August 29, 2020
With everything going on in the world right now I don't blame you for buying the products that advertise to kill 99.9% of germs. I want to be darn sure that my family is safe too.
But these days companies really know how to market to consumers and sometimes that marketing can be misleading or make you think another product is inferior. Let's take a minute to discuss what the claims of "antibacterial" actually mean and uncover the reality that some of these products could cause more harm than good.
Before we get into it I have to make a disclaimer that I am by no means a doctor, work in the medical field, or have any family members that do. I do believe it is important to be a well informed consumer so I have put in many hours of research so you don't have to.
How does soap work?
Soap doesn't kill bacteria or germs but it does remove them. Our bodies naturally produce oils which over time attract dirt and bacteria. Water alone won't clean these nasties away because water and oil don't mix. Soap is made up mostly of oils and fats that act like a magnet and attract the dirt and bacteria which is then washed away by the water. The most important thing to note is that regular soap won't kill the healthy bacteria on our skin that we need. It's more mild than some of the chemically engineered products on the market and good quality soap made with natural oils and butters won't dry out your skin as much.
What makes soap antibacterial?
The main difference between soap and antibacterial soap are the ingredients used. Triclosan, which has come under a serious amount of controversy over the past few years, is an antifungal agent that first came onto the market as a pesticide. Today is is used across many consumer products like toothpaste, detergents, toys and even furniture. The amount of testing done on this ingredient and it's effects on humans is minimal and the potential negative side effects make me want to run to my bathroom and triple check that nothing in there contains this ingredient.
Either way...the FDA says that the most effective way to clean our hands and bodies is to use regular soap and water. There was never anything wrong with this basic and natural product to begin with. There is no proof that using antibacterial soap is more effective than regular soap. So why on earth should consumers be scared into thinking that antibacterial soap is better? Marketing and corporate greed is where my mind goes.
What should you use?
At the end of the day you need to do what makes the most sense for yourself and your family. There is so much information out there that can make subjects like this seem complicated and stressful. I learned from my mother a long time ago that simpler is better and I could be bias but my choice in this matter is to always use natural soap.
Because I am a soap and cosmetic maker I am required to follow FDA guidelines when it comes to ingredients and packaging so I trust them and this article was very informative in case you're looking to read a bit deeper.
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