Maybe You Should Actually Avoid Using Hand Sanitizers

source: Sites at Penn State

Are you one of those people who carries around a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer at all times? Or someone who can’t resist applying hand sanitizer if you see a bottle out and about when you’re in public? If you use hand sanitizer often and think that it’s doing a good job of keeping you healthy, you’re going to want to read this.

Hand sanitizer was designed to eliminate sickness-causing germs from our hands, which is why you see so much of it during the wintertime and subsequently, cold and flu season. However, hand sanitizer is also packed full of harsh chemicals, some of which have actually been banned from being used in hand soap. One of these chemicals is called triclosan, which has been shown to negatively affect the liver, muscles, thyroid, and central nervous system. Yikes!

If you’re a frequent hand sanitizer user, you don’t need me to tell you that it also makes your skin extremely dry. The intense forms of alcohol found in hand sanitizers strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to cracked, dry, and irritated skin. The chemicals found in hand sanitizers have also been found to weaken the immune system instead of protecting it. When your body is constantly being exposed to extremely sterile environments (like when you constantly apply hand sanitizer), your immune system becomes less likely to ward off infection on its own.

According to many health experts, thoroughly washing your hands with warm water and soap is just as effective at eliminating germs as hand sanitizer. It’s also much safer for your skin, body, and immune system. So the next time you see a hand sanitizer pump on display somewhere, it might pay to remember this rarely-discussed information.