Scary Ingredients Got Officially Banned from Antibacterial Soaps
The soap, the item we use every day, each time we go to the bathroom. If you think well, a soap is an indispensable object from the bathroom that we use about 3 or 4 times per day, maybe more.
There are all kinds of soaps, liquid or solid. Some have cleaning properties, some have hydrating properties and some just smell really good.
Apart from these, are the antibacterial soaps that promise to kill over 99% of the germs that are on your hands, but recently have been some reports that they may lead to diseases related to liver and thyroid.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has banned some ingredients from these antibacterial soaps. Due to this new law, companies that produced the soaps are no longer allowed to use certain ingredients in their composition.
Dr. Janet Woodcock explained why is that: “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. In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term“. Anyway, FDA proposed to those companies a solution that might be an advantage for the both sides. FDA let them introduce the ingredients as long as they provide data that indicates they were safe to use.
We will provide the list for you down below to see for yourself which ingredients were banned from using.
- Clofucarban: the only place where we saw this ingredient is a parent for residual antimicrobial composition. The patent creates a composition that has residual activity in the house and personal cleaning products.
- Fluorosalan: it is an ingredient used in oral care products, carbonate prodrugs, deodorants, mixtures that treat rosacea.
- Hexachlorophene: it has another name, Nabac. It is oftenly used as a disinfectant. The ingredient comes in shape of a white odorless solid. Fun fact about it is that it’s not soluble in water, but does dissolve in acetone or chloroform. It is not used only in soaps, but also in toothpastes. Although, at the first (in 1972, to be more specific) FDA approved this ingredient as part of the process (only a tiny bit per every product, no more than 1%), now they have removed it completely. At that time, products that contained it were not to be sold unless the buyer has a medical prescription. That decision came from the scare people took when some americans and frenchmen dies from brain damage caused by it. Two companies ignored the FDA interdiction. These two companies even had product destined for babies that they were selling. On the market there were products for acne that contained this item. In europe, there were cosmetics that contained Hexachlorophene, but they were banned in 1985. People had to die for them to see how dangerous this ingredient was. If it wasn’t safe as a disinfectant, we seriously doubt it is safe in antibacterial soaps.
- Hexylresorcinol: the good thing about it, it’s an organic compound. It works as an anesthetic, as an antiseptic and anthelmintic. It can be used as an ingredient on solution that treat skin infection or may be present in throat lozenges. Can be present in anti-aging creams and Neutrogena is one of the companies that produces it. Although, it is a banned ingredient by FDA in antibacterial soaps, a study published in Chemical Research of Toxicology, may have the same effect as estrogen, the feminine hormone, used as a food additive. In another study, it shows that shrimp shelf life can be prolonged by using this ingredient as a conservant. It also helped mice who had cancer, by fighting it.
- Iodine complex: actually, there are 2 iodine complexed that have been banned from the antibacterial soaps. These two are ammonium ether sulfate and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate and the phosphate ester of alkyl aryloxy polyethylene glycol. There isn’t too much to be said about them since they are complex chemical formulas.
- Nonylphenoxypoly (ethyleneoxy) ethanol-iodine: it is used as an ingredient for a certain type of pesticide for plants like grapes, prunes, almonds, and walnuts.
- Poloxamer-iodine complex: an ingredient that was used as an antiseptic, but no longer has this use. Can be used for sterilization, disinfection, and preservation.
- Povidone-iodine: it contains up to 12% iodine. One popular medicine that is used for external wounds is Betadine, which contains iodine. This ingredient was a breakthrough in the medicine branch when it was discovered in 1955 in Philadelphia. Studies showed that this formula it’s superior to the others. Soon after it was discovered, it was on the market and become a popular product. This ingredient is forbidden in people who are suffering from hyperthyroidism. It is soluble in warm water and ethyl alcohol.
- Undecoylium chloride iodine complex: it is made from iodine and two other compounds. It is a detergent and it is used as an agent that kill germs and bacteria.
- Methylbenzethonium chloride: other name of it is hyamine and it’s a different type of salt. As the normal salt, it is white, solid, odorless and soluble in water. It has been proven to have antiseptic properties. It’s a n ingredient in antiseptics that are used for treating first aid wounds. This ingredient is a part of some cosmetics, mouthwashes and moist towelettes. In the food branch, it is used as an disinfectant. Although it has a broad spectrum against bacteria and fungi, this item has been banned from antibacterial soaps. The concentration that is allowed to be put as ingredient is between 0.1% and 0.2%, which is very low. In America and Europe, it is not allowed to be used as a food additive.
