Vicks Early Defense Foaming Hand Sanitizer

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About as Pleasant as Triclosan Can Get -Vicks Early Defense Foaming Hand Sanitizer

Apr 30, 2008 (Updated May 8, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:So easy to dispense, you may even catch a teenager using it

Cons:We all still got sick over and over again

The Bottom Line: Great packaging and foaming action, but I question the effectiveness.


I wasn’t such an avid germ killer until my baby girl was born. We have two teenagers in the house and she spends several days a week in daycare, so I purchased Vicks Early Defense Foaming Hand Sanitizer with a few other sanitizers hoping that I could prevent at least some bugs from invading her system this past winter. She ended up getting lots of colds in spite of my efforts, but at least Vicks First Defense was pleasant to use.

The active ingredient in this product is triclosan, a biocide that is not significantly associated with bacterial resistance. I paid about $2 for a small clear tube with a white pump that releases a thick white sanitizing foam infused with a cucumber melon scent. Vicks claims that the product kills 99.9% of germs for up to 3 hours.

I kept one dispenser in the diaper bag and one near the bathroom sink for use after particularly messy diaper changes or when someone in the house was sick. The tube is small but remarkably sturdy, so I found that the teenagers were using it on their own without any prompting. It was easy to use and smelled nice, though you can certainly still smell the chemical on your hands after use. I often rinsed my hands a few minutes after using this so that I wouldn’t get the chemical in my daughter’s mouth or eyes, though that stops the residual germ-killing effect of the triclosan.

I didn’t find that this product dried my hands out any more than they already were from the excessive hand washing that’s part of motherhood. While I had a few other products from Purell readily available, I always ended up reaching for this one because the pump never clogged, I didn’t have to deal with caps or thin formulas that spilled all over the place. This foam felt almost velvety soft and it absorbed quickly into my skin with very little rubbing.

Each 1.6 ounce tube boasts 120 pumps, with each pump sufficient enough to sanitize two hands. Two bucks is a hefty sum compared with Purell, but I find that I’m far more efficient using this because of the foaming formula. I’d recommend this to others without hesitation, though I do suggest using it within a few months as the foaming action stops once several months passes. My last tube pumps nothing but pure liquid at the moment, but I did buy it at least 5 months ago. I’ll probably be buying this again next cold and flu season.

Four out of five stars.


Recommend this product? Yes

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