Should I be using antibacterial soap?

Written by Sophie Barrow

Should I be using antibacterial soap?

Photo by Matthew Tkocz on UnsplashShould we be using antibacterial soap? The short answer is no, and we know that some of you might be shocked to read that!


So why is it ok to skip the antibacterial soap and use regular soap instead? Won't "antibacterial" keep me and my family safer? Keep us from getting sick and stop the germs from spreading?

Well to date the benefits of using (Over The Counter) antibacterial hand soap haven't been proven, and in addition to this, there have been questions raised over the effects to our health when using antibacterial soap for a long period of time. Many OTC antibacterial soaps contain triclosan which is a concerning ingredient for many academic and regulatory groups, especially when animal studies have shown that triclosan alters the way some hormones work in the body and that there is no data to prove conclusively that these ingredients provide any additional protection to diseases and infections. According to Colleen Rogers, Ph.D and a lead microbiologist at the FDA "there currently is no evidence that over-the-counter antibacterial soap products are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water" and that "there are indications these soaps may contribute to bacterial resistance of antibiotics and may also have unanticipated hormonal effects"

In effect, by using too much antibacterial soap we could actually be breeding bacteria that is resistant to the antibacterial ingredients! 

Add this to the issue that by using harsh chemicals on our skin we are stripping away the natural protective layer our skin has in the form of natural oils and leading our hands to be dry and cracked, these dry cracks can harbour germs so it's always important to make sure you keep your skin moisturised! 


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