The new normal for daily life looks a lot different than it did 6 months ago. Masks are now as essential for leaving the house as keys, hand washing is an hourly occurrence, and social distancing is a permanent fixture in our vocabulary. We’re all doing our part to help stop the spread of coronavirus and protect our friends and neighbors. Another essential when leaving the house these days is hand sanitizer—it’s necessary to kill germs while you’re out and about, whether it’s in a grocery store or picking up takeout when washing your hands isn’t an option.

To be effective at killing germs, it’s recommended to use a quarter-size dollop of hand sanitizer—which means you can cover your entire hand and all of your fingers. Unfortunately, the alcohol ratio in an effective hand sanitizer makes it quite drying and gives off a strong scent (the CDC recommends an ethanol alcohol formula to be greater than 60% to kill germs). But some hand sanitizer brands have added essential oils to help neutralize the smell and create a more pleasant experience (so you don’t walk around smelling like Purell). They may also contain soothing ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E to help counteract the harsh alcohol and keep your hands a bit more moisturized.

Photo: Nudestix

Photo: Revolve Beauty

So if you’re searching for a hand sanitizer that you won’t hate using, make sure to check the label for ingredients like essential oils, aloe vera, vitamin E, and marula oil. This will indicate a more pleasant-smelling formula that’s less drying. However, alcohol content will still be high so be sure to follow up with a good hand lotion to keep your skin from feeling too dehydrated. And whenever possible, opt for washing your hands with soap and hot water over hand sanitizer—it should be used only when real hand washing isn’t an option.

What’s your favorite hand sanitizer? Let us know in the comments below!