How many of us are dutifully using anti-bacterial soaps and gels thinking it does kill those germs? Several antibacterial products advertisement make you feel guilty that unless you use one you are bringing danger to your family. The recent announcement of FDA that antibacterial soaps are not any better than water brings back the quest of ‘clean-hands’ to a naught.
Triclosan and alcohol are the active ingredients of most of the antibacterial soaps and hand-wash, toys, toothpaste, and cosmetics that claim to kill germs. Studies now show that this ‘trusted’ chemical triclosan is linked to drug resistance, increased allergies and hormonal disturbances. Some bacteria is shown to have developed resistance to triclosan, diminishing the use of anti-bacterial soaps. Bacteria that survive have the capacity to mutate and emerge stronger making themselves more resistant to future applications. This essentially means that infections would become more difficult to manage because, triclosan lowers the immunity of people by killing those bacteria which helps to build a stronger immune system.
While researches do not confirm if there is a direct link between triclosan and allergies, the disturbance in the balance between good and bad bacteria leads to disregulated functioning of the immune system could make people more prone to allergies.
What products should you look out for?
The simple answer would be to avoid any product that are labeled anti-bacterial containing triclosan. Please read the ingredients of toothpaste, shaving gel, antibacterial soaps, mouthwash, body wash gel, lipsticks, deodorants, cleansers and acne products. Here is a quick list of products containing triclosan.
There is still hope with natural alternatives… Natural alternatives are still the simple answer for good health and hygiene. Your search for better and healthier alternatives is just a google search away.
1. Home made liquid hand soap : Check out the mild and easy to make peppermint hand soap recipe by Erin. She makes use of castille soap, distilled water and peppermint essential water. That’s all.
2. Natural Hand Sanitizer : You may consider switching to this natural home-made sanitizer to clean your hands, while on the go. This is a great recipe to make a sanitizer that is free of alcohol. Essential oils and aloe vera gel are the main ingredients.
3. Natural Baby Wipes: For those parents who extensively use baby wipes, here is a natural baby wipe recipe that will save your baby from those toxic chemicals.
Antibacterial products are not the safest choice to keep yourself clean. Washing hands regularly with the conventional soap and water (for about 30 seconds) is as hygienic and reduces your exposure to toxic chemical risks. Switching to natural alternatives are also as beneficial as commercial products to keep your family healthy.
Do you have other natural alternatives for antibacterial products? Share your natural antibacterial recipes below…