Does antibacterial soap exist?

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

You are browsing on the web or in store and notice a soap labeled as antibacterial. You are thinking, it might be a special, powerful soap, its more expensive, has more ingredients so should be really good for you then. Some companies will place antibacterial label on their soap and make more sales this way. They add essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemongrass, cedarwood and many others to give the soap antibacterial value. In addition, they will incorporate "ingredients like triclosan or triclocarban, which are hydrophobic molecules that can penetrate bacterial cell membranes and kill the bacteria. Sounds impressive, but studies have shown that antibacterial soaps are no more effective than regular soaps at removing bacteria. In 2016, the FDA issued a rule that antibacterial soaps were no longer allowed to be marketed to the public.

Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water," Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), said in a statement. "In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long term."

Antibacterial soap does not exist. Plain soap already cleans off bacteria and any additional ingredients will not make it any more special.

Above I have Cucumber Peppermint soap. It has notes of peppermint essential oil. Although peppermint does have anti-bacterial properties, it does not make it a more powerful soap. Peppermint essential oil added here more so for scent and cooling effect; to brighten dull skin and improve oily skin and acne.

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Reference: Why do we use soap? | Live Science

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