“ Brand: Yankee Candle / Type: Hand Sanitiser / Suitable for: Hand „
Last year Hollie came down with an awful tummy bug; it had been going around the school for a week or so and unlucky Hollie managed to cop it a couple of days before they broke up for the Christmas holidays. Knowing it had spread like wildfire around the school I was worried sick about her passing it on to everyone else in the family and potentially spoiling Christmas, but other than segregating her I didn't really know what else to do. I mentioned it to my neighbour and she suggested an antibacterial hand rub, this was at around 10pm and there was nowhere open for me to go and get anything like this but within a couple of minutes her daughter was knocking the door with this small bottle of Yankee Candle Hand Sanitizer which proclaimed to smell of my very favourite wax tart, Christmas Cookie.
I had no idea at this point that Yankee Candle sold anything other than wax tarts and candles, but as my neighbour is a huge fan of their stuff I wasn't particularly surprised that she knew about this product and I didn't. I took it gratefully and straight away assembled the family and told them where it was going to be kept (next to the kettle) and ordered them to use it regularly, particularly if they'd been near Hollie.
The small plastic bottle is similar in size and shape to what you'd buy under the moniker of 'travel sized' toiletries, the plastic is supple enough to allow you to squeeze out a few drops of the gel but strong so you don't overdo it and end up with a quarter of the bottle slipping around in your hand. I was surprised that the Christmas Cookie scent wasn't amazingly apparent when I had a sniff from the bottle, but this soon righted itself as I squeezed out enough to rub across my hands and instantly caught the delectable scent of freshly baked vanilla cookies.
The gel is very thick, much thicker than the hand gel I used when my mum was in hospital recently, and for this reason you need only a very small amount per application. When you dispense it from the bottle it'll come out in large droplets of gel and I'm not under-exaggerating when I say you need only two (maybe three) drops to cover the skin of your hands and wrists as it spreads so beautifully. It absorbs very quickly, much more quickly than I thought it would considering how thick the gel is - it leaves my skin with a slightly sticky feel immediately after use but this isn't a problem as it disappears so quickly and when this stickiness has gone my hands just go back to how they normally feel. You need to be careful to rub it all in properly, especially in the area between your fingers as if the gel is just left sitting on your skin it can become a little irritating in that it dries to a strange consistency and will need washing off - and you don't want to be washing off the only thing that could protect your family from a Christmas spent on the toilet, do you?!
The gel isn't drying as I thought it would be, the only experience I have of this type of product really is when visiting hospitals where you're (lightly) encouraged to use the sanitisers at the entrance to every ward and department - these NHS issued sanitisers are incredibly drying to the skin, this being the reason many nurses I've spoken to actually buy their own little bottles and use them instead. This Yankee Candle one, while not exactly moisturising, leaves my hands feeling soft and something within the formulation does help my skin to feel slightly more supple after use. There's no ingredients list printed on the bottle (presumably that was on the box which my neighbour didn't supply me with) but I can't detect the scent of alcohol, and the fact that it causes me no drying issues leads me to believe that maybe Yankee have used something else to provide protection against germs and bugs. If you're allergic to alcohol in this type of product do check before buying though as this definitely isn't a scientific analysis! I've experienced no irritation since I started using it, and neither has anyone else in the house although for obvious reasons I didn't apply it to my (then) twelve month old sons hands so I have no idea how kind it would be if you felt the need to use it on baby skin.
So, does it work? Well, obviously I have no idea whether it really does protect against 99.9% of common germs and bacteria as stated on the bottle. What I can confirm is that despite the fact that Hollie's tummy bug was a pretty virulent one (exactly half of her class were off on the same day with it) none of the rest of us caught it and I thought that was impressive. I don't use it on a daily basis as it's important to be in contact with *some* germs to keep your immune system healthy, but now if one of us has a cold I'll take the sanitiser out of the medicine cabinet and put it in its usual place where we can all get hold of it in an attempt to limit the spread. It sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, but at least by providing my family with this little bottle of loveliness I can feel confident that I'm doing my best to protect them from illness.
A 60ml bottle will cost you around £5, I've never seen it in any high street shops but it's readily available online both from 'normal' online stores and Ebay. I'm still using the same bottle I started seven months ago, having to use such a very small amount for each application means it lasts brilliantly and it doesn't have a shelf life printed on the bottle so I assume it's safe to use until it's all gone. While doing a bit of research for this review I've found that it's available in a range of other fragrances, all based on popular Yankee Candle scents, so before the cold season starts in October I plan to buy myself another couple of bottles to keep in both bathrooms and maybe train the kids (and Mark!) to get into the habit of applying it more regularly to avoid the awful colds we all seem to get when the weather starts to turn.
