strategist investigates

In-Stock Hand Sanitizer, From Unlikely Sources

Photo: Courtesy of the vendors

In addition to staying home and wearing masks while outdoors, keeping your hands (extremely) clean is currently crucial. And while washing your hands with soap and water is ideal, it isn’t always possible. Which is where hand sanitizer comes in — hand sanitizers, that is, with at least 60 percent alcohol, per the CDC. But with hand sanitizer from the usual suspects scarce (bottles of Purell are being resold for hundreds of dollars on eBay and Craigslist), lots of unconventional brands have adjusted their production to meet demands. Distilleries, for instance, have been using excess alcohol from production to make hand sanitizers, and beauty brands have followed suit. While some bigger corporations, like Coty, are making hand sanitizer exclusively for first responders and hospitals, others are making theirs available for purchase through their sites. Here, we’ve rounded those up.

Editors’ note: Given that hand sanitizer is extremely in demand, stock is constantly fluctuating. We’ll be updating this post every day with new places to buy, so if you don’t see an option you like, check in later for more.

Known for its anti-chafing sticks, natural deodorant, and bust dust, Megababe also happens to make FDA-approved hand sanitizer (that means it’s alcohol-based and has at least 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropanol). The (vegan) formula kills up to 99.9 percent of germs using plant-based alcohol but is also formulated to be non-stripping, and it includes oils like marula and almond to lock in moisture. It’s made without phthalates, parabens, and sulfates and has a pleasant, citrusy scent. The brand currently stocks two sizes — a 16-ounce bottle that comes with a pump and two-ounce bottle you can take on the go.

After selling out of their 2oz-size, direct-to-consumer lash, brow, and hair growth brand Vegamour released a 6oz quick-drying hand sanitizer spray, which contains aloe vera, marula oil, and 75% isopropyl alcohol. (20% of the proceeds goes to Project Angel Food.)

Inspired by local distilleries making hand sanitizer, Saie, a clean-makeup brand, has started manufacturing and shipping hand sanitizer with every order. Their formula, which is made with vitamin E and glycerin to offset the dryness of the alcohol, also contains tangerine oil, which gives it its citrus smell.

Eir NYC, a unisex skin-care line, is also sending a free hand sanitizer with every order, even when you purchase the hand sanitizer on its own (that means you’ll get two!). Containing 65.7 percent ethyl alcohol, it also has natural antimicrobial and antiviral properties thanks to ingredients like eucalyptus, cypress, and sweet-orange oils.

Made from steam-distilled, organic grape alcohol (a.k.a. grape moonshine), this grape hand tonic from Loli Beauty is a good option if you’re looking for something natural but still effective. It has a thinner consistency than gel-textured sanitizers (more like an aftershave) and contains glycerin for added moisture and sweet-orange essential oil.

If you’re on the hunt for an especially nondrying and soothing option, K-beauty brand Tonymoly is now selling hand-sanitizing gels, which incorporate aloe water and witch hazel, which moisturize and help calm any existing inflammation.

Green Goo, an all-natural body-care brand, partnered with Colorado distillery Spirit Hound Distillers to produce hand sanitizer for first responders and recently launched hand sanitizer available for purchase on its site. The two-ounce squeeze bottle has an alcohol content of 63.5 percent and is an affordable $4.

If you like the gel texture of a traditional hand sanitizer, then this quick-drying one from Maapilim is a good option. The high alcohol content (70 percent) is offset by a dose of aloe and it contains a blend of essential oils (bergamot, jasmine, cedarwood) which give it its pleasant scent.

Sparitual, partnering with its parent company, Orly International, is making hand sanitizer with just four ingredients: 75 percent isopropyl alcohol, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide, and purified water. Each purchase comes with four two-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer, with a convenient pump spray. Sparitual has also donated 5,000 hand sanitizers to the city of L.A., focusing mostly on the city’s at-risk homeless population.

$20 for 4

Orly is making hand sanitizer as well and has thus far donated 10,000 bottles to the city of L.A. This one is also made from the same four ingredients as Sparitual’s hand sanitizer and comes in an easy-to-tote spray bottle.

