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Protecting your family with Antibacterial soap? Really?!

I believe that just like me, you also grew up with the "Prevention is better than cure" mindset.  This cliché was shamelessly used by companies to advertise their antibacterial soaps. They brainwashed us that one can easily acquire sickness if we don't use it.  I won't mention any particular brand here but I am over 80% sure that you know which brand or brands am I referring too.

Triclosan Triclocarban

I came across FDA's recent consumer update on Antibacterial soaps posted on their website on 02 Sep 2016 entitled Antibacterial Soap? You can skip it -- Use plain soap and water.  There were four important points that were covered in their update:

  • Explanation on what makes a soap "antibacterial"
  • Explanation on what Triclosan is and it's health concerns
  • Information sharing on FDA's ruling on other chemicals 
  • FDA's recommendation on what consumers should do

Now let's narrow down the parts into smaller pieces.

First, FDA mentioned that there isn't enough evidence that can substantiate that over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps are better in preventing illness compared to plain soap and water.  They even added that the wide use of antibacterial soaps over a long time even raised a question on potential negative effects on one's health.  

In 2013, FDA required antibacterial soap companies/manufacturers to support their claims and guess what? Very little information was provided by this companies.  Finally FDA banned the marketing of products that contain Triclosan and Triclocarban as antibacterial active ingredient.  This ruling also covered antiseptic wash products containing the said chemicals whether it is in liquid, foam, gel, or solid bar form.  This ruling applies to all products that are used in tandem with water and excludes hand sanitizers and hand wipes. Another exclusion are the antibacterial soaps that are used in health care settings like hospitals and nursing homes. FDA only gave one year for all manufacturers to comply with their new ruling.

Okay i'll give you sometime to check the product label of your soaps. Did you see Triclosan and/or Triclocarban there? If yes, then you probably want to know more about it.  These chemicals helps to prevent bacterial contamination and because of that it is a common additive in clothing, kitchenware, furniture, toys and bath and body products. Now the problem here is that, based on laboratory studies these chemicals also raised the possibility that these chemicals contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.  Imagine this, you went for a medical treatment and the doctor prescribed an antibiotic to you. Then you found out that it is not working anymore. Reason - your frequent usage of antibacterial soaps posed a significant impact in the effectiveness of the medical treatments. Oh by the way, did you know that Triclosan is also the same chemical that is used in pesticides? No joke it's true!  

Now that FDA initiated the action, they are moving forward with their continuous studies on other chemicals like Benzalkonium Chloride, Benzethonium Chloride and Chloroxylenol. Meanwhile, companies and manufacturers are compiling new safety and development data for these three ingredients. 

How can Yacht Bath and Body help? We formulated our soaps while taking into account this factors even before this ruling was released. Since 2015, we made our part in ensuring that our handmade products including our soapcrafting bases contains natural ingredients. No harsh chemicals are added in our soaps, we even avoid the addition of Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SLS), Phtalates, Parabens, Triethanolamine (TEA) and other chemicals that are not skin safe. We strictly follow cosmetics guidelines including allowable safety limits for colorants and aromas.

Remember our philosophy where business shall be conducted in fair-trade? Doing fair trade without compromising on the usage of fresh and natural ingredients. While taking into account our environment. Everything should be eco-friendly and sustainable and most we don't test any of our product in animals. 

Now what would you do? Ditch that antibacterial soap and just go back to basics.  Just wash your hands with plain soap and water.  Even FDA agrees that it is still one of the most important steps that we can do to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs.  So protect yourself and your family and start using products that were carefully formulated with your safety in the manufacturer's minds. Visit Yacht Bath and Body's artisan soap collection and start your day with something that was handcrafted with so much passion, care and love!


FDA's consumer update


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