COVID-19: Which Sanitizer to Use for Post-Circuit Breaker Protection?

Phase 2 of post-Circuit Breaker measures has begun in Singapore. As we venture out of #WorkFromHome & #HomeBasedLearning to meet more people and visit more places, here’s a good hand sanitiser that is not only effective but allows you to enjoy prolonged protection without any skin irritation.

* This story was first published in Haleness Me.

There are so many sanitisers out there in the market, what are the characteristics to look out for when choosing a good sanitiser

There are so many sanitisers out there in the market, what are the characteristics to look out for when choosing a good sanitiser?

There are many sanitisers available out there – how should we select one that will fulfill the task of protecting us from COVID-19, over an extended period of time?

When it comes to skin sanitisers, who better to get advice from than a skin specialist?

This was what I learned from Dr Coni Liu, a consultant dermatologist from DS Skin Clinic in Singapore.

Firstly, the sanitiser must be effective, not only against the SARS-COV-2 but against most pathogens that we encounter on a daily basis.

After all, that’s why we are applying a hand sanitiser right?

Generally, there are two types of hand sanitisers – alcohol-based and non-alcohol based.

The alcohol-based sanitisers are more effective and fast-acting, while the non-alcohol based sanitisers are generally less effective and slow-acting – more suitable for object surfaces rather than the skin.

Secondly, it must be kind to the skin.

Many alcohol-based sanitisers are effective but tend to be dehydrating and harsh to the skin.

Thirdly, you need one that lasts over a longer period of time, to increase the effectiveness against germs, and to reduce the need for frequent application.

This will better protect one’s skin against the damaging effects of the sanitiser and neutralise the adverse effects of the alcohol content which is necessary for killing the germs.

Dr Coni Liu, Consultant Dermatologist at DS Skin & Wellness Clinic.

Dr Coni Liu, Consultant Dermatologist at DS Skin & Wellness Clinic.

Therefore, the perfect sanitizer would be highly-effective, long-lasting, and would have a formulation which protects and moisturises the skin.

Looking at the sanitisers available in the market, they’re either alcohol-based and effective in killing germs but are unkind to our skins – or they’re non-alcohol-based but are less effective and slow acting.

Apparently that was the dilemma that Dr Liu faced when her patients asked her to recommend a good hand sanitizer that satisfied these requirements.

And guess what, she and her fellow dermatologists highlighted this problem to their boss – Dr Henry Loh – and he commissioned DS Skin Clinic’s in-house scientist Dr Richard Seow to develop a hand sanitiser that met all these needs.

To cut a long story short, after an extensive but rapid local research and development effort, DS Skin Clinic has come up with a hand sanitiser that immediately kills 99.99% of most household germs, including the SARS-COV-2 virus; lasts for 24 hours; and which is gentle to the skin through the inclusion of an emollient oil.

The DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer was just launched two days ago – just in time for Phase 2 of the post-CB measures.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Read the details about the hand sanitiser below from the press release.

Dermatologists Develop Hand Sanitizer to Fight COVID-19

DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer kills the SARS-COV-2 virus immediately, lasts all day, and is gentle on the skin.

  • Formulated by dermatologists who understand skin care and patient needs.
  • Locally researched and developed by our Chief Scientific Officer.
  • Immediately kills 99.99% of most household germs and viruses – including SARS-COV-2.
  • Maintains effectiveness for 24 hours even with hand washing, reducing need for re-application.
  • Moisturizes the skin to prevent rashes and skin irritation even with repeated and prolonged use.
  • Can be applied to surfaces to disinfect and provide a lasting, protective layer.

17 June, 2020, Singapore — DS Skin Clinic and its international group of clinics has launched the DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer – a skin sanitizer that is fast-acting and effective in killing the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

In addition, it is long-lasting and remains effective for 24 hours from application, whilst being gentle on the skin.

“As a dermatologist, I see the need for a good hand sanitizer for our patients that’s effective, long-lasting and gentle on the skin. We tried to look for such a sanitizer in the market and, to our surprise, couldn’t find one that satisfied all these requirements,” says Dr Henry LohChairman & Executive Director, RMH Holdings Ltd.

With the end of the Circuit Breaker in Singapore, and many countries and cities worldwide coming out of lockdown, people around the world have become more mindful about how they can protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19, the disease that has infected 7.3 million and killed 413,000 victims around the world.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes the importance of hand hygiene as an effective way to prevent the spread of pathogens and infections.

An effective hand sanitizer is a key component of a multi-pronged protection regime, which includes social distancing, thorough hand-washing, frequent hand-sanitizing, wearing of masks and avoiding the touching of the face with the hands.

