When hand-washing can be dangerous to your health
If you’re like most people, you’re washing your hands more often than you used to. After all, you want to make sure you don’t get sick.
But what if I told you that all that handwashing can be dangerous? Believe it or not, it’s true! And it has to do with what’s in the soap you’re using.
Allow me to explain…
First of all, most of the soap at the supermarket (and even the health food store) is not soap at all. It’s detergent.
In fact, if you see ingredients on the label like sodium laurel sulfate, ammonium sulfate, or any other sulfate, these are all detergents.
So what’s so bad about using detergent-based products? Well, for one thing, they can dry out your hands.
In fact, if you wash your hands often, I bet you’re already seeing that your hands are dryer than usual. Indeed, you may be getting chapped hands. This can lead to cracks in your skin, which can allow germs to get in.
But that’s just the start of your problems. In addition to detergents, many of these soaps contain other harmful chemicals like parabens and cocamidopropyl betaine. Many of them even contain formaldehyde!
How Bad Are These Chemicals?
Believe it or not, many of these ingredients started out as pesticides! Most of them are suspected to be carcinogens. Many of them have been banned in Europe for decades. So scientists here in the US pressured the government to evaluate the safety of these chemicals.
As a result, the FDA started looking into it. After 45 years of research – including many independent studies – the FDA concluded that these chemicals are not safe and do not provide any added health benefits.
In fact, the FDA found that these chemicals can cause:
• antibiotic-resistant bacteria to proliferate
• peanut and other food allergies, as well as hay fever
• disruptions in the endocrine (hormone) system
• skin cancer and other cancers
• damage to the environment
One of the chemicals they tested is called triclosan. It’s mostly used in antibacterial soaps, body washes, and some cosmetics. But you can even find it in toothpaste!
The data on triclosan was so bad that it was finally banned in 2017. But here’s a shocker: Even though it’s banned, you can still find many products that contain it!
In fact, a Medscape article in February showed how common triclosan still is: “A quick search for ‘antibacterial soap’ on many online retailers’ websites will bring up dozens of products, some of which appear to contain an active ingredient that has been banned from the market.”
And the products that no longer use triclosan simply substituted one pesticide for another. The new pesticide is benzalkonium chloride. And the only significant difference between it and triclosan is that the FDA has banned one of them, but not the other. Both of them can cause serious health problems.
So Here’s What You Need To Do
1. Avoid any soaps that say “antibacterial” or “kills 99% of germs.” These contain triclosan, benzalkonium chloride, or some other dangerous chemical that you don’t need. And the truth of the matter is that regular soap kills just as many germs as the so-called antibacterial soaps.
2. If possible, use real, old-fashioned soap. What is real soap? It’s any soap that’s made the old-fashioned way by combining lye with any type of fat. The lye causes a reaction that turns the fat into soap. What kind of fat is best? It almost does’t matter. It could be olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or even lard. The point is that you want to use good, old-fashioned soap instead of detergent or dangerous chemicals.
3. If you use a skin moisturizer, make sure it’s a natural one. Make sure you avoid moisturizers that contain petrolatum, parabens, and retinyl palmitate.
You can find natural soaps and moisturizers at health food stores and even in many supermarkets and grocery stores. Look in their natural products section.
Remember, your skin is your largest organ. And whatever you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. You’re probably doing a lot of great things to improve your health. Why ruin them by using a soap that’s bad for you?