Ever since you could stand, you have been taught to wash your hands and since you have been probably been doing it for that long, you probably think you know all there is to know about hand washing. Of course we all know that we wash our hands to get rid of dirt and germs, but unless you work outdoors, your hands probably don’t get really dirty.

We have become a society concerned about germs. I’m not sure if the advertising industry created the “need” for antibacterial soaps but almost half of all hand cleansers sold in the US contain antibacterial compounds. Scientists have shown that antibacterial cleansers are really no more effective than traditional soaps and may even result in “super bug” infections at the germs mutate in response to the antibacterial product.

An alarming fact worth considering is that the skin is like a sponge, absorbing everything that is put on it. In a March 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control, it was concluded that 75 per cent of Americans have detectable levels of the active ingredient of most antibacterial products in their urine. Other studies indicate that these ingredients can impair thyroid function and cause depression of the central nervous system.

If you combine these ingredients with chlorinated water which comes from your household tap, a specific type of dioxin is formed that is believed to be very carcinogenic. And your skin is absorbing it all, even the by-products of the chlorine. When it all goes down the drain it is going directly into the rivers, streams and ocean and back into our water supply. When sunshine hits it, it becomes even more carcinogenic.

You may be shocked to know that in the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has labeled an active ingredient in many of the antibacterial products as a pesticide. Its structure is similar molecularly and chemically to such banned poisons as dioxins and PCB’s. Do you want to be putting that on your skin, or in the environment?

Yes, you do have to watch what you put on your skin. You need to use products that are simple, effective and have as few ingredients as possible. A good example of exquisite products is Taylor Of Old Bond Street. Most of their products are known the world over and have a few natural, pure ingredients, with none that you can’t pronounce. Mercola.com has a line of body butters and organic skin cleansers that are high quality and good for you.

Be conscious of what you put on your skin and be kind to the environment.


Posted in Health

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