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As life picks up again and stay-home orders lift, many of us are looking for a fresh new hand sanitizer to take on the go. Ada McVean, science communicator for the McGill Office for Science and Society, says there are a few things to consider when buying hand sanitizer. In terms of alcohol content (ethanol and isopropyl alcohol are approved for use in Canada), McVean explains that more doesn’t necessarily equal better. “A 60-per-cent concentration is all you need to kill and deactivate the germs on your hands. A higher percentage won’t kill any extra germs or somehow make you even safer.” And as far as user experience goes, you’ll want to check if it’s a gel or a liquid texture, depending on your preference, and look for a scent you enjoy. Finally, you can check the Health Canada website for their list of authorized hand sanitizers.

My recommendation: If you aren’t already in the habit of bringing a small bottle of hand sanitizer wherever you go, some sustainable packaging that’s also pleasing to the eye might help you remember. There are a handful of new Canadian hand sanitizer companies to choose from, such as Dom, which makes vegan hand sanitizers using organic ingredients including aloe, lavender and rosemary in packaging made of postconsumer recycled plastic. Paume has been certified by rePurpose Global as plastic neutral and donates a portion of sales to clean up and process plastic waste in Indonesia.

Paume antibacterial hand gel travel bottle, $16 at Indigo and through mypaume.ca.

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Antibacterial hand gel made by Paume has been certified by rePurpose Global as plastic neutral and donates a portion of sales to clean up and process plastic waste in Indonesia.

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Need some advice about your skin and hair care routines? Send your questions to ritual@globeandmail.com

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