Is hand sanitizer bad for you? We finally know the real deal

We don’t know about you, but we grew up with lots and lots of hand sanitizer in our lives, especially in school. So using hand sanitizer 24/7 became second nature. Even if we had access to soap and water, nothing feels quite as effective as soaking your hands in a half a dozen pumps of hand sanitizer and burning away all the germs, right? But we’ve kinda figured it might not be good for us. If you, like us, have been wondering if maybe hand sanitizer might be bad for us, we finally have an answer!

So, is hand sanitizer bad for you? Not exactly.

The video references a 2009 Australian study where hospital workers contaminated their hands with the flu. Some people washed their hands with regular soap and water, while another group used hand sanitizer. The study found that those who washed their hands with soap and water had less of the flu virus present than those who used hand sanitizer, suggesting that soap and water is a totally worthy way of cleaning yourself off.

We’ve also always wondered if hand sanitizer can actually make germs super strong and resistant to treatment, but it turns out that that answer, too, is more complex.

According to the AsapSCIENCE video, hand sanitizer with alcohol is just fine to use. The one that’s a little more controversial is hand sanitized that contains triclosan that can lead to superbugs. So no need to worry if the alcohol-based kind is your go-to!

At the end of the day, hand sanitizer is a fine pick if you don’t have access to soap and water, but if you can use regular ol’ soap and water, that’s the better choice. What really matters is that you wash your hands regularly, no matter how you do it!

H/T Refinery29