Seaweed-based skin-care brand Repêchage also launched hand sanitizers to keep up with growing demand. The antiseptic and antibacterial formula (this means it targets bacteria and deters bacterial growth) has an alcohol content of 75 percent and comes in a conveniently portable four-ounce size. The brand is also donating 5 percent of production to first responders in New Jersey, where its factory is located.

In addition to donating $1 million worth of hand sanitizer, CHI — as in the hair-tool company — is manufacturing hand sanitizers for sale, formulated with aloe grown in the company’s organic gardens. In has soothing aloe plus glycerin and amino acids to help lock in moisture. This sanitizer is currently stocked in four sizes, ranging from a portable two ounces to a more substantial 26 ounces.

CHI is also making hand sanitizer for its sister brand BioSilk, which has an identical formula and is available in similar sizes. The biggest difference is the packaging — this one comes in a squeeze tube (similar to its cult-favorite hair serum) instead of a pump.

One distillery making hand sanitizer available for purchase is Griffo, a small-batch distillery and tasting bar based in California. Their formulas use 140-proof denatured alcohol (which translates to a 70 percent alcohol content) and are available in a gallon-size jug in liquid or gel form.

Another is Faber Distilling Co. based in Pennsylvania. Its sanitizer’s alcohol content is an extremely high 80 percent, and 2 percent of each sale will go to support the First Responders Children’s Foundation.

The eight-ounce bottle from By Humankind is designed to refill your now-empty travel-size plastic bottles of sanitizer and comes in recyclable aluminum packaging. Along with an alcohol content of 65 percent, it contains hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin attract water and stay hydrated. The company is also donating a dollar from every purchase to the Robin Hood Relief Fund, which offers emergency support to people in the New York City area.

Skin-care brand Clark’s Botanicals has shifted all of its production to making hand sanitizer. The brand is donating sanitizer to Northwell Health and Montefiore. Right now, for every full-size product purchased on its website, the company will send customers a bottle of hand sanitizer for free.

This reloadable hand sanitizer comes in sleek, palm-size packaging and is packed with humectants (which help lock moisture into the skin). You can purchase refills, too, along with an air-free pump option in a slightly larger size.

Cabinet Preparedness Kit
$30
$30

This preparedness kit from generic pharmacy brand Cabinet includes two small bottles of sanitizer, a pack of daytime and nighttime cold pills, and a bottle of acetaminophen (generic Tylenol).

For an unscented option, we recommend this one from SPF-makers Bare Republic. The spray is formulated with glycerin, calendula, aloe, and chamomile.

Another fragrance-free option is this hand-sanitizer gel from clean-baby-care brand Pipette, which has an alcohol content of 65 percent and contains sugarcane-derived squalane oil. The brand is also donating 32,000 bottles of their sanitizer to medical communities in New York and California.

If you’re in search of larger quantities, candle company Votivo is selling liquid hand sanitizer by the gallon, with a high alcohol content of 75 percent. This water-thin formula can be poured directly into your hands or used to refill smaller spray bottles you already own.

From $15 for 4

Oral-care brand EverPure is selling one-ounce hand-sanitizer sprays by the caseload (you can get anywhere from five all the way up to 88), which also have a high alcohol content (75 percent) along with glycerin (for moisturizing) and hydrogen peroxide. The brand has bigger sizes as well (two-ounce and four-ounce bottles).

For something that is part hand sanitizer, part objet d’art, consider this collaboration between Australian brand Third Drawer Down, self-care company Zeep, and artists David Shrigley and Magda Archer. The limited-edition bottles of sanitizer (with an alcohol content of 75 percent), are currently available, but the brand is shipping any preorders first.

CBD brand Highline Wellness’s sanitizer contains alcohol (70%), aloe vera (to offset the dryness of the alcohol), along with (of course) 100mg of CBD oil.

Nontoxic nail polish brand Zoya is also making a hand sanitizer with a 70 percent alcohol content, available in both spray and pump form.