Whether you’re coming home from an airport fluttering with international germs, a daycare full of sticky-fingered toddlers, or just a grimy office building, scrubbing your hands with bacteria-busting soap seems like a great idea. But the data that have washed up on the cleansers in recent years suggest that they actually do more harm than good—for you, those around you, and the environment.
Scientists report that common antibacterial compounds found in those soaps, namely triclosan and triclocarban, may increase the risk of infections, alter the gut microbiome, and spur bacteria to become resistant to prescription antibiotics. Meanwhile, proof of the soaps’ benefits is slim.
I’m OK: I’ve been using homeopathic soap 😉
Antibacterial soaps don’t make any sense anyway – any regular old soap will remove greater than 99% of the bacterial that lives on dirt and oils in your skin. Why use antibacterial? What does it gain that it might remove 99.99999% of bacteria instead of 99.9999%?
We’re living in way too antiseptic of a world.