- Phenol (greater than 1.5%): other name: carbolic acid. It is widely used, especially in the medicine area, in aspirins and many other pharmaceutical drugs. It is a cheap ingredient, which attracts companies to use it. From 1900 to 1970 it was used as carbolic soap. As a spray, it is used to treat sore throats. This ingredient was discovered in 1834. It was extracted in impure form from coal tar. His antiseptic properties were used until 1912, when Sir Joseph Lister died. In the second world war, it was used as a method of execution by the Nazis. Injected in those who had to die, it would provoke serious damage to the nervous system, then sudden collapse, in both humans and animals. Other ingredient was used for the gas chambers, until the Nazis discovered it was a lot cheaper for them to inject each individual with Phenol. One gram is enough to put a human down. Thousands of individuals died from this ingredient. Now, that we’ve explained how toxic it is, you might understand why it should be banned from antimicrobial soaps.
- Phenol 16 (less than 1.5%): different chemistry formula, but same toxicity if used in the wrong quantities.
- Secondary amyltricresols: we couldn’t find more about this special compound, only its formula, C12H18O, which tells us it is made from 12 molecules of Carbon, 18 of Hydrogen and one of Oxygen. A specialist in chemistry might tell you more about how not safe this compound is.
- Sodium oxychlorosene: a derivative from hypochlorous acid. It is soluble in water. It is solid and white. Widely used as an antiseptic. Has a complete spectrum of bacteria, fungi, etc. Might be effective when the organism resists the antibiotic. It is supposed to be non-toxic and non-allergic in the right quantities. It is sold nowadays in pharmacies in bottles. It must be kept in a refrigerator.
- Tribromsalan: has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It is only used as a disinfectant in soaps. Well, it was used until now, because now it is banned.
- Triclocarban: it is a common ingredient in soaps and lotion. It was intended for medical use in the first place. Since the 1960, this ingredient has been used as an antimicrobial compound. It is and was found in the majority of our cosmetics from the bathroom, like body lotions, soaps, deodorants and toothpaste. About 80% of the antimicrobial soaps sold in the USA contained this ingredient. After FDA found it’s toxic, has banned those high number of companies to introduce it into their products, unless they would prove it’s harmless to humans.
- Triclosan: it is basically the same thing as the compound from above, but should not be confused with it. It was patented in 1964 by a Swiss company. Some tests on it began in 1968, after which it was introduced to hospitals. Since 1970, was used a hospital scrub. This ingredient became so famous that by 2000, it has been in almost every bar soap and the liquid soap that was on the market. By 2004, thousands of products were carrying this compound.
- Triple dye: the last ingredient is a solution that prevents infection. It has to be store at room temperature. It is been sold in most pharmacies under different names.
These 18 ingredients have recently been banned by the Food and Drug Administration for their toxicity to humans and animals. The companies have been given the chance of proving that these ingredients are not harmful to humans or animals.
Before buying an antibacterial soap, check for these ingredients. If none of these ingredients, were listed, but you still are not sure about the whole list of them, contact the producer and ask for it.
Or simply give them the list of ingredient you are concerned about and they will tell you if their product contains one or more of them. Most companies only list the major ingredients, because their recipes are secret. That applies mostly to lotions, but it can happen to soaps too.
If you think that you can’t possibly live without an antibacterial soap, then choose one that won’t harm you, that includes both bar soaps and liquid soaps (also some douche gels). But if you think that you can replace them, then we are suggesting you buy a soap that hydrates the skin.
Many of bacteria can be cleansed off our hands with just water, so an antibacterial soap isn’t necessary. What is necessary is a soap that hydrates, because everyday we wash our hands with the same dry soap and hard water. After just a couple of days you will see wrinkles on your hands. The skin will be dried.
Choose a soap that contains a part of the hydrating cream. So, when you wash your hands the hydrating cream from it will bring your skin the elasticity it needs and will reduce the wrinkles.
If you have a sensible skin, then choose products that are appropriate for it. There are special sections in each shop that have those products. Seek the advice of a profession shop assistant on which soap bar you should use. She could tell if you need extra hydration or if your skin is sensible.
There are beauty packages that include a soap bar, a body lotion, and a perfume. If you buy such a package, you will prolong the smell of the perfume on your skin.
A qualitative soap bar that has perfume in it should last at least half an hour on your hands, depending on what you will do with your hands. Soap bars are only recommended for your hands, not for your entire body, plus it’s super uncomfortable to shower and wash with a soap bar. A douche gel is the best for the shower.
If you love more to bath in the bathtub, seek for products that also clean, not only create foam. Bath salt contains some minerals and it may do good for your skin, but not all of it. Some bath salt is just simple salt that has been colored with harmful paints and they are usually inexpensive.
There are all sorts of bath foams that can cleans, smell good and hydrate your skin. If you just want more foam in your bathtub, then buy one that specifically says it does that.
Regardless of the product choice, be sure you stay safe while using it.