Safer Swap: Hand Sanitizer

October 13, 2019

Cold and flu season is upon us so it’s time to start thinking about safer, non-toxic ways to minimize our exposure to those nasty germs. Unfortunately, most hand sanitizers on the market today contain LOTS of hormone disrupting ingredients.

Here are the ingredients we avoid in hand sanitizer products:

  • Triclosan. Triclosan and other antimicrobials, added to many soaps and other everyday products – and found in the bodies of more than three-fourths of Americans – likely harm people’s health and the environment, while providing no benefit to consumers, said more than 200 scientists and medical professionals in a consensus statement published in 2017.
  • Fragrance: These sweet-smelling ingredients seem innocent (especially if they’re “natural” fragrances), but they’re not as innocuous as they seem. Fragrances are linked to allergies and respiratory irritation, but, even worse, manufacturers can hide hundreds of toxic chemicals behind the 1 word “fragrance” because fragrances are considered to be “trade secrets”. Fragrances are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream where they pose health concerns, such as endocrine disruption, organ toxicity, allergies, asthma, neurotoxicity and cancer. They also typically contain phthalates (which won’t be listed on labels), and these are associated with hormone disruption, birth defects and developmental toxicity. 
  • Parabens: Parabens are preservatives and anti-microbial that are commonly used in cosmetics, personal care products and, sadly, some foods. They stop fungus and bacteria from growing in liquids, lotions and creams and help extend shelf life. They are linked to a multitude of health risks including cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, and skin irritation. There are To avoid them, avoid ingredients ending in -paraben.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): SLS and SLES help products to get foamy. Unfortunately, they’re associated with a lot of health risks that range from skin, lung and eye irritation to organ toxicity, endocrine disruption and cancer. 

Check out this quick and easy DIY hand sanitizer recipe…

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In the spray bottle, combine the vitamin E oil, witch hazel or vodka, and essential oils. Place the sprayer on tightly and shake well for 15-20 seconds to combine.
  2. Open the bottle, and fill to the top with water. Replace sprayer, and shake again for 15-20 seconds. Done!
  3. Spray liberally on your hands whenever you feel like they need a bit of a deep clean. Rub hands together until dry.

Prefer to purchase something already made? Here are two safer options you can get on Amazon:

References:

  1. https://www.forceofnatureclean.com/non-toxic-hand-sanitizer-guide/
  2. https://wholefully.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/