Pharmacist Doug: Science Behind Hand Sanitizer


If you use hand sanitizer, you may have noticed over the last 3 years that the ingredients in your hand sanitizers have changed. Pharmacist Doug explains what the change is.

The FDA has been evaluating and reviewing ingredients in waterless hand sanitizers since 2016 and in April they made their final decision. In 2016 they started to re-review a list of ingredients that science shows are potentially harmful and maybe not effective.

Benzalkonium chloride, ethyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol are 3 ingredients that the FDA is not taking action on at this time and will allow more studies to make a final decision at a later date about these or not.

The CDC strongly and repeatedly recommends that it is better to physically wash your hands with soap and water and only use hand sanitizers when water is not available.

For a natural option, Pharmacist Doug has some DIY options:

  • Lemongrass essential oil 
  • Geranium essential oil 
  • Doterra On Guard 
  • Germ-a-Clenz
  • OregaSpray

Do you have a Question for Doug? Email him at or find him on Facebook at Pharmacist Doug.

Drug Emporium
4210 SW 45th Ave
(806) 358-6228

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