The Good: Appears to work, Easy to apply
The Bad: Price, Ghastly smell!
The Basics: Sure, we may be breeding all sorts of incredibly powerful bacteria by using anti-bacterial hand lotions, but the true villain here is the scent of plumeria in this product.
As I continue to stretch out in my reviews, having made a trip to Bath & Body Works to give myself fodder to pamper myself and have something to review outside media, I came to understand the danger of picking things up while in Bath & Body works near the end of the shopping trip. You know, after you've found the Orange Freeze 3-in-1 (reviewed here!) and settled on Night-Blooming Jasmine Shower Gel, you see a little bottle of Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel near the counter for $4.00 and your senses are so overwhelmed, you just pick it up and buy it.
I picked up the cute pink bottle of Plumeria Instant Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel and in the store, it smelled fine . . .
First, for those who are unfamiliar with the recent trend in personal hygiene, Anti-Bacterial Hand Gels are like liquid soap. You drop a few drops of a gel onto your hands, then rub your hands together and the gel evaporates, killing bacteria on your hands. Also, it has the tendency to clean off mild amounts of dirt. It's a convenient way to clean your hands and keep them sterile while on the run or around a lot of sick people. Or when you're not around water or when you're trying to interact with people you don't want to get sick, which is why a lot of hospitals are using these now.
Honestly, anti-bacterial hand gels are genius. They are wonderful when one is on the road and sees kids wiping their noses on their hands and then opening doors that you're about to have to touch. I could come up with literally a thousand places and times I've used anti-bacterial hand gels and I've not been sick in over a year. Of course, it could be that I avoid people because I've been freaked out after years on the road after seeing how few people actually wash their hands after going to the bathroom . . . (shudder!). Anyway, anti-bacterial hand gels are essentially biological weapons against bacteria that are convenient, easy to use and basically make living in a first world country a real treat.
That said, whoever created the Plumeria scented anti-bacterial hand gel for Bath & Body Works ought to be fired. Immediately. This 3 oz. bottle will mostly go to waste because what smelled sweet and flowery with a hint of fruit in the bottle becomes a noxious vapor when applied to my hands. Right now - because to fully capture my disgust, I used it again so I could write explicitly about it - my den smells like an obscene combination of wilted flowers and isopropyl alcohol (with a weird afterscent of smoke). Yes, that's the best description I can possibly give of how nasty the Plumeria scent is once it effervesces.
Let's backtrack for a moment. The plumeria instant anti-bacterial hand gel comes in a 3 oz. bottle for $4.00. It is pink with little blue microbeads suspended in it. As near as I can tell, these beads are where the noxious smell comes from. They dissipate when one uses the gel, so it is not like they are a grit for cleaning the hands.
The bottle is a rhombus shape that fits in the hand rather easily. The flip-top lid makes it easy to open and close the bottle with one hand. This is especially convenient because if you believe you need to sterilize your hands, odds are you will not want to touch many things until you've done. The ability to manipulate the bottle with one hand while getting the product out is a good selling point.
The bottle recommends a dime-sized drop to sterilize one's hands. That seemed to work for me, though almost immediately, once I began rubbing my hands together, the scent transformed from a sweet honey-like smell to something more closely resembling formaldehyde. I wish I were exaggerating.
Like most (there is one I'll review soon that does not!) anti-bacterial hand gels, the plumeria scented Bath and Body Works hand gel dries the skin out some. That's the consequence of killing an plethora of bacteria; it requires alcohol and that dries the skin out some. Interestingly, the dry feeling only lasted as long as I could smell the product which, unfortunately, was about an hour.
Equally interesting - to me anyway - was that despite the dryness and the wicked bad smell (I'm emphasizing that for a point, this plumeria is like a cloud of black death in the scent department!) the product did not irritate my hands. I have a cut on my hand that has been slow to heal and even when it was open, the gel did not sting or hurt the wound at all. This, in my cynical mind, makes me wonder how effective it truly is at killing bacteria, but I've no empirical data to suggest that this is not doing what it promises. Honestly, I've never cultured my skin for bacteria before and after a treatment, I'm going on faith that the product is actually killing bacteria.
My faith runs out every time I smell my hands, though. This plumeria scent is ghastly. Utter rubbish. The whole point of anti-bacterial hand gel is to make one feel clean and refreshed when washing one's hands is not immediately possible. This scent is just annoying me. I have to go wash my hands and air out my den. That's a failed product in my book.
For other Bath & Body Works products, please visit my reviews of:
White Tea And Ginger Body Splash
Winter Candy Apple Anti-Bacterial Gel
Temptations Sassy Strawberry Mint 3-in-1
For other health and beauty reviews, please click here to visit my index page on the subject!
© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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