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In safe hands: The importance of cosmetic formulation in improving hand hygiene practices


Cosmetic Chemist, USA


Hand hygiene plays an integral role in controlling the spread of infectious disease in healthcare and community settings (1). The extraordinary impact of the novel corona virus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) on global public health has brought a renewed emphasis on the importance of hand health and hygiene in the prevention of disease transmission and the critical role of cosmetic science in the development of effective cleansers, antiseptic hand rubs, and moisturizers that protect and repair the skin barrier.

Our hands represent one of the most diverse microbial habitats of the skin. The high level of diversity on hands is no surprise considering the numerous surfaces with which our hands come into contact with every day and the ability of various microorganisms to persist on inanimate surfaces for long periods (2, 3). Because of this hand are a significant vector for intrapersonal and interpersonal transfer of microorganisms, including contagious pathogens, from environmental surfaces (1, 4).


Hand hygiene typically includes the simple and effective techniques of handwashing with soap or liquid cleaners that are not antimicrobial and use of antiseptic hand rubs. 

There are additional specialized practices and products utilized by healthcare workers and surgeons (5).  Proper hand hygiene, in addition to physical distancing and wearing face masks, continues to be a widely publicized preventative measure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (6).


In the bricks and mortar model used to describe the stratum corneum (SC), corneocytes (bricks) are surr ...

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