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How healthy are antibacterial soaps, hand sanitisers and wipes?

The recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus has resulted in an increased use of hand sanitisers and antibacterial soaps, as these products are believed to help reduce the spread of the virus. While there are many benefits to using these products, there are health concerns associated with their use.

First, prolonged use of hand sanitisers and antibacterial soaps can strip the skin of its natural oils and protective barrier, leading to dryness and irritation. This can cause the skin to become more susceptible to infection and irritation. Our natural oils are part of the body’s protective system and also trap bacteria as well as have a low ph which makes it hard for bacterial and viruses to thrive. Stipping these oils interferes with that. Antibacterial soaps have not been shown to be more effective that regular soap.

Our body’s immune system has developed to stop the onslaught of viruses and bacteria and in normal circumstances should work perfectly well against the vast majority. Making sure that you are fit and healthy is the MOST effective way of defending against marauding viruses and bacteria. Overuse of chemicals is not.

Many of these products contain triclosan, a chemical that can be absorbed through the skin and accumulate in the body, leading to potential health risks. Triclosan is a know thyroid hormone disruptor and overuse can seriously affect your health. Triclosan is absorbed through the skin and stored in the body. Studies have shown that children with long term exposure to Triclosan had a higher chance of developing allergies like peanut allergy or hay fever.

Research has also suggested that the overuse of hand sanitisers and antibacterial soaps may contribute to the development of drug-resistant bacteria, known as “superbugs.” This is because the use of these products can cause bacteria to develop a resistance to the active ingredients in them, making them less effective against bacteria. Finally, some hand sanitisers and antibacterial soaps contain ingredients such as fragrances, dyes, and parabens, which can be irritating to the skin and may even be linked to certain health issues, such as allergies and hormone disruptions. Therefore, it is important to use hand sanitisers and antibacterial soaps in moderation and to avoid using them more than necessary.

Additionally, it is important to look for products that are free of triclosan, fragrances, dyes, and parabens, as these are often the most irritating ingredients.

Antibacterial soaps are also bad for our environment. As triclosan is not fully able to be cleaned from the water in sewage treatment plants it slips back into our waterways where is can interfere with photosynthesis in the algae that balance our water cleanliness.

In my next blog i’ll suggest some more body and environmentally friendly alternatives for cleansing and hygiene.

Do drop me a comment if this blog has you thinking about health and wellness.

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