We are all using hand sanitizers multiple times a day now to ensure we are protected from bacteria and viruses like SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. But are hand sanitizers really safe to use daily?
Hand sanitizer regulations vary by country. In the US, the FDA regulates antiseptic hand sanitizer as an OTC (over-the-counter) Monograph Drug. In most other countries, hand sanitizers fall under cosmetic regulations which require labeling and ISO 22716:2007- Good Manufacturing Practice compliance for cosmetics.
During COVID-19, the FDA issued a temporary exception for hand sanitizers to allow companies with an OTC license to produce hand sanitizers that could help to fill the sudden demand. These products had to meet the basic requirements for the active ingredient concentration of 70+% isopropyl alcohol or 60+% ethyl alcohol.
You might have noticed a sudden plethora of hand sanitizer brands popping up all around you, including at distilleries and breweries. Be careful what you buy! The FDA just issued a recall to several companies that listed ethanol, but formulated with methanol (wood alcohol), a very dangerous substance when absorbed through the skin.
Methanol can cause irreversible harm to the central nervous system, leading to blindness. And it is potentially life threatening when ingested. We are especially worried about children being exposed to this substance. For more please read here.
How to Spot a Safe Product
Luckily, there are ways for you to identify a product that follows the standard pre-COVID FDA approval process. Here is what to look for:
1. Hand sanitizers listed with the FDA should show their unique 10-digit NDC (National Drug Code).
2. Antiseptic hand sanitizers must have a "Drug Facts" label and list all other FDA required information (see our product as an example).
Other Ingredients that Mitigate Skin Stress
You might have noticed that most hand sanitizers need 20 seconds to absorb into your skin and leave your hands feeling dry after repeated use. Look for products that include hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, lavender, and Vitamin C to counteract the strong impact alcohol has on your skin.
We have formulated our Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer to dry on contact and hydrate deeply with Vitamin C and Aloe Vera; Methylene Blue, our star ingredient makes its debut as a hand sanitizer ingredient to add its well-loved anti-aging capabilities.
Bluelene is giving away a free travel size hand sanitizer with every order and will have its 16oz and 2oz sizes available for order in August.