antibacterial soaps
Antibacterial soaps: Safe or not safe?
antibacterial soaps
Antibacterial soaps: Safe or not safe?

I love this point of the year when the leaves begin to alter their color and the air turns crisp at the hours of darkness. However as I relish the stunning colors and smells of this season, a part of me sighs deeply when I realize we are again hitting that phase of the year when I found someone is often sick in our homes. And around this point of the year, the ads for antibacterial soaps and hand washes begin to hit our television screens. Apparently, we need to shop for these medicament hand wash to keep ourselves and our family happy and healthy.

Dislike!

Not only are these ads deceptive, as they are promoting a product which is full of harsh, unhealthy chemicals with the words “healthy.”

Arrrgh!

Really dislike!

The question is whether or not these hand washes are truly necessary in the fight against germs? So let’s dive right in and take a look at what actually happens when you clean your hands with an antibacterial soap and how it is different from normal soaps.

Antibacterial Soaps Vs Normal Soaps

antibacterial soaps

According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), antibacterial soaps are no more effective than normal soap and water and could be fatal for your health. The 42 years of FDA research along with countless independent studies have produced no evidence that triclosan, present in the antibacterial soaps and liquid hand washes, provide any health benefits as compared to normal soaps.

On top of this, antibacterial soaps have the potential to form antibiotic-resistant bacterium, also called antimicrobial resistance (It happens when a microbe evolves itself and become more or completely resistant to antimicrobials). High use of antibiotics causes bacterial resistance, which ends up with a random mutation in a small set of bacterial population that enables it to survive exposure to the chemical. If the same chemical is used more frequently, it will kill other bacteria, but will allow this resistant subset of bacteria to proliferate or grow. If this happens, it will make the chemical useless against the bacteria.

A chart depicting the deaths due to antimicrobial resistance per year compared to other causes of deaths
A chart depicting the deaths due to antimicrobial resistance per year compared to other causes of deaths

Antimicrobial Soaps Could Act as Endocrine Disruptors

According to the findings of a number of studies conducted on rats, frogs, and other different animals, triclosan can interfere with the body’s regulation of endocrine. This might be because triclosan chemically resembles the internal secretion closely enough that it binds to its receptor sites. If the same happens with humans too, then there are possibilities that it may lead to several health issues including infertility, puberty, obesity, and cancer.

These antimicrobial soaps are also associated with other health issues. According to the scientists, a prolonged exposure to triclosan in children could result in peanut allergies and hay fever. Scientists revealed that this might be because of a reduced exposure to bacteria, as it is necessary for the proper functioning and development of the immune system of the body. In an another study, it has been found that triclosan can interfere with muscle contractions in human cells, which means that the chemical can penetrate the skin and can enter the bloodstream easily.

Antibacterial Soaps Are Bad For Environment

The triclosan used in the soap gets flushed down the drain. According to studies, small quantities of it persists even after the treatment of water at the sewerage plants. The USGS (United States Geologic Surveys) surveys have often detected the chemical in streams and different water bodies. When it stays for long, it can disrupt the algae’s ability to perform the chemical process.

harmful effects of triclosan
harmful effects of triclosan

So, now the question arises…

Why use antibacterial soaps which have no clear health advantages and a number of associated health hazards?

Studies have conjointly found that normal soap and water is better than the waterless, alcohol-based hand wipes and rubs. So avoid using chemical antimicrobial soaps and hand washes containing these hazardous chemicals. Instead, go for a natural handwash that is harmless and non-toxic.

How to Make Your Own Natural Hand Wash

I do prefer using a natural hand wash over soap and water because it is less messy in the bathroom. It’s so easy to make and it’s really cheap! Here’s how you can do it yourself :

hand wash

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup aloe Vera gel
  • 20 drops orange essential oil
  • 10 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 5 drops clove essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients and store in a reusable silicon tube.
  2. Use as required to naturally remove germs from hands.
  • Orange– Natural antiseptic and antioxidant. It also smells great!
  • Cinnamon-antibacterial, antifungal and astringent
  • Clove– Antibacterial and antimicrobial
  • Rosemary– Antifungal and antibacterial
  • Lavender– Antibacterial and antiviral. Good aroma!

This herbal hand sanitizer gel doesn’t make your skin dry, thanks to Aloe Vera gel used and keep you and your family healthy naturally.

Keep a natural hand wash nearby and you will never have to use those harsh and unhealthy hand sanitizers filled with chemicals.

Happy living.

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