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Cuticura are a well known brand which has been associated with anti-bacterial products for many years. I knew the name and remember my grandparents always using Cuticura talc when I was younger so I felt it was a name I could trust.
The onset of winter brings an increase in coughs and colds and other illnesses which are easily spread. Last winter also brought the increased worry of swine flu. Worrying about all of these cases of infection alerted many people to the idea of increased hand-hygiene and caused a massive increase in the number of anti-bacterial hand cleaners being sold. Everywhere you turned you would see displays of these types of products.
I have worked in a pharmacy all my working life and seemed to have developed a pretty robust constitution having being exposed to people coughing and sneezing in my direction for as long as I can remember! I have always washed my hands quite frequently at work and have never really worried too much. This winter, however, I found myself working as a team distributing Tamiflu so we increased our hygiene standards accordingly. I felt it was a good idea to pop one of the anti-bacterial products in my handbag so that I could cleanse my hands if I came out of work and realised I had forgotten. When my gel ran out the only product we had to sell was a new one by Cuticura, the crackling Hand Hygiene Mousse so I bought one. They were on half price offer at the time but are now currently selling for £3.45 for 50ml on Boots.com.
Unlike all the gels that I have previously owned this hand mouse is presented in a pressurised can, about 11cm tall with a lid. Dooyoo do not have the correct picture, they have used the ordinary get. The can is mainly coloured in blue, in keeping with the Cuticura range but in red writing it claims to kill 99.99% of bacteria fast. There is no mention of anti-viral properties but since it has an alcoholic base I am sure it must affect these too. It suggests that it is ideal for the family, for eating out and as a convenient way to cleanse the hands when you have no access to water. It states that the hands will be left cool, clean and refreshed without stickiness.
To use the product you have to give the can a quick shake and then apply a small amount onto dry hands and then rub all over the hands. This seemed perfectly straightforward so next time I needed to use a cleanser I got this out of my bag. The lid came off easily so I then pushed down on the top of the aerosol. Immediately white foam was emitted from the can with a rather bizarre crackling noise (hence the name!), it felt mildly tingly on the skin and then it started to turn into liquid very quickly. This is when I realise that I was struggling as I still had the lid in one hand and it was obvious that I was going to have to rub the product in quickly so I had to drop the lid in my bag and rub my hands together before the product evaporated. The lid has proved a problem where-ever I use this. If I am in a public toilet with poor washing facilities it is great to have this sort of thing to hand but I always have to find somewhere to put the silly lid. I think that the gel products with a push-down, self-sealing lid are a much more practical design.
The crackling sensation may appeal to children and might be helpful if they don't like washing their hands when out and about.
The foam rubbed in very quickly, possible too quickly as I wasn't sure that I had covered all of my hands so I ended up putting more on to make sure. The manufacturers claim that this mousse has a cooling effect, it felt cool as it first hit my skin but there was not really much of a cooling effect once I was rubbing it in, the cooling effect is from the evaporation of the alcohol so I would have expected it to be more pronounced.
The product has quite a strong smell that I did not find particularly pleasant. I felt that it smelt of cheap aftershave so even after it was rubbed into my hands I could probably still smell it for about 10 minutes. I expected a fresh citrus type smell (I have no idea why!) so I was surprised by the scent chosen. The smell would certainly discourage me from using it prior to eating if I was out as I am sure it would taint anything that you held in your hand.
The skin on my hands was not irritated by this product at all. In fact my hands felt comfortable and soft after use and I didn't experience any drying either.
I do find having this sort of product in my handbag useful. I am not paranoid about germs at all but there are some occasions when it is just handy to be able to freshen your hands or those of your children. This little can has been in my bag for months now as I do only use it infrequently but if you are the sort of person that uses these things a lot I really don't think that the small size of the canister would last you long. I feel that it is an extremely expensive product and the gels are better value, the selling point is the Crackling idea but that just sounds weird and feels a little bit odd when you first spray it but disappears quickly. The smell is very overpowering so I would recommend it as one to avoid, there are plenty of things on the market that do the same job but are easier to use and smell much less offensive!