The U.S. government's Be Ready checklist suggests keeping moist towelettes in your disaster kit, and FEMA's disaster supply list includes waterless hand sanitizer. I bought two large bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in 2005, and I can attest that it will last awhile, as both bottles are still mostly full. We'd use it more, but the heavy citrus fragrance is tough on my husband's allergies.
Prefense Foaming Hand Sanitizer
I'm pleased to say that the newest hand sanitizer in the house has just a light fragrance that dissipates after a few minutes, so I can use it around him more often. This new brand of hand sanitizer is called Prefense. I've been using it for the past couple of weeks, in order to write this review. Since my husband won't believe me when I saw I need a microscope in the kitchen, I have no way of testing the scientific claims, but I can tell you that it's easy to use, it absorbs or dissipates quickly, and it doesn't leave my skin feeling sticky or dry.
The 1.5 ounce bottle that I've been using is a great size for keeping in my purse, and it's within the TSA guidelines for carry-on liquids. Each spray, according to the company, will stay on your hands through ten hand washings, for at least 24 hours, so you don't have to constantly re-apply all day. That means your hand sanitizer will last longer and it's one less thing you have to worry about, whether you're cleaning up after a disaster, trying to avoid catching cold while you're working at a cash register during the Christmas season, or preparing a picnic in the park for your family reunion.
The Prefense website lists more than six-dozen bugs that its hand sanitizer protects against, including several types of staph bacteria, flu viruses, germs, molds and fungi.
How does it work?
In a 2009 press release, Prefense president Aaron Powers described how the product works. “Ours is a silicone based product made up of zillions of tiny micro filaments,” Powers said. “And instead of shrinking or poisoning pathogens into submission like alcohol based products, Prefenz literally slits the cell’s wall and destroys it on contact. That means there’s no opportunity for these cells to mutate and to come back as some kind of new super strain.”
Cool, huh? Oh, I should explain that the product has also been marketed as PrefenzBotanicals, and that's what the labeling says on the bottle I received, but it's the same as Prefense.
I looked up cocamidopropyl betaine on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database. This is a great site that tells you more about ingredients found in personal hygiene and cosmetics products. According to Skin Deep, cocamidopropyl betaine is used in more than two-thousand products as a cleansing agent, foam booster, and an agent for increasing viscosity. I think this is what helps keep your skin from drying out like with other hand sanitizers.
The key ingredient for germ protection in Prefense seems to be the Amosil-Q, a chemical compound patented in 2003 by Dr. William Peterson, President and CEO of Coating Systems Laboratories, and two co-creators. When I did a search for Amosilq (as it appears on the product label), not a lot of results came up. Then I found an FDA advisory warning consumers to be wary of hand sanitizers that claim to protect against MRSA. None of the products listed in the advisory contain Amosil-Q, but I started digging for more information and eventually (it took a couple of hours, at least) I found a product listing on a National Institutes of Health site, and that led me to a Wikipedia article on Benzalkonium chloride.
After all this reading, I feel pretty confident that Prefense protects against all those bugs it lists as well as it claims. I probably wouldn't use it every day, but I think it's great to use on days when you know you're at higher risk of contamination: yard sale days, working a cash register during the holidays, traveling on any kind of public transportation, and yes, cleaning up after a hurricane.
Your Chance to Win
One winner will receive an 8-ounce bottle of Prefense Foaming Hand Sanitizer.
FIRST ENTRY: Leave a comment here on why you think Prefense is perfect for a disaster kit, plus tell us what other item you think should be in everyone's kit.
Please be sure that I have a way to contact you, in case you're the winner. The form asks for your email address, but that's just for logging into Blogger; I can't see it. Be sure that your Blogger profile shows your email or include your email addy with your comment.
EXTRA ENTRIES: For each item you complete, leave another comment here (two comments in the case of tweeting) and be sure to include a link to your comments and tweets.
*leave a relevant comment on any non-giveaway post on this blog (+1)
*like Prefense on Facebook (+1)
*follow Auriette and Prefense on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway (+2)
suggested tweet: Enter for your chance to win a revolutionary new hand sanitizer from @prefense and @auriette: http://bit.ly/i32rHR #giveaway ends May 14.
You can earn a maximum of five entries per household. Eligible comments must be made no later than 11:59pm ET on Saturday, May 14, 2011. Entrants must be 18 or older, with shipping addresses in the United States. One winner will be selected by random drawing no later than Sunday May 15 and notified by email. Winner must respond to the email with mailing address within 72 hours or another winner will be selected.
The makers of Prefenz Botanicals provided me with a 1.5 ounce bottle of their product so I could try it for myself and write this review. The company is also providing the 8 ounce bottle that will be given away through this post. I received no other compensation or consideration, and the opinions expressed in this post are my own.