The best skin-friendly scented sanitisers


There’s not a roll of loo paper to be had in some towns, supermarket shelves are stripped bare of tinned and dry goods, and as for hand sanitiser — bagging yourself a bottle feels like winning the Lottery.

Coronavirus means hand sanitiser is in such demand that some unscrupulous individuals and businesses are selling it at huge mark-ups on eBay and Amazon.

But, anyone who has tried the pharmaceutical sanitisers will know that while they may well kill germs they can also leave you with the dry, shrivelled hands of an old witch — and who wants that?

Highly convenient since they work without the need for rinsing, it’s the alcohol in sanitisers that creates the drying effect, leaving hands sandpaper rough. Unfortunately, it’s necessary in order to kill germs, with microbiologists stating that a minimum of 60 per cent should be present in order to be effective.

Claudia Connell tested out a selection of hand sanitisers that promise to leave hands feeling soft, including Margaret Dabbs Hand Sanitiser (pictured)

However, it is possible to find luxury cosmetic sanitisers that all contain alcohol but also have added ingredients, such as essential oils, to moisturise your hands.

Here we test the ones that will leave your hands soft and smelling of a spring garden…

CELEBRITY STYLE

Margaret Dabbs Hand Sanitiser, £12 for 30ml or £25 for 200ml, margaretdabbs.co.uk

Margaret Dabbs is a renowned podiatrist and manicurist who tends to the feet of A-list celebrities and royalty. She owns a string of clinics around the country offering specialist foot and hand treatments. She also sells a range of products online. 

Although the product contains 65 per cent alcohol it isn’t in the least bit harsh as it’s enriched with emu oil (taken from the fat of the large Australian birds) and extracts of white waterlily. One squirt of gel covers your whole hands and leaves them looking dewy and hydrated and feeling soft. It also has a beautifully subtle, floral fragrance. 5/5

SUPER SCANDI

Byredo, Rinse Free Hand Wash, £25 for 30ml, byredo.com

Claudia said Byredo, Rinse Free Hand Wash (pictured) has a gorgeous smell and dries almost instantly, leaving hands feeling refreshed

Claudia said Byredo, Rinse Free Hand Wash (pictured) has a gorgeous smell and dries almost instantly, leaving hands feeling refreshed 

The Rolls-Royce of hand sanitisers from this high-end Swedish brand. The tube arrives stylishly packaged and rather than being discreetly used, you’ll want people to see you whip this beauty out of your bag. The hand wash comes in four different scents: Tulipmania, Rose, Vetyver and Suede — with Suede being the most popular.

Sweet pear, bergamot, lily of the valley and violet give this such a gorgeous smell, you’ll want to coat your whole body in it. The creamy, white gel is non-sticky and dries almost instantly, leaving hands feeling refreshed and fragrant.4/5

PORTABLE SINK

Jao Refresher Sanitiser, £9.95 (2oz); £14.95 (4oz) or £19.95 (8oz), gurumakeup emporium.com

Jao Refresher Sanitiser (pictured) contains 65 per cent alcohol and is a favourite with celebrity make-up artists

 Jao Refresher Sanitiser (pictured) contains 65 per cent alcohol and is a favourite with celebrity make-up artists

U.S. brand Jao prides itself on its environmentally friendly credentials and all products are free from artificial ingredients. The hand sanitiser contains 65 per cent alcohol and the company calls it ‘your portable sink.’

It’s formulated using natural aromatherapy oils: Tea tree, sage, eucalyptus, lavender and geranium. It’s a firm favourite with celebrity make-up artists who need to clean their hands regularly as they work. Extract of chamomile and marigold act as moisturisers to stop the skin from drying out.4/5

ECO winner

Haoma Natural Hand Sanitiser, £16 (50ml), haoma.co.uk

Claudia said Haoma Natural Hand Sanitiser (pictured) feels rich and indulgent

Claudia said Haoma Natural Hand Sanitiser (pictured) feels rich and indulgent 

An award-winning hand sanitiser no less, having been named Best Eco Hand Sanitiser at the 2020 Beauty Shortlist Awards.

Made in the UK in small batches it contains 100 per cent natural ingredients including organic tea tree and sweet orange essential oils. The orange oils nicely mask the smell of alcohol (the brand founder himself assures me it has a higher than 60 per cent alcohol content) and the ‘antiseptic’ whiff of tea tree.

The result is a spray that feels very rich and indulgent.

In a glass bottle with minimal packaging, it’s one of the most eco-friendly sanitisers that you can buy. 5/5

SUNSHINE SCENT

The White Company Seychelles Mini Hand Cleansing Gel, £6 for 50ml. thewhitecompany.com

The White Company Seychelles Mini Hand Cleansing Gel (pictured) has 65 per cent alcohol and is designed to evoke the feeling of an Indian Ocean paradise

The White Company Seychelles Mini Hand Cleansing Gel (pictured) has 65 per cent alcohol and is designed to evoke the feeling of an Indian Ocean paradise

There’s no reason freshly sanitised hands can’t also smell expensively exotic. Seychelles is one of The White Company’s signature scents designed to evoke the feeling of an Indian Ocean paradise. The gel, with 65 per cent alcohol, is infused with citrus oil, bergamot, coconut and almond. It absorbs quickly and is non-sticky.4/5

LAVENDER LOVELY

Dr Bronner’s Organic Hand Hygiene Spray, £5.25 (60ml), drbronner.co.uk

Claudia said Dr Bronner’s Organic Hand Hygiene Spray (pictured) doesn't leave hands feeling very moisturized

Claudia said Dr Bronner’s Organic Hand Hygiene Spray (pictured) doesn’t leave hands feeling very moisturized 

Lavender is the Marmite of flowers, people either love the scent or hate it.

If you’re a fan, this is for you. The smell is strong — no wonder the manufacturers say that you can also use it as an air freshener! With a 62 per cent alcohol content it’s an affordable and effective way to kill bacteria. 

There are no chemicals present, and while the spray doesn’t dry out the skin, it doesn’t feel moisturising enough for those with particularly dry skin. 3/5

ORGANIC CHIC

Neal’s Yard, Organic Defence Hand Spray, £6.50 for 50ml, nealsyardremedies.com

Neal’s Yard, Organic Defence Hand Spray (pictured) promises to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria and dries in seconds

Neal’s Yard, Organic Defence Hand Spray (pictured) promises to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria and dries in seconds

There’s no nasty chemical smell here thanks to the presence of essential oils.

Niaouli (belonging to the same family as tea tree) is known for its antiseptic qualities and is blended with witch hazel, an astringent said to have anti-viral properties.

Neal’s Yard states that this will kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria. One spray is enough to cover both hands when rubbed together and it dries in seconds.

However, it’s currently sold out of all stock online and in store, with ‘further stock due in the next few weeks’.5/5

All other products available at time of going to press.

Leave a Comment