“From a commercial perspective, this represents a business opportunity because of the lack of such a product locally and worldwide. Furthermore, with COVID-19 affecting the revenue for medical services worldwide, this is a strategic move to diversify RMH Holdings from solely offering services and consultations, to also offering innovative products to the market,” adds Dr Loh.

These considerations prompted DS Skin Clinic to come up with our own unique formulation, that we believe will meet the needs of consumers who are emerging from lockdown isolation and getting onto public-transit systems, returning to the office, and visiting more places.

This means we will be increasingly exposed to the SARS-COV-2 virus on lift buttons, railings, door handles etc. that may have been contaminated by an infected person who had previously touched these surfaces.

As hand-washing facilities are not available at all places and most times, an effective hand sanitizer is needed to disinfect our hands as we come into contact with people in different situations, eg. handling cash and documents that we pass from one person to another.

It is therefore important to ensure that our hands are constantly free of the SARS-COV-2 virus, through the application of hand sanitizers to kill the virus.

Fast Acting and Effective

The hand sanitizers in the market are either alcohol-based or non-alcohol-based. The former type, if concentrated enough, is fast-acting and effective in killing germs – but can be dehydrating on the skin.

“The all-day protection is enabled by encapsulating 0.1% benzalkonium chloride (BKC), a very effective antimicrobial compound, in a polymer. After the alcohol fully evaporates, this forms a thin waterproof, disinfecting layer over the skin and further prevents the BKC from being washed away. This can last 24 hours even with mild handwashing,” says Dr Richard Seow (PhD) – CEO, RMH Holdings Ltd & Chief Scientific Officer, DS Skin Clinic.

The alcohol-free sanitizers, although more gentle on the skin, tend to be less effective and slow-acting, and are more suitable for object surfaces.

CDC supports the use of alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) for the effective reduction of pathogens that may be present on the hands of healthcare providers after brief interactions with patients or the care environment.

It recommends the use of ABHR with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.

The Singapore Government (National Environment Agency) lists 70% ethyl alcohol and 0.05% benzalkonium chloride as active ingredients (and working concentrations) that are effective against coronaviruses.

The DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer contains 75% ethyl alcohol and 0.1% benzalkonium chloride, and is therefore highly effective and fast-acting in killing 99.99% of most household germs and viruses – as tested by independent German laboratory Eurofins.

Long-Lasting Effectiveness

Regardless of whether a sanitizer is alcohol-based or non-alcohol-based, the germ-killing effect is usually only present during the point of application.

“A good sanitizer must be effective in killing germs, as well as be gentle on the skin. That’s why we emphasised from day one of its development that the hand sanitizer must protect the skin from dehydration, skin irritation and prolonged usage,” says Dr Coni Liu – Consultant Dermatologist, DS Skin Clinic.

After initial application, the skin begins accumulating harmful germs again as it comes into contact with contaminated surfaces, until the sanitizer is re-applied.

The DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer remains effective for 24 hours after the initial application.

The all-day protection is enabled by a skin-friendly, waterproofing polymer film formed over the skin upon evaporation of the alcohol.

This prevents the active ingredients from being washed away, thus providing a long-lasting protection against germs.

This reduces the need to re-apply frequently for a period of 24 hours after initial application.

Gentle On The Skin

As the dermatologists from DS Skin Clinic are cognizant of the dehydrating effect of alcohol-based skin sanitizers, and have flagged this as a priority for the development of our sanitizer, our Chief Scientific Officer has added an emollient oil to the formula to hydrate the skin.

DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer 搓手液。

DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer 搓手液。

This means that repeated and prolonged application of the hand sanitizer will not cause any skin irritation or damage.

As a result, the DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer provides the fast-acting germ-killing effectiveness of the alcohol in the formula, but still protects the skin from the dehydrating properties of the alcohol – whilst enabling the active ingredient to last all day after initial application.

This innovative hand sanitizer is the result of the skin care expertise from the dermatologists within DS Skin Clinic and the local research and development effort of our Chief Scientific Officer, despite the major disruptions to the global supply chain by COVID-19.

Price And Availability

The DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer is available in a 45-ml pocket-sized spray bottle at S$15 per bottle. Boxes of 10 bottles can be purchased at a discounted price of S$99 per box.

The DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer can now be purchased at any of DS Skin Clinic’s four branches in Singapore at Orchard Paragon (Level 7 and Level 17), Parkway East and Shenton. It is also available online at our eShop @

From August, the DS Skin Clinic All-Day Hand Sanitizer will also be available at our partner clinics and e-commerce websites.

The list of branches under DS Skin Clinic can be found in Annex A.

The hand sanitizer will soon be launched and available in Hong Kong with the opening of the Queen’s Road Medical Centre later this year.

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