How to ensure the quality of a hydroalcoholic gel?

To effectively protect yourself against COVID-19, when washing your hands with water and soap is not possible, you must apply an effective disinfectant product to your hands and rub them together for at least 30 seconds until your hands are dry.

You can use:

  • Products tested according to the NF EN 14476 standard
  • Hydroalcoholic gels or solutions, generally with a base of ethyl alcohol (or ethanol), propyl alcohol (propane-1-ol or n-propanol) or isopropyl alcohol (propane-2-ol or isopropanol).

In order for these products to be effective, they must contain a concentration of alcohol greater than 60% (expressed as volume/volume or v/v).

Except in specific cases (see below), the alcohol concentration must appear on the label.

In order to meet the significant needs of citizens, cosmetics manufacturers are authorized to produce gels by way of exemption, according to four specific formulations to guarantee a virucidal action. These products are then called: “Hydroalcoholic solution recommended by the World Health Organization for hand antisepsis” or “Hydroalcoholic gel for hand antisepsis – exemption order.” Some of these products were manufactured before the end of May and did not yet indicate the concentration of alcohol they contain, but this does not call into question their quality.

More information: DGCCRF Guide (General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control)