✏️Back to school ?- hand sanitizer
I was at the mall the other day with my kids getting some school clothes. As we were in line, I watched the cashiers sanitize their hands after each customer.
When it was my turn to check out, I asked the cashier, “do you have to sanitize after every customer?” His response, “yes, new store policy.” So I asked him how many times a day in his 4 hour shift did he think he sanitized his hands. He said, “at least 50 times a day.”
During this time, there is definitely a time and place for hand sanitizer. But I ask, are we oversanitizing when not necessary?
Kiran Krishnan, a microbiologist & chief scientific officer for Microbiome Labs says, “We are getting far too sterile… Exposure to microbes is an essential part of being human. Most of our immune system is comprised of tissue that requires activation by the microbes we’re exposed to. The immune system requires the presence of friendly bacteria to regulate its functions. Think of the immune system as an army, with tanks and missiles but no general to lead them. That’s the role friendly microbes play in your body; they’re the general. The vast majority of microbes, 97% to 99%, are benign or beneficial, and they are the best protection to fight pathogenic microorganisms.” 1
One of the very best defenses we have against colds, flus, & other illnesses is to properly wash our hands. But there are places that this obviously is not possible.
So according to the CDC, next to hand washing, the best option is to use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Remember, this can kill both good and bad bacteria on the skin so use hand sanitizers when needed but not to the point of overuse.
And since we are rubbing hand sanitizer into our skin, our largest organ, these are Ingredients I avoid:
1️⃣Artificial fragrance. These often contain phthalates which are endocrine disrupters. 2
2️⃣Artificial colors. These are often petroleum based and absorbed by the skin. The immune system finds it difficult to defend against them. 3
3️⃣Benzalkonium chloride. This is a preservative and antimicrobial which may lead to skin/respiratory irritation & antibiotic resistance. 4