Charleston Dermatology Blog

Washing vs. Sanitizing: Which is Better for Your Skin?

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Right now, soap and hand sanitizer are hard to come by in Charleston. They’re vanishing off shelves across the world and selling out quickly online due to COVID-19. But, in the battle to prevent the coronavirus, which works better? And is one method better than the other for your skin?

Which is safer?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the best option whenever possible. Handwashing reduces the amount of all types of germs on our hands. 


If you aren’t near a sink, you can use a hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol. While it’s not as effective as handwashing, it can help you avoid getting sick and spreading a virus to others. 

The best option for your skin

Some hand sanitizers are made with organic, natural products, but most are alcohol-based. These alcohol-based products are what you should be used during any pandemic, flu-season, winter, etc. While effective at eliminating germs, the alcohol strips essential oils from your skin, causing irritation and dryness. 

The overall best option is to purchase a moisturizing hand-soap and use it whenever possible. If you use hand sanitizer and feel your hands are getting dry from too much hand washing, use lotion or a good moisturizer multiple times a day. 

To read about the COVID-19 precautions we’re taking in our office, click here. We are also now conducting telehealth visits! Give us a call at (843) 872-3015. 

We look forward to virtually connecting with you!

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