Is natural soap antibacterial?
Posted on 24th April 2020 at 22:20
Is natural soap antibacterial?
The answer is yes. Soap by nature is antibacterial.
The way it works is the soap loosens the bacteria and viruses from the skin and when you wash the soap away from your skin it also washes away the bacteria and viruses that would have been on your skin.
If you mean does natural soap contain a specific antibacterial chemical then the answer is no. Natural soap by nature is natural and therefore will not contain any chemicals in them.
The main chemical added to ‘antibacterial’ products is something called triclosan.
Triclosan’s main use in cosmetics is as a preservative and stops bacteria from growing on the surfaces of products. Most products making antibacterial claims will have triclosan as a key ingredient in it.
The problem is triclosan is a potential carcinogen and a definite endocrine disruptor. Which basically means it disrupts hormones and potentially causes cancer. Evidence also points towards this particular chemical contributing to bacterial resistance, similar to the overuse of antibiotics.
As well as being a potentially harmful, triclosan can be extremely harmful to our marine habitats. When it is exposed to sunlight it turns into a dioxin, a highly toxic compound which can cause developmental issues, damage the immune system and disrupt hormones as well as cause cancer.
When we wash with antibacterial soaps, shower gels or wash off antibacterial antiperspirant then the water goes down our drains and ends up in our rivers lakes and oceans.
One statistic which is worrying is 90% of human exposure to dioxins is through food, mainly meat, dairy and fish. We are putting this chemical into our food chain. Triclosan can now be detected in our breast milk and urine.
Another study found of the participants with triclosan detected in their breast milk, 75% of them used antibacterial products on a daily basis. The real worry here is it was detected in the 25% that were not using the products.
Triclosan is a toxin to us and our planet
Triclosan is extremely toxic to some species of algae. This has a large effect on the food chain. If the bottom of the food chain fails or reduces in size, then the rest of the chain fails or drastically reduces in size.
One large worry for us is the current top predator on the planet is us, and currently we are rapidly increasing in size.
Triclosan also used to be used in other products that claimed to be antibacterial such as chopping boards and food preparation materials.
They are still used today in soap as well as spot cream, hand sanitiser, athletic sportswear, toothpastes, shower gels and many other products that make claims of killing bacteria and sanitising surfaces.
In 2010 the EU banned the use of triclosan on anything that comes into contact with food.
Natural soap is already antibacterial as it loosens the bacteria and viruses on your skin and washes them away when you rinse the suds off your hands.
Natural soaps are scented using natural ingredients like essential oils which are usually pressed or squeezed from the peel or flower of the plant.
Natural soap can have added natural antibacterial benefits
Some of these natural essential oils naturally contain antibacterial properties. Citrus oils in particular hold great natural anti bacterial properties.
Our soaps Bergamot, Lemon, Lime, Lemongrass and Sweet Orange all contain natural antibacterial properties.
As well as natural soap providing antibacterial protection, they also provide other benefits such as antiviral, antimicrobial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory as well as other holistic benefits.
Natural soap with glycerin is also great for fighting infection and bacteria. Natural soap will clean your skin, without removing any of the natural grease that resides between our skin cells.
This natural grease called sebum, binds our skin cells together and stops water from evaporating out. This keeps our skin moist which is important.
Dry skin is more prone to infection. When you wash with soaps, shower gels and hand wash that have surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulphate in, they degrease your skin, which means removing the natural grease (sebum) and leave gaps between the skin cells. This is where the bacteria and viruses can enter and cause infection.Thats why we would say natural soap provides more antibacterial protection for you, than an antibacterial soap containing sodium lauryl sulphate.
Another benefit of using natural soap enriched with glycerin, is that glycerin is a humctant which draws moisture towards your skin. If your skin is moisturised then it is providing you with the best protection against bacteria and viruses entering through your skin.
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I hope you have enjoyed this article, and we have plenty more on our blog if you want to read more about why natural soap is so great.
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