DIY Hand Sanitizer (+ a case for ditching it all together)

February 25, 2022 By Sarah White No Comments

diy hand sanitizer recipe (+ a wee rant);

shopping yesterday I politely declined to use the hand sanitizer provided by the store (I kept my gloves on purposely to avoid this scenario as my skin reacts very poorly to these chemicals); I was then forbidden from touching anything in the store & enjoyed a ‘contact-less’ shopping experience …

this brings us to my latest blog post: a few data points on why this scenario, and the overuse of hand sanitizer in general, is problematic;

  • The FDA (notoriously lenient in their reporting of harms from common chemicals) has issued warnings about the harms of triclosan on the skin & microbiome & hormone health.
  • Over sanitizing makes you more prone to catching other infections: researchers found that health care employees who were most likely to use hand sanitizers over soap and water for routine handwashing were nearly six times more at risk for outbreaks of norovirus, which causes most cases of acute gastroenteritis.
  • The FDA says research shows triclosan found in many conventional hand sanitizers can cause bacteria and viruses to adapt to its antimicrobial/antiviral properties, which creates more resistant strains.
  • Compromising the immune system can make people more susceptible to allergies, and more vulnerable to the toxic chemical Bisphenol A, which is found in plastics.
  • According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there isn’t enough science to show that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps are better at preventing illness than washing with plain soap.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have known toxic & hazardous impact on environment when released by evaporation
  • In only five months of 2020, the American Association of Poison Control Center reported 9504 alcoholic hand sanitizer exposure cases in children under the age of 12 years and recognized that even a small amount of alcohol can cause alcohol poisoning in children. FYI alcohol is typically added to cosmetics to breakdown skin barrier so that more of the ingredients are absorbed.
  • The risk of infection from touching a contaminated surface is less than 1 in 10,000 (lower than the common flu).
  • In May 2020 CDC updated initial guidelines to emphasize that the virus spreads from person to person via aerosol, rather than contaminated surfaces & warned about the dangers of over sanitization (almost years 2 ago people!).

As with all interventions used to fight c-who-must-not-be-named it’s important to maintain perspective and weigh the risks & benefits of our daily choices. I choose to wash my hands with soap and water between patient visits and after physical contact, this diy hand sanitizer gel lives in my bag for ’emergency’ situations. Free of harmful chemicals this easy diy contains geranium and lemon essential oils which have been shown to block AC2 receptors (the virus’s mechanism of entry) in skin cells acting as natural topical anti-virals against c-vid (see last PMID below for the cool new study).

DIY Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol & triclosan-free hand sanitizer for those times you absolutely need to ‘disinfect’ & there’s no soap + water in sight. 

Ingredients

  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops orange essential oil
  • 10 drops geranium essential oil
  • 1 oz pure aloe vera gel
  • 1 oz witch hazel

Instructions

Mix everything up in a small mixing bowl with a spout then pour into one of those fill-it-yourself travel squeeze bottles available at pharmacies. Squirt a few blobs into hands and rub thorough as needed (which really isn’t all that often at all ..)

References:

  • PMID: 21062687
  • PMID: 21844107
  • PMID: 32623176
  • PMID: 32628907
  • PMID: 33140065
  • PMID: 32575476

note: I came across a company that I believed was spreading harmful viewpoints, instead of naming them publicly or being an a-hole their employees I simply chose to try & educate those in my circle about a healthier way of being, see what I did there .. education >  hate, anger, cancel culture.


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ABOUT SARAH WHITE

Dr. Sarah White is a Naturopathic Doctor, Integrative health expert and the founder + CEO of This Doctor’s Kitchen — your evidence-based resource for all things health and wellness. Dr. Sarah takes a food-first approach to health with a focus in fertility, longevity and natural beauty. She is recognized as an expert in women’s hormones, thyroid health and anti-aging. Dr. Sarah is a published health author with features in Elle Canada, Best Health, EcoParent & Whole Family magazine.