Is Frequent Hand-washing Drying Your Skin? Try an Alcohol-free Hand Sanitizer.

Is Frequent Hand-washing Drying Your Skin? Try an Alcohol-free Hand Sanitizer.

How alcohol-free hand sanitizer can effectively protect, while avoiding dry, chapped skin

Certain alcohol-free hand sanitizers are recognized by the FDA as an effective alternative to alcohol if you experience dry, chapped skin from frequent hand-washing.

Frequent Hand-Washing Is An Opportunity for Infection

Many parts of the country are starting to re-open following the pandemic. But strict hand-washing protocols are simply an ongoing routine for dental and medical offices. The downside of frequent hand-washing is that it is it is drying to your hands. The skin becomes chapped and irritated… and can develop cracks that are not only painful, but also create an opportunity for infection. Applying alcohol hand sanitizer only further amplifies the drying problem.

Option 1: Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

While the CDC prioritized 60% alcohol sanitizers during the initial COVID 19 outbreak, the Food & Drug Administration recognizes another active ingredient, 0.13% Benzalkonium Chloride (BZK), for use in FDA-registered hand sanitizers. This ingredient has been used for many years in hand sanitizers marketed to consumers and professional medical offices. The science is there to support its efficacy.

BZK Kills Fast

Benzalkonium Chloride kills microbes (viruses, bacteria and fungi) just as quickly as 60% alcohol. But it also has another valuable benefit: It keeps on killing for hours. That is something alcohol simply can’t do.

Unlike Alcohol, BZK Keeps on Killing

Alcohol is great for cleansing the skin. That’s why it’s recommended for use when handwashing is not practical. But once alcohol is dry, it loses its effectiveness. Alcohol simply can’t protect you from contamination. That means your skin will pick up whatever germs your hands come into contact with next. BZK keeps on killing germs for hours… until you wash it off.

BZK Is Non-Drying

If you’ve ever used an alcohol-based sanitizer “with aloe” or other “moisturizing” ingredients you know that those moisturizers don’t really offset the drying effects of the alcohol. Benzalkonium Chloride is gentle to the skin, which is a big help to those who struggle with skin irritation.

How to Choose the right Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol-free hand sanitizers are not all the same. So, it’s wise to read labels and choose one that’s:

  • Specially formulated for medical and dental office use
  • Professionally laboratory-tested for effectiveness

ONE For All Foaming Hand Sanitizer with Nanodex™

Here at Ho Dental Company, we carry ONE For All Foaming Hand Sanitizer for dental and medical offices. It was formulated by a team of doctors and scientists with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create the next generation of hand sanitizers. Key features:

  • 13% Benzalkonium Chloride
  • Nanodex™ Technology, so it forms a long-lasting, non-drying barrier on the skin
  • Jojoba Oil for moisturizing
  • Tea Tree Oil to help soothe skin irritation
  • And Vitamins C & E for additional skin support
  • Made in the USA in an FDA-approved facility
  • Registered as a hand sanitizer with the FDA

Laboratory testing of the ONE For All formula revealed that it:

  • Killed 99.9% of microbes within 5 seconds
  • Continued killing microbes for up to 24 hours

We recommend applying ONE For All to protect against microbial contamination between hand-washings. With this sanitizer, you’re protected while working in your office, seeing patients, handling the mail and daily deliveries. You’re also protected when you’re away from the office: shopping, visiting friends, or going about other appointments and errands. 

To us, ONE For All is an excellent choice also for health care practitioners with sensitive skin, since it’s alcohol-free and fortified with moisturizing ingredients. And the fact that it offers long-lasting protection is a truly valuable benefit over alcohol sanitizers.

Option 2: Apply A Moisturizer That’s Not Water-Based

In addition to using an alcohol-free hand sanitizer, moisturizers are another way to protect against dry skin. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying moisturizers for those who suffer from dry, chapped skin from frequent hand-washing.

However, they suggest avoiding water-based formulas. Because water evaporates on the skin, water-based moisturizers can actually contribute further to skin dryness. So instead, they recommend using an oil- or petroleum-based moisturizer. These tend to be moisturizers that come in a tube or tub, such as petroleum jelly.

They also recommend choosing a moisturizer that’s fragrance-free. Chemical fragrances are an unnecessary ingredient that can be irritating to the skin.

The Takeaway

Frequent hand washing is simply part of a daily routine for those of us who work in the medical and dental professions. So, dry and chapped skin is unfortunately part of our day-to-day lives. The good news is that you have more than one option for eliminating germs and lessening the damage to your skin.

To learn more about ONE for All hand sanitizer, visit:

About Ho Dental Company

Ho Dental Company is a premier dental supply company located in Las Vegas. Founder Dr. Phillip Ho, DMD, has more than 35 years of product development experience. He also operates a full-time dental practice in Santa Barbara, CA. His goal is to help dentists like himself save time and money while improving results and client satisfaction.

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