The Best of High Street Hand Sanitiser

Stores right across the UK are following government updates and, since reopening in June, many have taken precautions to make shoppers feel safer and more at ease.

One such precaution is the introduction of hand sanitiser stations at the entrance to the stores, and we were interested to hear the opinion of shoppers about them.

So we conducted some research and can now reveal the stickiest and smelliest hand sanitiser experience shoppers are currently facing across the UK.

a woman putting hand sanitiser on her hands

On Friday 24th July*, the government made it compulsory for shoppers to wear a face covering in shops and many stores also encouraged shoppers to take some hand sanitiser before entering.

Our research asked people to rate their shopping experience focussing on five key areas to reveal the best and worst experience entering a high street fashion shop right now:

  • Does the shop encourage you use to hand sanitiser?
  • How is it dispensed?
  • The smell
  • How fast does it soak in?
  • How does it make your hands feel after?

See the full results below, ranked from best to worst experience, out of 27 popular fashion retail high street stores.

A table showing the scores out of ten for the best hand sanitising high street retailers

The New Normal

While revealing the best experiences, our research also highlighted where safety measures weren’t taking place on the high street.

For instance Body Shop, Poundland and River Island had signs in their stores, but there wasn’t any hand sanitiser for people to use.*

The research also revealed the high street store that offered the stickiest feeling after sanitiser is dispensed, which found Superdrug, Urban Outfitters and Claire’s Accessories topping the list.

The shops that left shoppers’ hands the smelliest were JD, Ann Summers and Next.

It seems since face coverings have been introduced, many stores are leaving the hand sanitiser stations unattended.

However, stores such as Levi’s and Homesense actively monitored and encouraged shoppers to take the hand sanitiser before entering.

With all the safety precautions we are taking at the moment – to ensure a more “normal” way of living returns – below are our three top tips on how to look after your hands after using hand sanitiser.

Forget Water Temperature, Remember That Soap

It has been reported by UNICEF**, cold water and warm water are equally effective at killing germs and viruses, as long as you use soap.

To keep your hands in good condition it is recommended using warm water ( Not hot water ) and gently patting your hands dry with a clean paper towel.

UNICEF has provided a step-by-step guide to remind people how to wash their hands properly, here.

Aloe Vera pampering moisture kit lay out on a desk

Use Moisturising Hand Washes

With handwashing becoming more of a focal point in people’s everyday lives, we recommend people should pick a hand wash with hydrating properties.

Packed with nourishing ingredients such as Shea butter, Aloe Vera, or hyaluronic acid.

Not only will they keep your hands cleansed and crack-free, but moisturised and supple too.

If you have one, you can just tear a stem from an Aloe plant and use the gel inside!

Try Overnight Moisture Treatments

People with extremely dry hands may want to treat them overnight.

It is recommended to use a copious amount of moisturising cream.

Once the cream has been applied, a person should put socks, gloves, or mittens over their hand – this allows the cream to be absorbed overnight.

You may have done this before with severe sunburn, or perhaps even to prevent yourself or a little one from sratching with the chicken-pox!

We keep overhearing people’s experiences with hand sanitiser, more or less everywhere we go.

For many of us, it is becoming a universal conversation we didn’t think about before.

We all appreciate why we have to use hand sanitiser and the importance of it, but that doesn’t stop people across the UK complaining about the smell or texture it leaves behind.

With this research, we wanted to highlight to people who were thinking of going shopping, which retailers offered the ultimate experience in hand care and further provide advice on how to keep your hands soft and supple.

Stay safe out there everyone, we hope this helps you avoid any sticky high street situations.

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Additional Info

This research does not stop the spread of coronavirus, it is merely highlighting how people’s hands feel and smell after using hand sanitiser in each high street retailer.

Please note the hand sanitisers that smelt the strongest, will most likely have a higher alcohol percentage.

*The stores without hand sanitizers are only based in the stores from Leeds City Centre, UK.

New Look has not opened their store just yet.


Research took place in Leeds City Centre – looking only at national fashion retailers who are currently open

50 Shoppers took part in the research




*All scores have been averaged from the 50 shoppers who took part

RetailerDo they encourage you to take hand sanitiser?How is it dispensed?How does it smell?How fast does it soak in?How does it make your hands feel after?Weighted Score
Fat Face1.
Super Dry1.
Harvey Nichols1.
Michael Kors1.
H & M1.
House Of Fraser1.
Marks & Spencer1.
Ann Summers1.
Snow + Rock1.
Foot Locker1.
Urban Outfitter1.

*Weighted scores have been calculated as Value/Max x2