Why You Should Consider Leaving Behind Commercial Antibacterial Soaps

Posted on: 1 September 2015

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You can't go anywhere without seeing the phrase "antibacterial" prominently displayed on a bottle or bar of soap. People like the idea of protecting themselves from bacteria and germs. However, those antibacterial products aren't always the best idea. Here are a few reasons why, and what you can use as an alternative.

Reasons to Beware Commercial Antibacterial Soap

Many antibacterial soaps out there prey on your fear of germs, disease, and other nastiness that can infect a body. What people forget is that not all bacteria is "bad." Some bacteria is actually necessary for your body.

In fact, by systematically attempting to wipe out all bacteria all the time, you're doing the opposite of protecting yourself. You're actually breaking down your body's defense mechanisms. But that's not the only possible downside to antibacterial soap.

It's no more effective than regular soap – The truth is that antibacterial soap doesn't definitively do much more than normal soap. Many people don't even use antibacterial soap in the most effective way.

For antibacterial soap to work as intended, you have to lather up and leave it on for about two minutes. That's how much time it takes for triclosan to do its work.

Triclosan is the main ingredient in many antibacterial soaps that make them "antibacterial." Also, the longer you keep triclosan on your skin, the greater the probability you will absorb it.

It's like taking constant antibiotics – When doctors prescribe antibiotics, it's not forever. Antibiotics work by targeting groups of bacteria. If you take them for too long, some of the bacteria it was meant to target will develop immunity and start to flourish. When you use antibacterial soaps, there's a possibility that you're carrying out that very process.

The only place where antibacterial soap has a legitimate widespread use is in hospitals and other medical facilities. These places require a certain level of sterilization. Your body does not require such a high level of sanitation.

There are many more reasons to avoid antibacterial soaps and various other antibacterial and antimicrobial products. The FDA, CDC, and EPA have gone out of their way to explore claims made by manufacturers of antibacterial soap products.

What You Can Use Instead

If you want to stay clean without putting yourself at risk, then you should try natural soaps. Natural soaps don't contain potentially dangerous chemicals (triclosan included).

Besides, if you're set on having an "antibacterial" product, then you can try many of the natural soaps that include natural antibacterial ingredients. For example, buy natural soaps that contain any of the following:

  • Lavender
  • Garlic
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Honey

Really, there are hundreds of herbs out there that can help you naturally fight bacteria. When you go natural, you don't lose the good with the bad. You replenish what you need while removing what you don't.