Comparing Hand Sanitizers

by Carrie Raab on March 13, 2017

Hand Sanitizers

Have you ever wondered what’s in your hand sanitizer? Do you realize how often you or your kids use it? Certain professions require hand washing repeatedly throughout the day and do not even know what they are putting on their hands. A simple slather of some hand gel or better yet foaming gel, a few vigorous hand rubs back and forth and voila, hands are dry and ‘germs are all gone.’ Seems simple and easy, which is very true and probably why so many schools, day care centers, hospitals, assisted living homes have it all over their buildings. However, what people do not know are the dangers of many hand gels that are being used every day, several times a day. 


Comparing Hand Sanitizers











Thieves hand purifier


















Purell ingredients:

Active Ingredients: Ethyl alcohol 70% v/v

Inactive Ingredients: Water (aqua), Isopropyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates/C10-30 Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Fragrance (Parfum).

* Triclosan is now not on the list, but you can still find this toxic ingredient in the hand sanitizer, as they have a year to pull it out of their ingredient list. Make sure your hand gel doesn’t contain triclosan. 


Thieves ingredients:

Alcohol denat, Water, Aloe barbadensis leaf powder, Glycerin, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Mentha piperita † (Peppermint) oil, Eugenia caryophyllus † (Clove) bud oil, Citrus limon† (Lemon) peel oil, Ecalyptus radiata† leaf oil, Rosmarinus officinalis† (Rosemary) leaf oil, Cinnamomun zeylanicum† (Cinnamon) bark oil.

†100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oil


Germ X ingredients:

Active Ingredients
Ethyl Alcohol 63%
Inactive Ingredients
Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Benzophenone-4, Fragrance, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Water

The scented Germ X ingredients include the following added ingredients:

Benzophenone-4, Carbomer, D&C Orange No. 4, Fragrance, Glycerin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Propylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Water.

* Triclosan is now not on the list, but you can still find this toxic ingredient in the hand sanitizer, as they have a year to pull it out of their ingredient list. Make sure your hand gel doesn’t contain triclosan.

Have you ever looked up any of these ingredients? Let’s look at just a few of them.

  • Fragrance- The word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants such as diethyl phthalate.But fragrance gets a free pass under the law—it’s the only ingredient that’s allowed to hide under a cloud of rose petals and doesn’t have to say what it really is. As you can probably guess, fragrance is added to products to make them smell better. Sometimes it’s to add a sense of luxury or personality. Sometimes they’re used to create a more “natural” aroma. And sometimes they’re used to cover up an offending odor.

There are potential serious health issues associated with these classified “fragrance” compounds. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), fragrance is the number one cause of cosmetic contact dermatitis and its prevalence is on the rise.
Studies have found many, potentially harmful chemicals hiding in fragrances, including:
Synthetic musks that build up in our bodies and may enhance the impacts of other toxic chemicals (2,3). Some of these musks have shown hormone disruption potential (4-8). Synthetic musks are also persistent in the environment and contaminate waterways and wildlife (9).
Phthalates linked to hormone disruption, which can affect development, reproduction, and child health (10-13).
Volatile organic compounds that are classified as toxic or hazardous under U.S. federal laws (14).
Neurotoxicants, which are chemicals that are toxic to the brain (15,16).


I think partly the companies like using fragrance as a listing to fool us into thinking that because it’s the fragrance, then that must be an okay ingredient, when really it may not be so “okay,” or even safe for us.

When products have a fragrance, it’s ok, as long as those products list all of their ingredients. To make this easier, go for natural products~most of the time they openly tell you every ingredient that is in their products. However, be careful~ Even some natural companies state “fragrance” on their ingredient lists!

I believe that if a company does truly care about their consumers’ health, then they will list all of their ingredients. If they do not list ALL of their ingredients, then just walk away from that company. Our health is worth it!

So, read those ingredients and try to avoid “fragrance” in your products!

  • Isopropyl AlcoholInhaling large amounts of isopropyl alcohol can cause nausea, vomiting, irritation of the nose and mucous membranes, throat irritations, and even difficulty with breathing as coughing can occur making it difficult for you to catch your breath.
  • Propylene Glycol-is a liquid alcohol that is used as a solvent, in antifreeze, and in the food, plastics, and perfume industries. The Dangers of Propylene Glycol are Skin Irritation and Allergic Reactions, Potentially Toxic to the Kidneys and Liver, 
    Probably Not Safe for Infants or Pregnant Women, Neurological Symptoms, 
    Cardiovascular Problems and Respiratory Issues.
  • Isopropyl myristate is used as a thickening agent or as a moisturizer in common beauty products. It is a synthetic oil that actually lessens the “greasy” or oily feeling found in some lotions and creams, while aiding in absorption.There is a chance of skin irritation, clogged pores and acne inflammation and acne prone and children under 4 should avoid this ingredient. 
  • Triclosan– is an anti-bacterial ingredient used not only in hand sanitizers but also in a lot of personal care products. According to the EWG, it is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function.Triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Using hand sanitizers may actually lower your resistance to diseases by killing good bacteria, which helps protect against bad bacteria. 
  • Ethyl Alcohol I didn’t realize the actual amount of alcohol in most hand sanitizers. This is the alcohol that is in alcoholic beverages! I’ve even read that children have been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning from them! They have a surprisingly heavy amount of ethyl alcohol ( Purell and Germ-X contain 62% ethyl alcohol, a little 2oz bottle = 4 shots of vodka!). Recent studies have shown it may increase the risk of throat and oral tongue cancer. 

After learning about these ingredients, I have chosen to stick with Young Living’s Thieves Hand Purifying gel. How about you? What is your choice? 

Thieves Purifying Hand Gel


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