Health Skin

Do Hand Sanitizer Lotions Actually Work?

You already know that keeping your hands clean is one of the best ways to keep yourself and others around you healthy.

Plain old handwashing with soap and water is most effective at fighting germs, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes. When you’re on the go, hand sanitizer made with at least 60 percent alcohol is a good stand-in.

“Hand sanitizer remains important because it helps remove germs from your hands, so that they do not end up on your face,” explains Jeffrey Cohen, MD, board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. These products can help reduce your risk of the common cold and — in combination with vaccines — COVID-19 and the flu, Dr. Cohen adds.

But if you regularly use hand sanitizer, you know that this hygiene product comes with an unpleasant side effect: dry, cracked skin. That’s why many people follow their hand sanitizer with a moisturizer. Now, though, thanks to a host of new products in drugstores, you may be able to take this hygiene routine from two steps to one, or at least use less moisturizer after sanitizing your hands.


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