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Why you should throw your antibacterial soap in the bin, right now!

Today is Clean Your Hands Day, as decreed by the World Health Organisation. So, let’s talk hand washing!

First of all, if you use antibacterial soap, I’d like you to pick up the bottle and have a look at the ingredients. Does it contain triclosan? If so, I want you to walk straight over to the bin and throw it away!

(Check your toothpaste while you’re at it – and same applies! Colgate Total for example does contains triclosan – which has been has been linked to cancer and bone malformations in animals – but you won’t find it listed on the container! You have to do some research. Have a quick read here)

Triclosan, a chemical compound used widely in products like antibacterial soaps, toothpaste, pens, diaper bags and medical devices, has now been positively identified as an endocrine-disrupting compounds, (EDCs) which negatively impact human health by mimicking or affecting hormones.

What does this mean for you?

In a word – allergies. If you have eczema, food allergies, hay fever or asthma, your use of triclosan is making it worse, according shown by a new study by University of Michigan School of Public Health study. 1

There is growing concern among the scientific community and consumer groups that these EDCs are dangerous to humans at lower levels than previously thought.

So throw anything that contains triclosan in the bin – today!

So, if antibacterial soap is a no-no, what do we use instead?

Professor Mark Spigelman, of the UCL Centre for Infectious Diseases and International Health, says the time has come to re-evaluate the concept of using antibiotics and scrubbing hands and wounds with antiseptic soaps. He suggests that scientists should investigate whether saturating the skin with ‘good’ bacteria would offer better protection against deadly germs.
Spigelman, who is now calling for a study to be set up in hospital units in which antibiotics would be banned, to explore alternative health protection measures against MRSA, says this:

“Inappropriate use of antibiotics remains a major problem, despite our ever-growing understanding of how bacteria behave. For example, any student who has grown bacteria in a lab will know that they generally do not grow on top of one another. So when we wash our hands, we could actually be killing off harmless commensals to the extent that we leave space for other bacteria, such as MRSA strains, to settle.

“Perhaps we should be thinking about using probiotics and even dipping our hands after thorough washing into a solution which contains harmless bacteria, which could then colonise our skin and prevent pathogenic bacteria from settling on it.

“It must be remembered that after almost 40 years, MRSA has not become widespread except in hospitals where we use the most advanced antibiotics and most rigorous antiseptic measures. Why is this? More of the same does not seem to be working — new antibiotics and antibacterial soaps have not stopped MRSA.

“At the same time we could trial the benefits of using ‘good’ bacteria to saturate the skin on doctors’ hands and even patients’ wounds prior to surgery, to see if this would prevent the settling of pathogenic, antibiotic-resistant bacteria. For instance, a surgeon who has spent the morning repeatedly scrubbing his or her hands in an operating theatre may well have got rid of many harmless skin commensals. When the surgeon then goes to the wards, the more virulent bacteria may settle into the areas left vacant. As a first step, the surgeon could use probiotics to try and prevent this sequence of events, for example by dipping their hands into a probiotic substance such as yoghurt.” 3

Get the concept that he’s explaining here? The antibacterial soaps just clear the space – and leave it empty. Nature abhors a vacuum – and nature will fill that vacuum, with opportunist bugs like MRSA.

So we’ve got to fill the space first. Fill it up with the right kind of bacteria – good commensals, that will help us. Once the space is filled, the commensals fight off the bad guys – and our work is done for us.

Seeding the space with good bacteria is the RIGHT KIND OF CLEAN.

So – while the Powers That Be spend the next ten years arguing on this one – what can you do to protect your family, today? How can you get triclosan out of your home, and prevent the allergic march of eczema, food allergies, hay fever and asthma?

Use probiotic cleansers and lotions, to saturate your skin with the good bacteria that will take up space, and prevent the bad bacteria from taking hold.

Try kefir cleansing bars, which contain the live probiotics found in the kefir itself. A whole lot more convenient than dipping your hands in yoghurt!

shann (Custom)

Shann Nix Jones is the author of the #1 Amazon Best Seller Secrets from Chuckling Goat: How A Herd Of Goats Saved My Family And Started A Business That Became A Natural Health Phenomenon


  1. ScienceDaily - "Antibacterial soaps: Being too clean can make people sick, study suggests". Written by University of Michigan on November 30, 2010
    link to article
  2. ScienceDaily - "Getting the dirt on immunity: Scientists show evidence for hygiene hypothesis". Written by Brigham and Women's Hospital on March 22, 2012
    link to article
  3. ScienceDaily - "Could Plain Soap And Probiotics Beat Hospital Bugs?". Written by University College London on October 31, 2005
    link to article

4 thoughts on “Why you should throw your antibacterial soap in the bin, right now!

  1. I have just had a delivery of Kefir Goats milk – I have to say that I really like the taste.
    I was impressed by the science behind Kefir and the results of the double blind tests presented on
    Michael Mosley’s TV program last week.
    I will continue to order and persuade my daughter to try Kefir Goats Milk as she has had all the stand tests
    showing no abnormalities but still has gut problems. She tells me this will be put down to IBS – a none specific disturbing condition. It is certainly worth her giving it a trial as little else is available.

    I am also very interested in your soap products but do not fully understand the science involved.

    How do the Kefir cultures remain alive and active in the bars of soap ?
    Surely if it is mixed with Tea Tea oil, both bad and good bacteria will be destroyed ?
    Which of your soap range would give the maximum amount of good cultures on the
    skin after washing. Also how long does the live ‘good’ bacteria survive for in the bar of soap
    It would be most helpful if you would inform me about the science behind your soap products.
    If ‘good’ bacteria can be transferred to the skin from your soap then, I will certainly make orders for my family.

    1. Hi Gary – According to studies on our kefir performed by Prof. Jamie Newbold, head of IBERS at Aberystywth University, the power of kefir is due not only to the live cultures, but also to their by-products, which are called metabolites. For this reason, our kefir remains effective whether you freeze, dry or heat it – all of which have been tested. The action of tea tree, unlike chemical cleaners, is specific to pathogens, so it doesn’t interfere with the action of the kefir. Because soaps are washed off and have limited contact time, it’s the lotions that have maximum impact for boosting the skin biome. Our soaps have a shelf life of one year, and the metabolite effect remains during that time. Hope that helps – Best, Shann

  2. A very interesting article as I worked in the NHS and hospitals. The frequent hand washing after each patient and wearing gloves leaves your hands parched and dry and some staff developed allergies.. It makes sense that it works exactly the same in our gut so we need to keep a healthy biome and skin is our biggest organ

    1. Exactly right Lynn- we need to change the way we’re thinking on this one – the RIGHT kind of clean is biome-friendly. Skin health is a space grab – we need to get in there with the good bugs, rather than just clearing a blank space for the pathogens to take over!x

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