It’s hardly the sexiest category, bu we can all agree hand sanitizers have taken on a whole new allure over the last two months. These instant germ-killing formulas have become a welcome addition to our daily beauty lineup, leaving us with clean hands (and a clean conscience) as we carefully navigate through life during a pandemic. Given the high-demand, frantic stockpiling (PSA: please stop!), and subsequent hand sanitizer shortages that have resulted, beauty brands have been stepping into the category, producing their own the germ-blasting formulas at record speed. Thankfully, the moisture-stripping, alcohol-packed formulas of the past have been re-imagined to offer the same bacteria and virus-cleansing results, but in a way that's much more gentle on our hands (read: no dry knuckles). Ahead, find the best new hand sanitizers to (appropriately) stock up on as we all try to keep germs at bay.
Don’t let the baby label confuse you: this germ-killing formula kills 99.9% of germs with a lineup of gentler, natural ingredients on its front line. The antibacterial spray uses a gentler alcohol disinfectant derived from sugar cane and is spiked with natural monoi coconut oil and aloe so your hands are left clean, conditioned, and baby soft.
Kudos to PTR for quickly getting their hands dirty—er, clean—and expanding their skincare lineup to include two convenient spray sanitizers (in 2fl oz and 6fl oz), doing their part in helping us keep germ-free. Even cooler—the fact that they donated 5,000 units to Northwell Health Hospitals, the largest healthcare provider in New York State.
The sustainable personal care brand acted fast to formulate and bottle up their High Spirits Sanitizer in just seven weeks while still adhering to their high environmental standards. The formula—launched May 7th—uses 72% locally grown, organic, non-GMO corn alcohol and is stamped with their signature redwood Cathedral Grove Scent, which is pretty much confirmation it will fly off the shelves.
This sleek sanitizer feels nice in your hand—and that’s before you even spritz the all-natural formula inside. The slim, matte black design fits comfortably in your hand (and pocket) and feels surprisingly conditioning on hands, thanks to its unique blend of rosa canina and argan oils. The refreshing soft citrus scent of Italian bergamot just completes the experience.
This ingredient list reads more like a spa ritual than a disinfectant. The power hitter here comes from 63% grape alcohol which is both gentle on skin and effective at killing bacteria and viruses (plus, bonus points that it's a natural preservative). The rest of the formula is packed with organic aloe vera juice to protect the skin, organic vegetable glycerin to moisturize, and a blend of natural purifiers like lavender, lemon eucalyptus, and tea tree that make this a delicate formula your hands will thank you for.
The balanced formula combines the germ-blasting power of alcohol with the soothing benefits of aloe leaf water and witch hazel. The cool gel is smooth, instead of tacky, and comes as a welcome treat for chapped hands and cuticles in desperate need of hydration and healing.
With dozens of delightfully bright and cheerful scents to choose from (personal favorites include Cucumber Melon, French Lavender, and Peach Bellini), these adorable pocket-sized sanitizers are an instant mood-boost. They do sell out quick, but the brand continues to restock daily, so act fast in the AM and you’re golden.
It’s hard to find a hand cleanser that borders on luxurious, but this meticulously crafted dry-form formula gets as close. Its chock full of herbal anti-germ ingredients like clove, thyme, and cinnamon bark which help to whisk away impurities on your hands and give you an aromatherapy boost. It’s also spiked with elderflower for a skin-softening touch.
Susanne Kaufman Purif-i Sanitizing Hand Spray, $24
There’s a reason—scratch that—several reasons, why this disinfecting hand spray is a favorite of Editorial Director, Faith Xue. For starters, it kills germs just as well as any on this lineup, but it does so with a gentler pure vegetable alcohol. It also serves as an intensive hand treatment, with arnica and silk proteins that help to moisturize and combat dryness so hands feel delightfully cleansed and conditioned.
Jouer heard their customers’ cry and created a hand sanitizer to help meet growing demand. Bu this feel-good sanitizer doesn’t stop at the surprisingly hydrating formula. For every sanitizer purchased, the brand also donates one to the fights against COVID-19 (fun fact: they have already donated more than 5,000 hand sanitizers along with 20,000 other products to front line workers at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles). How’s that for feel-good?
This quick-drying, soothing blend is free of all the bad stuff (parabens, triclosan, artificial fragrance and colors) and chock full of all the good stuff, like eucalyptus, tea tree, and Manuka oil. The uplifting lemongrass and lavender scent is enough to lift your spirits all on its own—however the fact that 10% of all proceeds is being donated to the Covenant House Vancouver to supply essential services to homeless youth makes it that much better.
Touchland's cool packaging and brightly-colored formulas reimagined hand sanitizers for good and likely account for at least half the reason the brand sold out by March 5th. The other half comes from the hydration packed formulas, which are spiked with essential oils and aloe vera, that leave hands impeccably smooth and sanitized. Lucky for us, they're restocked and ready for spritzing.
This plant-based germ-killing formula from The Honest Company also doubles as a hand moisturizer. It’s made from naturally-derived glycerin and aloe, which help to keep skin soft and conditioned without any sticky residue. The only thing that may stick (in your mind, at least) is the fact that the brand pledged to donate a boat load of personal care products to Baby2Baby, including 3 million diapers, 30,000 packs of wipes, and 20,000 other personal care products.
This new gel formula is formulated with aloe leaf juice, which acts as a power hydrator and skin protector, balancing the germ-killing alcohol with a shot of conditioning hydration. The pink bottle is worthy of precious countertop real estate, and keeping this bottle in plain sigh will remind you to use it often (and trust us, you'll want to).
The convenient pump dispenser is filled with a cool gel that is formulated with natural ethanol for zapping 99.9% of germs, coconut oil for conditioning the heck out of chapped hands, and lemon essential oils for a zesty refresh every time you rub it on.
Herbivore Hand Hero
Prior to this minimalist-chic hand sanitizer launching to consumers, the brand donated 75,000 units to frontline workers, including 50,000 to United Way in their hometown city of Seattle, and 25,000 units to hospitals across New York City. And if that doesn’t get you excited all on its own, starting May 13th, the first 1,000 orders on their website will receive this purifying gel free. Spoiler alert: the hyaluronic acid and aloe vera-spiked formula work double time keeping your mitts soft and hydrated.