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I’ll be completely honest and say that I’ve not really used hand sanitizer ever… ok there was a few times in my life but it’s never been something I carry around or that I slather on my kids hands. Mostly because I’m lazy and cheap but there are a few other reasons why I don’t buy hand sanitizer.
Reasons to Not Use Hand Sanitizer
Doesn’t Kill Viruses
Hand sanitizers are antibacterial…. that means they only kill bacteria. Now killing bacteria is great so it doesn’t have that going for it but the flu that you are trying to avoid? Hand sanitizer isn’t going to kill those germs.
Contains Not So Great Chemicals
Commercial hand sanitizers contain some nasty ingredients and some of those ingredients sound like they are supposed to be amazing. Take triclosan for example. It kills germs but it also have health concerns. It can mess with the endocrine system and it has high toxin contamination concerns. On top of that tricolsan is a threat to the environment.
Now thankfully, triclosan is being removed from many hand sanitizers but there are other ingredients to be wary of. Fragrance, propylene glycol, artificial dyes, and alcohols which are a concern if the hand sanitizer is for kids.
We Need Germs
I know it sounds crazy to think that we need germs when we live in a pretty germ-a-phobic society but when we live in too sterile of an environment we are limiting our bodies abilities to handle other stuff because we hinder the development of the immune system. This is why there is evidence of people having higher rates of asthma and allergies if they don’t have enough germ exposure!
We Might Be Creating Super Bugs
The use of antibacterial products is essentially building up a tolerance in germs. When a germ obtains antibiotic resistance suddenly the usual germ killers stop working. We have to bring in stronger germ killers and then we just repeat the whole cycle again as germs become resistant to the stronger germ killers.
However… there are times when you need to rely on hand sanitizer. Maybe you are on an airplane and you’d rather not catch a cold from the person in 27a. Perhaps hand sanitizer is on your child’s school must have items list. Whatever the reason, if you need a hand sanitizer without the crazy ingredients then this DIY natural hand sanitizer is just the thing!
Ingredients In This DIY Natural Hand Sanitizer
Aloe Vera Gel
Buy the good stuff, the real aloe vera gel. The real stuff is clear by the way, not neon green like we’ve grown up thinking! Aloe vera gel is the base for this hand sanitizer making it just like the gels that you’d buy in stores. Aloe vera is also antibacterial so it will also help kill those germs.
If you really wanted you could just use tea tree essential oil as it’s one of the best antibacterial essential oils out there but lavender helps give this hand sanitizer a more pleasant smell while contributing to the antibacterial benefits.
The amount of essential oils in this recipe is calculated so that it is safe for children over 6 years old. If you are using this hand sanitizer for children under 6 then you will want to reduce the essential oils to 3 drops tea tree and 3 drops lavender.
DIY Natural Hand Sanitizer
In small bowl, mix all ingredients well.
Transfer to preferred container. I prefer glass containers like this glass pump bottle or there are these silicone squeeze tubes or if you’d like plastic then this polypropylene container is a safer plastic option.