Slight increase in mask, sanitiser sales this year

There’s also an increase in personal care products with antibacterial properties, not just hand sanitisers

by AZALEA AZUAR / Pic by BLOOMBERG

THE sales of hand sanitisers and face masks this year, although anticipated to increase, are not expected to be as high as last year.

Perfect Lifes Sdn Bhd director Dean Liew observed that there’s only a small increase in hand sanitiser sales compared to 2020’s larger figure.

“When we were first put into the Movement Control Order (MCO) in March last year, sales of hand sanitisers went up 50% to 80%, but during the current MCO 3.0, the sales only increased between 5% and 10%,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).

Liew also noticed that people might have grown complacent with their personal hygiene and the MCO’s standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“This could be because the vaccination programme is being rolled out, so whether they have received their shots or not, people feel like they have been protected that they take precautions lightly,” he said, adding that this has contributed to the climbing number of Covid-19 cases because people were moving about freely, including crossing district and state borders.

Additionally, Liew said with more people working from home under the total lockdown, there will be less use of hand sanitisers, while face mask sale would not see much difference despite the Health Ministry’s advice to double-mask.

What is important, he said, is that people wear the right type of masks such as the N95 or N96 masks.

“Even with the proper masks, we must observe the SOPs. Make less physical contact, sanitise often and minimise our time at public places,” he said.

While environment-conscious people prefer wearing washable and reusable cloth face masks, they can give only 51.4% of protection as opposed to disposable surgical masks’ 77% protection.

“This is why we are advised to doublemask, which is wearing a disposable surgical mask under a cloth mask,” Liew said.

On the other hand, hygiene care brand Follow Me said it has observed an increase in personal care products with antibacterial properties, not just hand sanitisers.

“We do foresee a continuous demand for hand sanitisers as the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly heightened consumers’ awareness of safety and hygiene.

“Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are proven to be effective to kill 99.9% bacteria. On top of that, Follow Me hand sanitisers are also dermatologically tested, which means they are not harmful to the users’ skin,” it said to TMR.