Summer is here!! (finally…) That means outings, camping trips, etc… Sometimes, we cannot find a place to properly wash our hands when we are out and about. Hence, the need for hand sanitizers. However, I am wary of some of the compounds that are present. Many store-bought hand sanitizers contain controversial compounds that are allegedly linked to various health/environmental conditions, while many others contain mostly alcohol, which is drying to the skin, and I really do not prefer that. Solution? Make my own!
I have done some research on the internet, and came across many recipes for DIY hand sanitizer. I looked at quite a number of them (such as this, this and this), and concluded that all of them contain some ratio of aloe vera gel to water (or witch hazel), a little bit of Vitamin E oil, and some blend of antibacterial essential oil (EO). After giving it some thought, I have decided to come up with my own recipe, so that I can decide the consistency and the strength of the sanitizer.
Actually, my biggest problem with store-bought hand sanitizers is that most of them make my hand too dry after use, due to the high level of alcohol content. So, I want to add some jojoba oil and Vitamin E oil to make my sanitizer more moisturizing. The aloe vera gel I have is so thick that it does not pour, so I am going to use enough liquid (witch hazel in this case) to make it runny enough to pour. For the EO blend, I went with Thieves. It is really a no-brainer for me, since it is the go-to EO blend when I need something anti-bacterial. It is made of lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, clove, and rosemary that has a ton of uses.
DIY Hand Sanitizer with Thieves EO
- 2 oz bottle (I save nice travel size toiletry bottles for these)
- 1 fl oz (30 mL) Aloe vera gel
- 1-2 drops Vitamin E oil
- 1/3 fl oz (10 mL) Jojoba oil
- 2/3 fl oz (20 mL) Witch hazel
- 6-8 drops Thieves EO (I use only Young Living EO for projects that I use on our own skin)
- Measure all ingredients in the 2 oz bottle.
- Cap and give it a good shake until everything is well-blended. (This step will take a while, because we need to “beat” the jojoba oil and EO into the gel)
Makes approximately 2 oz. I say “approximately”, because I eyeballed everything when I made it (except for the EO where I counted the number of drops). And this recipe should be pretty robust. You should be able to scale it up or down as you wish.
That IS IT! Can you believe how easy this was?? Not to mention my girls love to smell their hands after using it…
- Bottles specified for 2 oz will have an actual capacity that is larger than 2 oz. You will need that head space to be able to mix well.
- Feel free to adjust the thickness by adding more witch hazel or aloe vera gel: Too thick = add more witch hazel; Too runny = add more aloe vera gel.
- The ratio of aloe vera gel : jojoba oil : witch hazel is specific to the brands of ingredients I used. You might have to tweak the ratio if you use different brands. Use the above trick of adding more witch hazel or aloe vera gel to reach the desired consistency.
- Since there is no emulsifier in the recipe, it is possible for the oils in the hand sanitizer to separate from the aqueous phase. It is also possible that the aloe vera gel is viscous enough to suspend the oils and keep them in. (I have only had mine for 5 days and so far so good. Only time will tell!) If yours happen to separate into two phases, you can simply shake the bottle until everything is well-blended again. The components do not need to react with each other, so the function of the hand sanitizer will not be lost even if it looks separated.