If you don’t have access to soap and water, using hand sanitizer is the next best way to clean your hands and reduce the risk of getting sick and spreading germs. The best moisturizing hand sanitizers must contain at least 60% alcohol in order to be effective at killing or inactivating viruses, according to the FDA , and should also include soothing ingredients that reduce the redness and chapping that tends to occur with frequent hand-washing and sanitizer use. (The alcohol percentage is important, because “sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers,” says the CDC.)
Some other key tips: Keep hand sanitizer out of reach of children, and don't leave yours in a hot car during the summer or in other hot environments, as hand sanitizers should ideally be stored at a temperature below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Below are the some of the best non-drying hand sanitizers with 60% or more alcohol that won't totally dehydrate or irritate your hands, plus one non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer for situations that don't require as intense disinfecting. For added convenience, they're all available on Amazon for $20 or less.
1. The Best Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer To Keep At Home
The Naked Bee's hand sanitizer contains the required 62% ethyl alcohol for germ-killing, along with soothing and hydrating aloe vera, an anti-inflammatory plant that contains antioxidants, enzymes, and vitamins A and C. There's also witch hazel to reduce redness and irritation, moisturizing honey, and seaweed extract to help heal skin and create a protective barrier against irritants. This cruelty-free product contains no parabens, dyes, or propylene glycol, so it should be a safe choice for sensitive skin types. Its big, 8-ounce bottle with a convenient pump-top dispenser makes it ideal for keeping at home to disinfect as soon as you walk in.
2. The Best Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer For On-The-Go Use
From the brand best known for their bathroom sprays, Poo Pourri's spray hand sanitizer contains almond oil, known for its moisturizing and skin healing properties, as well as calming lavender, hydrating coconut oil, and 65% ethyl alcohol to kill germs. This is a great choice for frequent use throughout the day thanks to its purse-friendly, 2-ounce bottle and non-drying formula.
3. The Best Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer With Prebiotics
Another great choice for on-the-go use, this AGRARIA A+ Prebiotic Hand Sanitizer contains an impressive array of skin-boosting ingredients in each bottle, like preBIULIN FOS, a prebiotic from chicory root that works to protect the good microbes found in skin, along with moisturizing aloe and exfoliating turmeric to help soften skin and relieve irritation, and lemon verbena essential oil, which gives it a pleasant, refreshing scent. It contains 70% ethyl alcohol and comes in a travel-friendly, 2-ounce spray bottle.
4. The Best Value-Pack Of Hand Sanitizers For Stocking Up
Buy this four-pack of 2-ounce Skindom hand gels and you'll have one for your purse, desk, car, and home. In addition to 62% alcohol, the formula contains hydrating aloe vera, moisturizing glycerin, and the moisture-attracting humectant sodium hyaluronate. "It disinfects, smells great, and doesn't dry out your hands," summed up one Amazon reviewer, who called it the "best hand sanitizer ever."
5. And One Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer For Cleaning Hands (But Not Removing Viruses)
Not every occasion requires disinfecting, so if you don't want to use an alcohol-based sanitizer in certain situations, this two-pack of Babyganics hand sanitizer will be useful to have on hand. With a fun, foaming, fragrance-free formula, it contains benzalkonium chloride, a natural antimicrobial ingredient, plus moisturizing tocopherol (a form of vitamin E). Though it's free of artificial fragrance, it does contain a few natural essential oils, like grapefruit and orange.