Hand Sanitizers, Soaps + Wipes
If you’re just looking what products I recommend, scroll to the bottom to see my top picks or click the button to go directly to the section that you’re interested in:
Make Germs Your Friend, NOT Foe.
Our immune system learns daily from exposure to different bacteria, humans, places, etc. Thus if we try and “kill off” any and all bacteria/viruses that come our way, we will end up with no good/beneficial bacteria in our bodies and a weakened/uneducated immune system.
If you have been an over-sanitizer, your gut and your family’s health may be weakened because of this. I think the major issue is that we are trying to protect them and ourselves from “germs” that may actually HELP our bodies over time to become more resistant to sickness and less likely to have massive reactions any time we are exposed.
This is incredibly important when it comes to children. They are born with very “un-educated” immune systems that NEED interaction in order to become stronger and smarter. We aren’t protecting our children by constantly having them sanitize their hands, wear masks and wipe everything down before they use it.
It’s time to clean up your sanitizing products and cut back on how often you’re using them in general. I know it can’t always be avoided in schools, etc. but sharing education like this with administrators/teachers and even your bosses may help to clean up the environment a bit and make them all more conscious of what they are presenting to your child and workspace.
Antimicrobials = Hurting Your Gut.
Daily we are faced with antibacterial and antibiotic products, through hand soaps and sanitizers to even things like wall PAINT that claims to “sanitize the air” in your home. Antibiotics are being over-prescribed at doctor’s offices and are even being pumped into our conventional animal products/meats. All of this overuse is causing antibiotic resistance and antibacterials being stored in our tissues.
Products like these cause symptoms/conditions like:
- Disruption in our gut microbiome
- Thyroid hormone disruption
- Decreased sperm quality
- Earlier onset of puberty in girls
- Increased inflammation
- Associated with colon cancer cell growth
- Antibiotic resistance- aka drugs no longer work to get rid of infections
Sanitizing Ingredients To Avoid
Below are just a few of the most common toxins found in common sanitizers, soaps and wipes. Use these terms when reading ingredient labels to determine if a product is safe.
Triclosan + Microban + Antimicrobials
Triclosan is fat-loving pesticide that can get stored in our adipose tissues and in breast milk, and has been found to reside in over 75% of the population. It is also easily absorbed through our skin (aka when we use hand sanitizers/wipes that contain it).
Thankfully the FDA is finding that it is harmful, but regulation has only come out to ban it in hand and body washes, meaning this pesticide is still being used in all other personal care and cleaning products.
If you know my work, I often mention the role of tricky advertising in our market. Microban, a product that is similar to Triclosan, doesn’t disclose its product make up so it can be marketed as a “safer alternative” to Triclosan.
Similarly, BAC, BET + PCMX (full length terms below) have been found to have similar health impacts to Triclosan and have been banned in other countries, but they are still widely used in sanitizing + soap products today.
I talk a lot about fragrances, but as a reminder fragrances can be made up of 100s of different chemicals that contribute to a host of issues:
- Hormone issues
- Breast cancer
- Birth defects
- Thyroid issues
- Weight gain
- Insulin resistance + Diabetes
- Lowered testosterone
- Allergies + asthma
- Developmental & behavioral disorders, including autism
Many hand sanitizers, wipes and hand soaps all contain fragrances to make them more appealing, but the reality is they’re doing more harm than good to be scented.
Words to Avoid on Labels
Parabens: Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, etc.
Benzalkonium Chloride (BAC)
Benzethonium Chloride (BET)
Added Colors: BLUE #1, YELLOW #6, ETC.
Common Brands to Avoid
Bath & Body Works
Common Store Brands: Target, CVS, Walgreens
Safer Alternatives to Sanitizing
Time and time again, the safest + cheapest way to “sanitize” is simple soap and water. You don’t necessarily need to invest in fancy products but rather need to wash your hands regularly.
So, if soap is our best option for disinfecting without causing harm to our bodies, we still need to be careful that we aren’t using soaps that have antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredients…and spoiler alert- most hand soaps available in restaurants, bathrooms, schools, etc. do.
Further, most hand soaps contain fragrances (aka phthalates) that disrupt our hormones and have been linked with obesity, liver and fertility issues. This means saying bye-bye to smelly hand soaps from Bath + Body Works and other common options.
If you can send soap with your kids to school, choose a better option below. To avoid in public places, make your own travel soap dispenser or grab the one from Kosmatology below to keep yourself safe from these disinfectants while out running errands, etc.
In the times that you can’t wash your hands, look for the following for hand sanitizers:
- No Triclosan or Microban listed on the ingredient list
- Look for ones that contain alcohol as the antibacterial agent
- No fragrance or scented products (this is a whole other discussion on phthalates and how they disrupt our hormones)
If the fragrance comes from essential oils that is okay– some like clove, thyme, tea tree, oregano, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemongrass and cinnamon oils have been found to all be anti-bacterial and/or anti-viral.
My Top Picks for Hand Soaps + Wipes
What I use at home. I love that they sell refillable glass dispensers and I stock up during sales on the refill bags to always have them on hand. They also sell mini travel sized soaps- great for when you’re out shopping!
Best choice for cutting down on how many different products you have. Can use their concentrate for so many purposes- cleaning, laundry, soap, mirrors, stains, etc. Link above gets you $10 off!
My Top Picks for Hand Sanitizers
Great clean option-also good if you order any of their deodorant, skincare, bodywash, etc. to reduce how many places you order from!
MWFITWELL10 for 10% off
Another great choice especially if you order from Earthley- things like their magnesium lotion, all the medicine cabinet tintures, baby products + more.
NEWTOEARTHELY for 10% off first order
COMEBACK10 for 10% off second orders
DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe
(my mom makes this for us and this is what we use and love!)
- 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol (we get in bulk from Costco)
- 1 TBSP + 1 tsp vegetable glycerin
- 2 cups aloe vera gel
- 1/2 cup colloidal silver or distilled water (we use the silver)
- 20 drops of any of the following essential oil blends