It comes as no surprise that sales of hand sanitisers have rocketed over the past year due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (or COVID-19). Streams of people were spotted queueing outside Boots and Superdrug in an attempt to get their hands on some anti-bac.
While the hype may have died down a bit, and every supermarket has hand sani on offer, it's still worth having your own with you at all times to stop the spread and stay bacteria-free.
We’ve scoured high and low to bring you the best hand sanitisers that are available to buy now, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg - promise.
Got your hand sani sorted? Don't forget that all-important hand cream to keep your hands feeling silky and soft.
Check out: the BEST hand sanitisers to buy now
Just so you know, while we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections
The Best Hand Sanitisers 2021
1. INEOS Hygienics Dual Action Sanitiser + Moisturiser with Aloe Vera
A new addition to the INEOS range, the Hygienics Sanitiser + Moisturiser range uses pharma-grade high-purity alcohol, which kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria and now comes formulated with moisturiser and aloe vera to protect and repair dry skin.
2. Baylis & Harding Jasmine & Apple Blossom Luxury Hand Gel
A handbag-sized bottle is a must-have, and this cheap and cheerful one from Baylis & Harding kills 99.9% of bacteria AND smells gorgeous - jasmine and apple blossom, what could be better?
3. Sanctuary Spa Antibacterial Hand Gel Spray
A snip at £5, Sanctuary Spa Antibacterial Hand Gel never leaves skin feeling sticky. It also doesn't dry out cuticles like some others.
4. Vichy Hand Sanitiser Gel
If you like your anti-bac straight up (65% alcohol and no essential oils), Vichy Hand Sanitiser Gel is your perfect fit from the French skincare experts.
5. Oskia Safe Hands Hand Sanitiser
High-end skincare meets new-age necessity with Oskia Safe Hands Gel – a skin-friendly formula that features essential oils alongside 62% alcohol and moisturising glycerine.
6. Neals Yard Remedies Defence Hand Spray
Not a newbie, but a goodie. Neal's Yard Remedies Organic Defence Hand Spray has a certified organic formula that kills 99.9% of bacteria
7. Susanne Kaufmann Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel
A powerful and skin-friendly blend of moisturising aloe vera and vitamin E, this hand sanitiser protects the skin while killing germs.
8. Beauty Kitchen Organic Hand Sanitiser
This organic and vegan hand sanitiser with 62% ethanol comes with a refillable spray bottle, so you can hold on to the packaging.
9. Boudica Sanitiser, 100ml Organic Hand Sanitising Gel
100% organic, vegan, no animal testing, eco-friendly and bio-degradable – what more could you ask for?
10. Margaret Dabbs Hand Sanitiser
Margaret Dabbs Hand Sanitiser eliminates bacteria with 65% alcohol content whilst conditioning skin with emu oil and white water lily.
11. Pai Skincare Acton Spirit Hand Sanitizer Gel
This gel from Pai Skincare is enriched with prebiotic, inulin, to help encourage the growth of good skin bacteria and protect from the harsh effects of antimicrobial alcohol. For every hand sanitiser purchase, Pai will donate one Acton Spirit Hand Gel to someone in need.
12. Herbowski Antibacterial Hand Sanitiser
Organic and natural, this skin-friendly formula contains cane alcohol, aloe-vera and medicinal herbs to protect hands from germs and viruses.
13. We Are Paradoxx Anti-Bacterial Hand Spray
90% plastic-free, this eco-friendly anti-bac spray is formulated with 70% alcohol, killing 99.99% of germs and bacteria. Added tea tree oil soothes skin.
14. Haoma Hand Sanitiser
This effective yet lightweight spray leaves hands feeling smooth and hydrated, whilst being antibacterial and antiviral. Thanks to its natural and organic formula, it also won't distress the skin's natural balance. It contains certified organic ingredients, including tea tree and sweet orange essential oils.
15. Byredo Rinse-free Hand Wash
This luxury hand wash is alcohol-based to fight bacteria and smells like sweet roses with pink pepper, raspberry and musk.
16. Saltee Hands Sanitising Hand Gel
Makers of smart suncare, Saltee has got in on the anti-bac action with its Hands Sanitising Hand Gel, which smells like holidays (remember them?).
17. Land & Water Alcohol Hand Gel
This sinks in at speed, smells like lemons and has an antibacterial combo of alcohol (62%) and lavender. Plus, its jumbo 250ml bottle (leave by the front door) is made from 100% recycled plastic.
We’ve also spoken to Dr Ismat, a GP at Pulse Light Clinic, to understand how effective anti-bac gels really are and whether we should be stockpiling them by the bucketload...
Do hand sanitisers work?
"Hand sanitisers are a great option for when we’re out and about without access to soap and running water," says Dr Ismat. "They contain agents (the most common being alcohol) which destroy bacteria and viruses.
"In order to kill most viruses, a hand sanitiser needs to be at least 60% alcohol content," explains Dr Ismat. Thankfully, the majority sold in the UK contain 60-95%. Just be warned that alcohol is known to be a skin irritant and very drying – especially for sensitive skins (shop one of the best hand creams here).
"You only need to use a small amount with modern hand sanitisers," advises Dr Ismat, "Using too much increases the risk of any drying/irritant effects."
Can hand sanitiser kill coronavirus?
"Alcohol and other disinfectant agents normally have less impact on viruses than bacteria – as viruses are better at resisting these agents. That’s why a lot of TV and radio adverts boast 'kills 99% of all known bacteria.'
"Coronavirus is what’s known as an envelope virus, because it has a protein coating around it which the alcohol can attack successfully, unlike norovirus which doesn’t have this protein coating. So, the short answer = yes, antibacterial hand gel can attack coronavirus. However, the preferred option is to wash your hands."
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Should you use hand sanitiser if you’ve got dry or sensitive skin?
"For people with dry, sensitive skin or eczema – having sore, cracked skin can actually increase the chances of infections entering the skin," explains Dr Ismat. Fortunately, the majority of hand sanitisers out there contain added emollients or moisturising agents – just look out for these on the ingredients list. "Also, there are plenty of alternative sanitiser options which don’t contain alcohol, like Clinell which is formulated to be 'skin-friendly.'"
What’s better - hand sanitiser or washing your hands?
"Washing hands with soap and water remains the favoured option, and studies have confirmed that this is more effective than a dab of gel. Soap has antibacterial properties and is really effective at removing dirt and germs."