It’s not just the coronavirus alone we need to be concerned about right now.
As the weather starts to turn towards the cooler side, we’re spending more time indoors. And that means viral infections could be lurking around every corner.
There’s the common cold… flu… bronchitis… pneumonia… and more.
Lucky for us, we’ve picked up some good habits that have now become second-nature in the age of COVID-19. Things such as wearing masks and social distancing should help protect us against these OTHER infections too.
Experts believe the coronavirus is mostly airborne. But SARS-COV2 and other viruses can also be spread by settling onto your hands and then touching your face.
This is why while facemasks and distancing are still VITAL, so is frequent hand washing.
5 common hand sanitizer mistakes
For real protection, you’ll need to get back to washing your hands at every opportunity. (I recently wrote about how long the coronavirus can lurk on your skin and how to properly clean your hands. Click here to catch up.)
But since hand washing isn’t always possible when you’re out running errands, it also means using more hand sanitizer. And as straightforward as that seems, it turns out most of us are probably making at least a few missteps.
Following are five basic hand sanitizer mistakes nearly everyone makes – but are easy enough to fix in a hurry.
#1: Look for alcohol content:
Look specifically for the percentage of alcohol in whatever product you pick.
Anything below 60 percent is worthless. And 60 is really a bare minimum. The alcohol content ideally should be 70 percent or higher.
The more alcohol your hand sanitizer has, the more effective it’ll be at killing off both viral and bacterial pathogens.
#2: Check the brand name:
There’s been a LOT of sketchy players on the market lately. They crept into discount stores and online retailers during the soap and hand sanitizer shortages earlier this year.
The FDA warned over the summer that some use dangerous methanol, aka “wood alcohol,” which can penetrate the skin and cause blindness, hospitalization, and even death.
Recalls have been made, but some products may still be lurking on store shelves. So avoid weird names that you’ve never heard of from third-party sellers, especially ones that look like a “name brand” but clearly aren’t. So, in other words, say yes to Purell… no to PURE-L. Major brands and store lines should be fine.
#3: Look at the label for additives:
Some hand sanitizers may still contain the now-banned antibacterial chemical triclosan. Regular Healthier Talk readers know this bad-news chemical could mess with your hormones and cause health problems.
Triclosan has been banned from soap and hand sanitizer here in the United States. But the old stock still in some stores and warehouses… or discount imported products… may still contain it, so keep an eye out.
#4: Use it the right way:
Don’t worry, most people get this part wrong. hand sanitizer won’t deliver a magical coat of protection the moment it touches your skin.
To kill germs effectively, you need to rub the hand sanitizer in for at least 15-20 seconds, just like when you’re washing your hands. Also, be sure to hit every surface, not only the palms but your fingertips, and between your fingers too. And don’t forget to clean under rings where bugs could be hiding.
#5: Opt for soap when you can:
Remember, hand sanitizer is a good option when you don’t have a choice. But regular soap and water and lathering for at least 20 seconds before rinsing is always better. When you have the chance to use the real deal, always take it.
Latest posts by Alice Jacob (see all)
- Beat the pandemic blues with ONE easy action - December 4, 2020
- Can you safely see your family for Christmas after a negative coronavirus test? - December 4, 2020
- Supercharge brainpower with THIS guilty pleasure - December 3, 2020