The Moisturizing Ingredients in Hand Sanitizer that Keep Your Hands Soft | Muse Health

Skin Care     Moisturizer   Hand Sanitizer    

If there’s one common theme we’ve gathered from the covid-19 pandemic, it’s that hand hygiene is very important. With infectious diseases running amuck, things like good hand washing technique have been stressed by organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). For those moments when a proper lather of hand soap and water is not readily available, hand sanitizer has become a go to for thousands of people looking for a germ-free solution.

With its easy portability, hand sanitizers add an extra layer of protection and security during moments of uncertainty. One aspect of sanitizers that is often seen as a downside is the dryness that some cause to hands. Due to the main active ingredient being alcohol (either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol), germs are targeted but the hands can sometimes be unwanted collateral.

Those who are still unsure about hand sanitizer might wonder if all sanitizers dry out your hands. The simple answer is no, not at all. Whether or not hand sanitizers dry out hands depends on the ingredients used within a specific formulation. Although all sanitizers have a similar look and feel, each brand spends time developing formulas that are vastly different.

In order to ensure that your hands do not suffer while germs do, here are some ingredients you should look for when choosing an antiseptic sanitizer.

Ingredients in hand sanitizers that moisturize skin

Because high-quality hand sanitizers feature a large amount of alcohol, quick-drying of the skin is a very common side effect. In order to offset those issues, there are certain common and natural ingredients that are used that leave skin feeling clean and moisturized.

Vitamin E

Arguably the most commonly used ingredient to moisturize skin is vitamin E. Already found in the human body and in certain kinds of foods, this vitamin has become a go to for all kinds of skin care products.
In its rawest form, vitamin E is a group of compound antioxidants that are oil soluble. In the vitamin E family, the most commonly used compounds for skin care are tocopheryl acetate and tocopherol.
The way that vitamin E works on skin is truly remarkable. As previously mentioned, vitamin E is an antioxidant. Antioxidants prevent damage to cells by helping to remove free radicals. You can think of free radicals as the bad guy who escaped from prison and antioxidants as the cops that put him behind bars.
Free radicals come as a result of oxidative exposure. This could be from standing in the sun all day without protection or horrid air conditions in the area in which you live. Free radicals make their way around the skin looking for electrons in a quest to become stable. The sources for these electrons could be DNA, cell membranes, and connective tissue. Vitamin E protects against the stabilization of free radicals by providing a protective layer around the skin. Instead of free radicals feeding on skin, vitamin E quenches its thirst.
In skin care products, vitamin E is used to provide moisturizing and healing benefits. In hand sanitizer, the same rules apply. Promoting stronger use of the skin barrier function, it hydrates skin and has even proven to be adequate for sun protection. Vitamin E is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. When packaged inside of a hand sanitizer, it counterbalances alcohol and prevents dry skin.


Another effective and commonly used ingredient that moisturizes skin is glycerin. Going by other aliases such as glycerine and glycerol, glycerin can be found in vegetables or made synthetically.
Glycerin is hygroscopic. Also known as humectants, hygroscopic entities can draw moisture from the air around it and lock moisture into a surface, in this case, skin. Glycerin has been heavily studied and research shows that it has the ability to replicate the skin’s natural moisturizing factor. In its most basic explanation, the natural moisturizing factor (NMF), occurs naturally within your body and works to attract water to your skin. It also decides what other substances penetrate the skin and enters your bloodstream. The NMF is predominantly composed of amino acids and other components like peptides.
To learn more about how to balance your skin’s natural moisturizing factor, this article breaks it down.
Because skin naturally becomes depleted and loses elasticity as a person ages, the need for hydration becomes vital. With environmental factors also posing a major risk to the skin, the need to moisturize is a top priority.
Glycerin is heavily involved in the transport and allocation of aquaporins on the surface of the skin. Aquaporins are the equivalent of essential workers that channel the flow of hydrating components throughout the skin’s uppermost layer. Without aquaporins, skin would not have a moisture balance that keeps it smooth and hydrated, even in the driest of conditions.
Apart from hand sanitizers, you'll find glycerin in skin care products like cleansers and toners. Glycerin is safe on all skin types and is categorized as non-allergenic and suitable for use on acne-prone or sensitive skin.

Can you mix hand sanitizer with lotion?

When people think of moisture, lotion is one of the first images that come to mind. Filled with a myriad of ingredients that keep skin feeling supple, it seems as though an easy solution to dry hands would be the addition of lotion in formulations.

This particular question has been pondered and although it seems like a great idea, in theory, the results of actually mixing lotion and hand sanitizer together would lead to a very unfortunate outcome.

The reason for this unhappy marriage is pretty simple, lotions are oil-based and hand sanitizers are alcohol-based. When you mix lotion with a sanitizer, the lotion negates any antibacterial effects that are stimulated by high alcohol content.

That being said, you shouldn’t run to your medicine cabinet and throw away all of your lotions. Many lotions contain essential oils and
For those who want an extra coat of moisture, you should use lotion after hand sanitizer has been massaged into the skin. Based on several articles from people in the medical profession, constant hand washing and use of paper towels left their hands feeling like sandpaper.

Hand sanitizers that contain vitamin E or glycerin used in a two-step process with lotion will leave your hands feeling hydrated.

Picking the right hand sanitizer can be a tedious process. With several factors such as price and customer reviews, keeping ingredients at the forefront of decisions helps avoid problems in the future. Because your hands will come in constant contact with hand sanitizers, finding ones that both kill germs and keep hands hydrated eliminates the usual frustrations associated with sanitizers.

At MUSE Health, we have both original and fragrance-free moisturizing hand sanitizers which strike that perfect balance of effectiveness and comfort. As one of our customers stated, “it doesn’t dry my hands even after multiple uses...typically when I use Purell or something like that, my hands get really dry.”

When it comes to hand sanitizer, you shouldn’t have to choose between clean hands and hydrated hands especially when you have things like coronavirus to worry about.