What is in a Hand Cleanser?

What’s in a Hand Cleanser? ‘Some’ typical ingredients…

Hand Cleanser Ingredients

What is a Hand Cleanser?

What is a hand cleanser? It’s just alcohol… No

Although some particularly toxic and rapidly fatal hand washes have been taken off the market suggesting remaining hand washes are safe, this is not the full story. This is a particularly hard piece to investigate and write. Mainly because it is impossible to link new chemicals with health issues conclusively until decades have passed and the health issues have arisen. Even then it makes it very difficult to link a health problem back. In addition, the huge number of varied chemicals added to Hand Cleansers makes this review a never-ending task, most cleansers have in excess of 5 ingredients, many a lot more. Most of these ingredients have not been used liberally multiple times per day historically. Below we have reviewed some common ingredients, along with scientific studies showing a connection to health problems… Check your hand cleanser ingredients.


Systemic and respiratory tract toxicity. Contact Dermatitis. Tumor/Cancer links.

Cocamide DEA

Combines with N-nitrosodiethanolamine to cause cancer. Listed by OEHHA as a cancer causing agent. Minor irritant.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone Methylisothiazolinone

Contact Dermatitis. Linked to body weight gain, organ and cell toxicity. Official 2013 allergen of the year.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

Officially 2004 allergen of the year. Often contaminated with dimethylaminopropylamine (DMAPA.


Can be anything literally… by naming something fragrance allows the manufacturer to describe secret and unknown ingredients.


  • Color
  • Lauryl Glucoside
  • Benzyl Alcohol
  • Glycerin
  • Glycol Stearate
  • Glycol Distearate
  • Citric Acid
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Carbomer
  • Pigment

1 Comment

  1. Is interesting, I wonder what other chemicals there are.

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