Last year, hand sanitiser possibly didn’t even cross your mind – let alone your shopping list. But now, in the midst of a global health crisis, it has swiftly become essential.
Traditionally, hand sanitisers aren’t synonymous with luxury. Highly practical, they don’t have quite the cachet of a cocooning hand cream. What’s more, basic varieties can reek of chemicals and strip the skin of moisture, leaving your delicate hands prone to irritation and discomfort.
Thankfully, plenty of leading beauty brands have been quick off the mark, creating trustworthy sanitisers, spritzes and gels that meet the Public Health England threshold of 60 per cent alcohol content while also delivering a tiny touch of luxury. This Works has loaded its hand gel with hydrating hyaluronic acid (as well as a signature Stress Check scent), while Byredo‘s typically stylish squeezy tubes come in the brand’s most coveted fragrances.
From today, you can order Augustinus Bader’s glycerin-boosted sanitiser for free (minus a small postage charge) or invest in We Are Paradoxx’s low-waste metal canister, which sees proceeds donated to The Trussell Trust.
Below, shop the sanitisers that combine essential protection with sensorial appeal.
Twenty thousand tubes of Augustinus Bader’s new hand sanitiser have been sent to front-line health workers, and now US and UK residents can order their own for a modest £2.95 postage fee.
Combining 68 per cent alcohol with a heavy hit of glycerin, it both kills germs and protects hands from dryness and chapping.
This all-natural and organic spray uses witch hazel together with a blend of pure essential oils to purify and protect the hands from bacteria. The refreshing scent is reassuringly botanical (unlike some more aggressive hand sanitisers) and the formula is gentle enough for the most sensitive types.
Even better, the brand also offers a planet-friendly 100ml refill bottle, which can be used to top up any pocket-sized spray.
Neal’s Yard Remedies, £6.50, nealsyardremedies.com
This antibacterial spritz contains 65 per cent alcohol to kill germs and bacteria, with a blend of hempseed oil and seaweed extract to soothe the skin and replenish moisture levels. Scented with mandarin and geranium, it’s a treat to use. Bag it in two sizes: 30ml for travel and 200ml for home.
Margaret Dabbs London, £25.00, cultbeauty.co.uk
This gel is another rinse-free hand soap, which purifies germs with alcohol.
It’s scented with an energising blend of mandarin, rosemary and cedar, and housed in a durable travel-safe bottle, complete with the brand’s inimitable black and cream branding.
Aesop, £7.00, libertylondon.com
Oskia has applied its skincare nous to this nourishing hand gel, which meets health requirements without causing irritation or dryness.
Alongside 62 per cent alcohol, it contains anti-viral rosemary and lavender essential oils, as well as glycerin to lock moisture back into parched hands.
Oskia, £8, cultbeauty.co.uk
This large (and almost entirely plastic-free) hand gel combines 70 per cent alcohol with soothing tea tree oil. Proceeds from every sale are donated to the Trussell Trust, which works to provide emergency supplies to those most in need.
Keep this metal bottle at home or on your desk, storing its smaller sister in your handbag.
We Are Paradoxx, £13.50, currentbody.com
This is a great-value option for keeping at your desk (or for decanting into a smaller bottle). A reliable 70 per cent alcohol kills germs, while hyaluronic acid does a supreme job of restoring moisture.
This Works, £15.00, lookfantastic.com
This effective yet gentle sanitiser comes in a pump-action bottle and feels as light as water on skin. 70 per cent alcohol (derived from wheat) is balanced by moisturising glycerin and zesty, mood-improving bergamot.
Evolve Beauty, £12.00, feelunique.com
Comfort Zone’s sanitiser is clearly the prettiest of the bunch, but it’s also a reliably effective option. It contains 63 per cent alcohol as well as sustainably sourced essential oils, which impart a fresh, herbaceous scent.
Staying true to the Italian brand’s sustainable ethos, this gel is produced using renewable energy and packaged in sugar-cane based bio-plastic.
Comfort Zone, £5.50, lookfantastic.com
Housed in easily recyclable sugar-cane packaging, Bramley’s sanitiser gel is a great eco option. 60 per cent denatured alcohol is blended with rosemary and mint essential oils, which not only smell beautiful but counteract any dryness too.
Bramley, £14.00, trouva.com
Modest in price but mighty in efficacy, The Body Shop’s range of fragranced gel hand cleansers are very, well, handy. Available in various fruity scents – we love the coconut – they refresh and cleanse the hands without stripping the skin. If you plough through a lot of hand gel, this is a lovely cost-effective option.
The Body Shop, £2.50
Alongside a huge 90 per cent alcohol, this pine-scented hand sanitiser contains aloe vera and 250mg of CBD – both known to inhibit inflammation and soothe the skin.
Woodies, £14.99, woodiesuk.com
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.