22 April 2020

By John Cove

Scotmas Hand Gel - Deciphering the Detail

As Hand Gel has charged up the shopping list for most people, so the number of questions we have received about the product has exploded at a similar rate. We cannot answer every question without creating a post that goes on forever, but this post will answer the most popular questions that we have received.

For technical information on our Hand Gel, please visit the product page here.

The crucial one first! Is your Hand Gel effective against the Coronavirus that causes COVID-19?

We do not have specific test data which analyses the effectiveness of our Hand Gelagainst the SARS-COV2 virus. This is because the virus is so new, that samples have not been able to be safely isolated in test laboratories for disinfectant testing.  It is highly unlikely that any Hand Gel manufacturer will have this evidence, as this is such a new virus.

Outwith the body, the Coronavirus is of a type that is actually very easy to destroy for most biocides. Our Hand Gel contains an ingredient called DDAC, which is a well known and accepted biocide/antiseptic that is effective against viruses, bacteria and fungi in line with two European standards - EN1276 and EN1640 - Quantitative suspension test for bactericidal and fungal activity, showing a 99.99% log reduction. The log reduction achieved by a decontamination process is a measure of how thoroughly the process reduces the concentration of a contaminant.

Put differently, our Hand Gel should be no less efficient than other products on the market for this purpose

Does your Gel have alcohol in it?

Our Gel contains a trace quantity of alcohol which is present as a byproduct from other chemical ingredients. We do not rely on this to act as a biocide. The biocidal active used in our product is DDAC (Didecyldimethylammonium chloride) which is authorised by the European Chemicals Agency for use in human health, hand hygiene applications.

Why? Everything I’ve read says that you need an alcohol based Hand Gel?

It is certainly true that there has been much written and spoken about alcohol based gels, largely founded on a World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation that alcohol based hand rub is used for hand hygiene applications within hospitals.  Requirements for Hand Gel in a hospital are however very different to requirements for a domestic user. This difference is supported by data from the European Chemicals Agency which suggests that a nurse will sanitise their hands 45 times per day, whereas the average domestic user will sanitise their hands a maximum of 7-10 times per day. At no point have the WHO suggested that non alcohol based sanitisers / hand gels are ineffective.

Indeed non alcohol based sanitisers have several distinct advantages over more standard alcohol based gels.

Probably the biggest advantage is in the length of time the product is effective for. Alcohol based gels evaporate very quickly once applied, leaving little if any residual protection, whereas our product will be absorbed into the surface of the skin, providing a much greater residual protection. In a hospital this is not important because of the regularity with which staff are required to use sanitiser, in a domestic environment with much longer intervals between use of the sanitiser, this can be extremely important.


  • Alcohol is known to cause an irritant reaction in some users.

  • There are many studies that have proven that alcohol causes skin drying and cracking. Alcohol based gels usually have products added to them to reduce this risk, but it is still relevant, especially for users with sensitive skin.

  • Some environments will prohibit the use of alcohol based gels because of their flammability.

  • Users may have cultural or religious objections to using a product with a high alcohol content.

Your Hand Gel feels sticky once I have applied it. Why?

Alcohol based hand gel has a ‘flash’ cleaning effect. It removes germs from the skin and then evaporates very quickly. Our Hand Gel is absorbed into the surface of the skin, creating a layer on the skin which continues to kill bacteria and viruses. Whilst this is happening the Gel does feel sticky, but this feeling is momentary and passes once it has been rubbed in.

In conclusion

As ever, we are always happy to take your questions and we understand that at times like these, reassurance on the effectiveness of a product is really important! If we can help, please ask. E mail us here, call during office hours - 01573 226901, or contact us via our social media feeds.

Just for information, we have had questions about whether we have changed our prices for Hand Gel? There was a small price increase at the start of 2020 that affected the whole of the Pyramid range. Since then, there have been no changes in price.

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