Hand sanitisers: where to shop the best antibacterial hand gels and sprays now

hand sanitisers

This time last year you were probably Googling 'last minute holidays' rather than 'best hand sanitisers'. But now, faced with a second wave of Coronavirus, this germ-nuking gel has never been more essential.

Do hand sanitisers really disinfect your hands?

While washing your hands with soap and water remains your best line of defence, anti-bacterial gels come to the rescue between washes or when you don't have access to a sink.

Still, to effectively disinfect your hands you need to make sure it contains the right ingredients, at the correct value.

When you're buying a hand sanitiser, scan the label for one of these three ingredients: ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or benzalkonium chloride.

All indicate that the formula contains alcohol, which should be at a threshold of 60 per cent or higher, say Public Health England guidelines. If your bottle contains any less alcohol than that, it may reduce the growth of germs but not actually kill them.

There's one more thing to bear in mind if you're digging out your bottle from the back of your bathroom cabinet. 'The active ingredients are only guaranteed effective until the expiration date,' says Dr. Andrew Alexis, MD, chair of Mount Sinai's department of dermatology.

The new wave of skin-friendly hand sanitisers

There's no doubt that hand sanitiser is another weapon in our arsenal against Coronavirus.

But some facts apply across the board. With such a high alcohol content, most reek of chemicals and can be exceptionally drying to hands. Hence, sales of hand creams have sky rocketed in recent months. What's more, despite slipping effortlessly into your routine, hand sanitisers feel more practical than luxe.

But that's all set to change now that more beauty brands have pivoted their business to produce anti-bac gels, spritzes and lotions. All meet safety criteria but temper gnarlier ingredients with gentle humectants and essential oils for a sensory treat.

Take This Works, for example. It has dropped a hand sanitiser with its signature Stress Check scent to relieve feelings of tension and anxiety.

Best Hand Sanitiser Gel: This Works Stress Check Clean Hands Gel, £15, Lookfantastic

hand sanitisers

70 per cent alcohol kills germs, while dry patches will eat up the hyaluronic acid. The addition of lavender, neroli and camomile essential oils help you take deep, relaxing breaths.

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And if you're worried about how much single-use plastic you're ploughing through (we all should be - this year one billion single use hand sanitisers are expected to be bought in the UK alone), consider the sustainable option. Beauty Kitchen's refillable hand sanitiser saves 11 single-use plastic bottles.

Best Sustainable Hand Sanitiser: Beauty Kitchen Hand Sanitiser Spray, £7.50

hand sanitisers

Protect hands with this refillable organic formula and simultaneously reduce your single-use plastic consumption.

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With that in mind, scroll down for our pick of hand sanitisers that are pure upside to use...

The 16 best hand sanitisers for your handbag and home

Fiona Embleton

Fiona Embleton has been a beauty editor for over 10 years, writing and editing beauty copy and testing over 10,000 products. She has previously worked for magazines like Marie Claire, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography and catwalk trends.