AAA: Can I Add Essential Oils To My Hand Sanitizer?

by Bella Martinez May 13, 2020

AAA: Can I Add Essential Oils To My Hand Sanitizer?

With the release of our new hand sanitizers have come many questions about the product, including whether you can add essential oils to it. Rather than provide you with a one-word answer, we feel this question deserves a deeper explanation. Read on to get our hot take on adding EOs to Edens Garden’s hand sanitizer. 


Adding Ingredients To Finished Products

Adding essential oils to any finished product is not recommended unless the product is specifically formulated to have additional ingredients added. Our hand sanitizer was not formulated to allow for additional ingredients to be added. Rather, we followed strict FDA guidelines when formulating our sanitizer so that we could bring it to market as quickly as possible to help mitigate the worldwide-shortage. This also meant that we were unable to add essential oils to our formula, though we hope to offer sanitizers infused with our 100% pure EOs in the future. 

Alcohol As A Solubilizer And Preservative 

High proof alcohol does a great job of preserving water-based products and solubilizing essential oils. However, without lab testing, you’ll never know just how well your products are preserved and your EOs solubilized. Lab testing currently shows that our hand sanitizers are safe and effective as is, though we have not tested how safe and effective our hand sanitizers are when essential oils or other ingredients are added. And due to the gravity of current viruses and germs circulating, we don’t want you to risk lessening the effectiveness of your hand sanitizer. 

Hydrogen Peroxide Is An Oxidizer

Notice the ingredients in our hand sanitizer include hydrogen peroxide? Though it contains a very small and safe amount of hydrogen peroxide, this ingredient can oxidize essential oils, making it harmful and irritating to the skin. In order to prevent this, an antioxidant would need to be added, which would again require testing to ensure the sanitizer’s efficacy and a deeper understanding of formulation.

Bottom Line

Don’t add essential oils to your hand sanitizer unless you plan on testing the resulting formulation in a lab for safety, stability, and efficacy. The same goes for making your own hand sanitizer which comes with many of its own problems and concerns. If you find that other companies recommend adding essential oils to their unscented hand sanitizer, be your own advocate and mention some of the concerns listed above to ensure they have considered these areas before giving their recommendation. 

Stay healthy by practicing healthy hand hygiene and following CDC and WHO guidelines.

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