We’re proponents of keeping hands clean in general. But with the spread of COVID-19, which has been deemed a pandemic by the WHO, the urgency to do so is extra high. With experts reminding us to wash our hands thoroughly and to avoid touching our faces (to prevent the spread of germs), a surge of panic-induced purchases have left stores sold out of nècessitès like hand sanitizer and toilet paper country-wide.
When Lauren Gannes, founder and formulator of the Luxury Aromatics Brand, HIGHBORN, learned that her parents were unable to purchase hand sanitizer locally, she decided to take matters into her own hands, whipping up a batch of anti-bacterial hand spray that can be DIY-ed from home.
“I’m not a medical professional, but I would think of it this way: Traditional hand-washing is best, hand-sanitizing is second best — and better than not sanitizing at all,” Gannes reasons.
“With that in mind, cleanse in the best way possible given your circumstances [and] remember not to touch your face!”
Along with more frequent and rigorous hand-washing, you might experience extra dryness, too. Some may even experience cracking and irritation on the hands. If this happens to you, apply hand cream regularly and look for ingredients like glycerine and aloe in your anti-bacterial formulas. For truly chapped skin, Gannes recommends deeply moisturizing before bed and then sleeping in white cotton gloves. (“They sell simple ones on Amazon,” she explains. “Think less fashion accessory, and more clinical-looking, white, cotton gloves.”)
Find Gannes’ DIY-recipe below, keeping in mind that the cleansing agent, alcohol, should be at a 70% concentration and a high-proof (90 proof or higher) grain alcohol — like ethanol or ethyl alcohol. “Notrubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), or the bottle of vodka in your freezer,” she clarifies.
Recipe for Lauren Gannes’ DIY Hand-Sanitizer
- Mix two parts grain alcohol (95 proof or higher) with nearly one part glycerine, which helps with dryness.
- Complete the remaining one part with distilled water.
- Add drops of essential oil to your liking to help mask the odor of alcohol. Gannes likes Bergamot oil, while Naturopathic doctor Gabrielle Francis notes that Olbas Oil — a traditional Swiss blend containing several essential oils — is even better for immune support.
- Combine all in a mix bottle.
- Use all frequently.
In case you’re not a DIY-er, here are some shoppable options to consider, as well.
LOLI Beauty Grape Hand Tonic, $9.95
Steam distilled, 190 proof organic grape alcohol is the rockstar ingredient of this organic, cleansing “moonshine.” The zero-waste beauty brand’s ingredients are as fresh and as green as they come.
Each ultra-portable, credit card-sized bottle contains over 300 spritzes of a sanitizing blend containing sugarcane-derived ethyl alcohol, organic jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, and Italian bergamot.
ESYM Hand Purifier, $12.50
This hand-sanitizing spray combines organic cane alcohol with steam-distilled eucalyptus hydrosol, green tea extract, and vegetable glycerin to safeguard your digits from dryness. Both eucalyptus and peppermint are extra-soothing for upper-respiratory congestion.
If you’re in Europe, look for this French brand of certified organic personal care solutions for a refreshing cleanse.