1. Which ingredient is responsible for the product's antibacterial properties?
The antibacterial properties of hand hygiene products are guaranteed by alcohol. Its molecules dissolve the greasy outer layer of the virus and destroy its protein structures.
2. How much alcohol should be contained in antibacterial hand hygiene products?
According to WHO recommendations, the most effective agents are those based on ethyl or isopropyl alcohol at min. 60%. More in this case does not mean better. Gels with an alcohol concentration of more than 80% may not work effectively due to the facilitated process of denaturing microbial proteins in the presence of water. Alcohol at a higher concentration "cuts off" the protein coating of the virus, but does not destroy it.
Under favourable conditions, the virus will survive and continue to infect. So it is worth choosing products with optimal concentration, e.g. 70%. Following the guidelines of health organizations and the chemical conditions of hand hygiene formulas, we designed our antibacterial hand gels Dr. Szmich. They contain 70% ethyl alcohol, which seems to be the ideal combination according to the directives of global organizations.
3. Are there any other ingredients apart from alcohol that limit the development of viruses and bacteria?
There are hand cleansing cosmetics on the market without alcohol, which have substitutes instead. They may contain substances such as benzalkonium chloride or chlorhexidine. According to the CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such substances, although they have an antibacterial effect, are not as effective as ethyl or isopropyl alcohol and are not recommended for use as an alternative to products with alcohol. Alcohol-free preparations containing the above mentioned substances or other ingredients, e.g. plant oils such as tea tree oil, do not guarantee protection against coronavirus.
4. What other ingredients are worth looking for in antibacterial products in order to take care of the skin and not to make it dry or irritated?
In our antibacterial gels we have placed aloe vera extract and D-panthenol. Both of these ingredients have a beneficial effect on the skin. Aloe extract moisturizes, soothes irritation and has additional antibacterial properties. D-panthenol has a regenerating effect on damaged and dried epidermis. The content of care ingredients is definitely a big plus of alcohol-based hand hygiene products, which can dry out the epidermis despite their salutary effect on our health protection.
Therefore, having a choice, it is worth to opt for a preparation enriched with a moisturizing or soothing component. Aloe vera is one of the most popular substances with caring properties added to antibacterial gels. On the market we can also find products with provitamin B5, green tea extract or vitamin E. However, it is worth to keep your eyes wide open and not be "seduced" by the popular active ingredients, because in the case of these preparations other factors are the most important - the concentration and type of alcohol.