I remember my obsession with carrying hand sanitizers around began when I moved to NY four years ago. On the subway and off the subway I’d be applying away. With April being the month of Earth Day (the 22nd to be exact, mark your calendars!), I decided I’d highlight one of my most recent discoveries: Clean Well ($3) -- a green sanitizer.

There are quite a few differences between this sanitizer and the normal alcohol-based ones you find. The first one is just that – no alcohol. Instead, the 99.99% germ fighting action happens with their main active ingredient, thymus vulgaris oil which works as a natural antimicrobal. It also contains antioxidant citric acid, which is another benign cleaner. After applying it, you won’t have that taut, dry feel on your skin. Instead, it leaves your hands soft which can be largely due to the inclusion of aloe. A medley of more essential oils, orange and oregano, also contribute to this. Mix in a few conditioners (hydrolyzed oats) and thickeners like sodium decylglucosides hydroxypropyl sulfonate, which is a plant based emulsifier from sugar and coconut oils, round it out.

The CleanWell story is also a bit interesting. The founder’s child was born with a severe and rare immune deficiency (basically, he didn’t have enough white cells to fight off disease and bacteria), which led him to look for safe products to use around their son that won’t also contain toxins (like triclosan and benzalkonium chloride) that could potentially make him sick. They came up with this line of products which, needless to say, is also safe for kids.

I have the new ‘orange vanilla’ fragranced one, and can’t say I’m super into this particular scent. It sort of reminds me of orange-scented kitchen cleaner, but that’s not to say I won’t be picking up the original one soon. All in the spirit of making my life a little more green.

Thymus vulgaris oil, aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf juice*, citric acid, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) oil, copper PCA*, hydrolyzed oats*, origanum vulgare (oregano) oil, sodium citrate, sodium coco sulfate, sodium decylglucosides hydroxypropyl sulfonate, vanilla planifolia (vanilla) fruit extract, water