Anatomy of a Hand Sanitizer

What’s in your hand sanitizer?

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps have never been proved more effective at killing germs than ordinary soap and water, but consumers still rely heavily on them: Americans spent $173.5 million on hand sanitizers in 2012.

While the FDA classifies alcohol-based hand sanitizers as generally safe, some of their ingredients can be skin irritants — or worse. Here’s a breakdown of key ingredients in a typical alcohol-based product, along with their “hazard scores” from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need hand sanitizer, here are two alternatives we like: Honest Hand Sanitizer or Intelligent Nutrients Hand Sanitizer.

Heidi Wachter is Experience Life's staff writer.

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