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The 8 Best Natural Hand Sanitizers That Work But Don't Dry Out Your Skin

Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director. Previously she worked at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com.
Image by Addictive Creatives / Stocksy
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Last updated on December 22, 2021

Now that we're all running around with hand sanitizer in our bags and littering our home and workspaces, we know that these formulas can come at a cost. Yes, they keep our hands and bodies protected from viruses—most notably COVID-19—but they also strip our skin of natural oils, disrupt our microbiome, and can trigger inflammatory skin conditions. Read: They make our hands feel very dry and irritated.

So, here, we're left at a tough crossroads: Hand sanitizers (when formulated at the CDC's recommended guidelines) do protect us from the virus; however, is there a way to make sure we're not making our hands feel tight and dry in the process?

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Well, that comes down to a few key points: First, use hand soap and warm water when available. Second, always follow your hand sanitizer or hand-wash with a nourishing hand cream. Finally, find a go-to hand sanitizer that's buffered with hydrating actives so as not to totally dry out your skin in the process. 

And on that last point, we did the work for you—we've had tons of practice with hand sanitizer these past few months, after all. Here are the best, most effective hand sanitizers (at recommended CDC formulations) that come with plenty of natural hydrators and soothers to help your skin in the process. 

Maapilim Hand Sanitizer

For those who love a little fragrance—to offset the potent sanitizer smell—Maapilim's blend of bergamot, jasmine, and cedarwood is equal parts woodsy, bright, and floral. This makes for a delightful blend that will feel more like a luxe perfume than anything else. 

Hand Sanitizer, Maapilim ($10) 

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The Honest Co. Hand Sanitizer Spray

Need easy, on-the-go options in bulk for the family? Here's a pack that comes in a set of two, six, or 12—and in a variety of scents, if citrus isn't your thing (other options include scents that smell like a breezy ocean breeze or a lavender bouquet). The spritz also contains naturally derived glycerin and aloe.

Hand Sanitizer Spray in Grapefruit Grove, The Honest Co. ($6.95)

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By Humankind Hand Sanitizer

This pocket-size trio comes with hyaluronic acid, as its good-for-skin ingredient. HA, as a reminder, is an excellent humectant able to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water (it does need to be sealed in, however, so do be mindful to apply a hand cream post-sanitizing). We also love the aluminum bottles, reducing single-use plastic waste. 

Hand Sanitizer, By Humankind ($18)

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Pipette Jumbo Hand Sanitizer

Perfect to keep around the house, this extra-large pump will keep households of all sizes well-stocked. (Plus, it's safe for kids' delicate skin.) With sugar-cane-derived squalane, this fragrance-free moisturizing hand-sanitizing gel effectively protects hands so they stay soft and sanitized without drying skin. 

Jumbo Hand Sanitizer, Pipette ($19.99)

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Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Nomad Hand Sanitizer

For those who need a bright shot of citrus to energize their day, this lemongrass-scented hand sanitizer is bright and crisp. Then it comes with mushroom-derived Chitosan, which acts as the titular nondrying agent to keep your skin smooth and soft. 

Nomad Hand Sanitizer in Lemongrass, Rocky Mountain Soap Co. ($14.95)

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Dr. Bronner's Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray

A very simple blend of certified fair trade organic ingredients make this a cult classic. The lavender inspires a calming, soothing scent that offers a moment of pause throughout the day. And the size is perfect to take with you all day.

Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray, Dr. Bronner's ($27.97) 

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Grove Co. Hydrating Hand Sanitizer

We love this option for its pretty oil-heavy base of coconut, jojoba, and sunflower seed oils. Then add in the aloe vera, and you've got yourself one hydrated formula. You can choose from the blood orange or lavender scents, which are made from essential oils and plant-derived ingredients.

Hydrating Hand Sanitizer, Grove Co. ($3.95)

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Wellnesse Sanitizer

A refreshing eucalyptus and mint spray, this has glycerine and tea tree oil blended in as well. The eucalyptus soothes and calms skin; the tea tree acts as an additional antimicrobial and antifungal.

Sanitizer, Wellnesse ($10)

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Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director at mindbodygreen. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends and updates in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as travel, financial wellness, and parenting. She has reported on the intricacies of product formulations, the diversification of the beauty industry, and and in-depth look on how to treat acne from the inside, out (after a decade-long struggle with the skin condition herself). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.