Pamela ponders…Are antibacterial hand soaps worth spending more on?
The Left Brain responds:
Under normal circumstances washing your hands thoroughly with good old bar soap and water is all you need to remove removing bacteria. So the answer is, no, you don’t need to spend more on antibacterial products. In fact, Right Brain has even blogged before about how antibacterial soaps can actually make you sick. But a new study shows that even regular soap can be hazardous to your health.
Discovery News reports that liquid soap dispensers can harbor potentially harmful bacteria. That’s because these containers are rarely cleaned and over time enough microbes can build up to overwhelm the preservative system of the liquid soap. (Even though liquid soaps are good cleansers they need a preservative because they’re made with fatty materials that bacteria love to lunch on.)
In particular, the article cites one study at elementary school in Ohio where hand soap was found to be contaminated with known illness-causing bacteria. When the kids washed with this “dirty” soap, the bacteria count on their skin actually went UP instead of DOWN!
At the very least, this study suggests that some public health officials should consider issuing some kind of guidelines for how, and how often, liquid soap dispensers should be cleaned. (By the way, hospitals already deal with this problem by using dispensers with replaceable bags which are sealed so they can’t be contaminated.)
The Beauty Brains bottom line
You don’t need to spend more money on antibacterial products to wash your hands. Just make sure you using “clean” soap and that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using warm water.
Do you want to learn more about how to avoid wasting money on products that don’t work? Download our FREE guide on How To Save Money On Beauty Products now.