Hand sanitizing gel is something that I like to keep in my handbag; mainly I've seen too many people walk out of public toilets without washing their hands. So after washing mine, by the time I've opened the door to leave again washing them was a pointless exercise. Even though I still wash my hands, I now use the gel once I've got out of the toilets just in case. Also at this time of year I like to use it when I'm out shopping, as you never know who has sneezed into their hands and then touched something you will be touching. I'm probably coming across as a bit OCD but I tend to get a lot of colds anyway so if I can do something to try prevent me catching even more then I will.
I didn't mean to buy the hand sanitizer that I'm reviewing today, I was actually browsing on ebay for some Christmas Cookie wax tarts which are one of my favourite scents when I come across this. I'd heard of Yankee Candle Hand Sanitizers before as I'd bought someone a little Yankee gift set last Christmas and it had one in but I didn't know that you could buy them individually until then. I decided that I would purchase three of them, I could keep one for myself and use two of them for the little hampers I like to make my friends for Christmas.
A few days later my parcel arrived from the ebay seller and I was keen to open it and have a look and a sniff of one of them.
The sanitizer comes in a small stubby plastic bottle, the bottle is clear so that you can see how much of the gel you have used. It has a plastic flip top lid, which has the shape of one of the lids of the glass jar Yankee Candles I think this is a great little touch and, not something that I was expecting as it isn't very clear on the picture. The label has the same picture on it as the Christmas Cookie candles and wax tarts and shows festive iced biscuits, so it is recognisable as a Yankee product. There is another label on the back which tells you that the gel kills 99.9% of common germs and bacteria, that it moisturises leaving hands feeling soft and that the fragrance is inspired by America's best-loved candle. It also has in quite bold letters Drug Facts, which was surprised me a little when I first saw it as I don't really associate hand gels as being a drug. We are then told that the active ingredient is Alcohol Denat at 72% and that its purpose is an antiseptic. Its use is to decrease bacteria on your hands. The back label also peels up to reveal some more information such as a full list of ingredients, that you should stop use if irritation occurs and that it is harmful to wood finishes and plastics.
When the gel is in the bottle it is a lovely warm golden colour and it reminds me of a pale honey. Once it is poured out and onto your hands the gel doesn't appear to have any colour. As soon as you open the lid you get a lovely whiff of the Christmas Cookie scent, which I think is very true to the smell of the candle that it is based on. If you haven't smelled Christmas Cookie before it is a very warm buttery vanilla fragrance with a hint of spice like cinnamon or nutmeg. To me it does smell very much like biscuits being baked. If you're not a fan of vanilla scented things then this would be one to avoid. Although it is called Christmas Cookie I do think this is one that you could use throughout the year as it isn't too Christmassy.
The instructions on the label say to put a dime sized amount onto your hands, but I have no idea how big a dime is so I use something between a five pence and a ten pence piece and find that this is sufficient to do the palms and backs of my hands and my fingers. The gel when first applied can feel a little bitty but as you rub it in this soon disappears. I find that it is absorbed very quickly and doesn't leave any residue on your hands at all. If you have any cuts on your hands then it does sting when you apply this, but I have found that to be the case with any alcohol gels. The fragrance however is fantastic and can be smelled for ages after you have used the gel. I even had someone comment on it about an hour after I had put it on the other day about the "nice smell".
As I mentioned I like to keep a bottle of this in my handbag, and so far the bottle has been very robust and I haven't had any problems with it leaking out. The lid could potentially be a bit flimsy if not opened carefully, but as long as you didn't lose it, it would still clip back in place so it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Although it says that it is moisturising I can't say that I have felt any benefit of that and my hands are no softer than they would usually be. Having said that they aren't being dried out by the alcohol, so maybe it is doing something and I'm just expecting too much.
There is a lot of debate whether these sort of antibacterial gels actually do any good, and the same can probably be said for this one. All I know is that I would rather use this than not, for all the times when it's not possible to wash your hands properly.
I paid around £2.50 for each 58ml bottle of this and prices online do seem to vary, one website has them for £5 which I think is a lot for this sort of thing but I suppose it does make a different present for someone who loves Yankee Candles. I love it so much I ended up buying myself another one otherwise one of my friends wouldn't have ended up getting one for Christmas.