanitizers that score high on all three of these points was tough but here are the ones that made the cut!

Or, you know, you could just make your own hand sanitizer at home – with aloe vera gel, rubbing alcohol, glycerin and essential oils. That works as well.

Illustration by Paola Mendez

Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Hand Sanitizer

Dr. Bronner’s spray bottle sanitizer contains only four ingredients – 62% ethyl alcohol, lavender oil, glycerin and water. No nasties. All organic, all Fair Trade certified. It also doubles up as an air freshener and deodorant. And the packaging is recyclable. Win-win, I would say.

Touchland Power Mist 

The non-sticky, non-gloopy Touchland Power Mist hand sanitizer contains 67% ethyl alcohol and uses a smart spray system that distributes the product evenly. So, no missed spots. And no cracked skin either, thanks to the generous portions of moisturising aloe vera, glycerin and essential oils. It comes in in eight gorgeously scented variations, including watermelon, citrus, lavender and mint.

Megababe Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer

Megababe’s hand sanitiser is clean, vegan, CDC-protocol-approved (with 62% ethyl alcohol) and has super-nourishing ingredients like marula oil, sweet almond oil and aloe vera. Plus, it smells like summer, with the light and citrusy aroma of orange and bergamot. What’s not to like?

Cath Kidston London Icons Hand Sanitizer 

If we are looking only at packaging, Cath Kidston’s London-themed sanitizers would win hands down! But it doesn’t stop at appearances alone. There’s alcohol to kill the germs, along with vitamin E and glycerin to leave hands soft and nourished. And then there’s the zesty grapefruit green leaf fragrance for freshness on the go!

by Humankind Hand Sanitizer

by Humankind sticks to its sustainable roots with 8-ounce aluminum bottles that cut down on plastic waste (simply pour into a pocket-friendly bottle for on-the-go use). The product itself contains 65% alcohol, along with hydration-boosting hyaluronic acid and comes in grapefruit or unscented variations. Plus, $1 from every bottle sold goes to the The Robin Hood Relief fund in New York City.

Susanne Kaufmann Hand Spray Purif-i

Like all of Susanne Kaufmann’s cult products, the Purif-i hand sanitizer is based on natural ingredients, including 62% pure vegetable alcohol, healing arnica and super-moisturizing silk proteins. It’s also dermatologically tested and works for even the driest skin types.

esop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash

Non-sticky, clean and fresh, this tiny germ killer from Aesop packs 62% alcohol with skin soothing ingredients like lavender oil and glycerin. All that freshness is courtesy the rosemary leaf, mandarin rind and cedar atlas, which makes it smell woody and citrusy. This one is my husband’s favorite!

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