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First of all - throw out your antibacterial handwashes. All of them! Quickly!!
I'm kind of joking. But not really.
Antibacterial handwash has been proven to be no more effective than just plain soap and water. Yup, you read that right. And this is kind of old news!
Not only are they no more effective, but a lot of antibacterial products in general contain triclosan - a chemical that has been used as a pesticide, and is now banned in the USA by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is not illegal in Australia yet - the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are still 'looking into it'.
Triclosan has been linked to disrupted hormonal development, antibacterial resistance and an increase in allergies.
Some of the large brands that came into question using triclosan were Johnson & Johnson (I'm not surprised), Colgate, Palmolive, Woolworths, Aldi and the makers of Dettol.
Some of these companies claim that the levels of triclosan in their products are so low they are not detrimental to human health, or that their products were proven to be 'more effective' with it. However, the FDA has provided the statement that there is insufficient evidence that this is the case.
The Australian Department of Health has warned that using a number of products containing Triclosan, such as medicated soaps, antibacterial hand washes and toothpaste, could be a risk to our health over time. Many of the products containing Triclosan typically also contain chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances, sulfates and skin stripping detergents which can cause other health problems too.
You can either be a savvy consumer and purchase natural hand soaps, or you can simply make your own which is super cost effective! Especially when you will use the liquid castile soap for so many other purposes.
Here is a recipe I use myself:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Dr Bronners unscented liquid castile soap
1-2 tbsp fractionated coconut oil/sweet almond oil/jojoba oil (to help moisturise the skin)
10 drops doTERRA Tea Tree essential oil
10 drops doTERRA Wild Orange essential oil
5 drops doTERRA Peppermint essential oil
Simply add all ingredients in that order, lightly shake to combine.
Appropriate the quantities depending on the size of your dispenser.
You can change it up and use whatever essential oils you like really! I like to include Tea Tree as a natural cleaner in itself, and the Wild Orange and Peppermint make it smell great.
If you don't have doTERRA essential oils, head on over here and get yourself some pronto!
Sources: www.abc.net.au, www.fda.gov