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Using Hand Sanitizer on Pimples - Is It Even Advisable?

Using Hand Sanitizer on Pimples - Is It Even Advisable?

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new era that was previously hidden in obscurity for a majority of us - that of hand sanitizers, masks, and other hygiene paraphernalia. Hence, it was just a matter of time before a section of us began contemplating using hand sanitizer on pimples as an extension to its primary function which is killing germs and stopping the spread of diseases. But is it advisable to use a hand sanitizer on acne? And most importantly, does applying hand sanitizer on pimples work in the first place? Here's a comprehensive insight on this and much more.

Can You Put Hand Sanitizer on Your Face?

At this point it is possible that you may be wondering, can you put hand sanitizer on your face? And this considering that hand sanitizers have recently been glamorized as being the 'ultimate annihilators of germs and pathogens.' Speaking of which, this dilemma is quite understandable taking into account that acne is chiefly caused by a particular strain of p.acnes bacteria. That being said, there are several things that you need to get right as far as this goes, and these include;

  • A diluted hand sanitizer might be great at removing makeup from your face: Most people might not know this, but a diluted version of hand sanitizer has proven to be rather effective at getting rid of stubborn patches of makeup before cleansing or ablution. So, can you use hand sanitizer on your face? Yes, there are situations where you may find diluted hand sanitizers useful in peeling off cakes of makeup, dabbing off eyeliners, and or eye shadows that your regular mild cleanser has proven futile. That being said, this quick fix is not entirely recommended by dermatologists.
  • Hand sanitizers can be excellent for cleaning your makeup brushes: While it is not entirely recommended or even advisable to use a hand sanitizer on your face, that does not mean that you may not use it to rid your make up artillery of bacteria and other infectious pathogens. If anything, keeping your makeup brushes sterile is usually the first step in preventing cross-contamination when you are trying to rein in a breakout. Hence, to answer one of the most Googled questions, can hand sanitizer help acne? Yes, it can but mostly if you use it to keep your makeup tools free of germs!

That said, when it comes to curing acne, the issue of using hand sanitizers to control breakouts is an entirely different ball game as you will see shortly.

Does Hand Sanitizer Help Acne?

At this juncture, it is quite possible that questions such as; can you put hand sanitizer on a pimple, or is hand sanitizer good for acne, are running through your mind. From the outset, it is imperative to make it succinctly clear that as much as hand sanitizers may be ideal for combating infections, removing grime, and halting the spread of diseases, they can only worsen acne. And here's why;

  • Hand sanitizers do not contain standard acne-fighting ingredients: Here's the thing, the main standard ingredient in hand sanitizers is isopropyl alcohol. While this is an excellent antiseptic agent, it does nothing useful in combating the spread or extent of acne. For that, you need proper acne-fighting ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and tea-tree oil that you can only get from specifically-formulated acne creams such as AENO's Natural Face Cream for Acne. Therefore, is hand sanitizer good for acne? No, it is not! It may be great for sterilizing your hands but quite counter-productive for your face.
  • Hand sanitizers may act as irritants: Rubbing alcohol on acne and pimples is likely to irritate your sensitive skin rather than help it heal. Hence, if you are harboring thoughts such as; is it really bad to put hand sanitizer on a pimple? You may want to re-think that approach as the sanitizer will do nothing to hydrate or tone up your skin but rather the exact opposite.

To recap, why is it bad to put hand sanitizer on your face? The chief reason is that most hand sanitizers are not formulated to be used on a sensitive skin surface such as that of your face. Not to mention, the most effective hand sanitizers contain approximately 70% alcohol which is almost guaranteed to dry out your face triggering an over-secretion of sebum. And as you probably already know, this downhill road leads to clogged pores and a worsening breakout case.

What Happens if you Put Hand Sanitizer on your Face?

This odyssey is likely to lead us to queries such as; what happens if you put hand sanitizer on your face? One thing that is guaranteed is a tingling, burning, and, in some cases a cooling sensation. But do not be deceived for one second that means that the sanitizer is working to heal your pimples. On the contrary, the exact opposite could be happening! That's the reason it is important to invest in a proper acne-fighting solution with proven ingredients that are mild yet effective enough to put a stop to the progression of a breakout. AENO's Organic Face Salve for Acne, Pimples, and Scars is a practical example of such an approach that seeks to soothe, repair, and ultimately renew your complexion.

Why You Should NEVER Use a Hand Sanitizer on Popped Pimple

At no point in time should you contemplate using a hand sanitizer on a popped pimple. You see, alcohol does not just kill bacteria - it also kills whatever else that it touches either accidentally or intentionally. So that implies that the application of a hand sanitizer on a pimple does not just annihilate bacteria but also some of the healthy cells in the vicinity. As you can imagine, this only makes your acne lesions, cysts, and wounds bigger, not to mention less likely to heal properly.

In Closing

It is not advisable or even prudent to use hand sanitizer for pimples, go for professionally-formulated acne-fighting products instead. That aside, it does not mean that you cannot use rubbing alcohol to sterilize makeup brushes and related paraphernalia that regularly come into contact with your face.


  • I accidentally applied hand sanitizer on my face. What should I do now?

    The best course of action is immediately washing your face with plenty of clean water to get rid of the sanitizer before the alcohol in it dries out your face and causes an oversecretion of sebum. This is actually why hand sanitizers are not among this list of home remedies for acne.

  • Will hand sanitizer prevent acne?

    Indeed not! A hand sanitizer does not contain the required ingredients needed to prevent the onset or progression of acne. Only a professionally formulated product such as AENO's Natural Face Cream for Acne has active ingredients that have been studied for their pimple-preventing properties.

  • Does hand sanitizer work for removing blackheads from one's nose?

    Rubbing alcohol in hand sanitizers won't for non-inflammatory acne such as whiteheads or blackheads as they are caused by having clogged pores which it has absolutely no effect on.

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