Most types of personal and home cleaning products come in antibacterial formulas. These products promise to get rid of 99.9% of germs. In fact, some brands of hand lotions, soaps, and cleansers market their products around their antibacterial properties. But are antibacterial products really all that? Is getting rid of bacteria a good idea? In today’s post, we are listing down the advantages and disadvantages of using antibacterial personal care products:
The Advantages of Using Antibacterial Products
The most obvious advantage of using antibacterial body care products is that they kill germs. Germs or bacteria are microscopic organisms that cause infections and certain diseases. These microbes are present indoors and outdoors by the billions. If your immune system is weak, you are vulnerable to bacterial infection.
Antibacterial products kill different strains of bacteria that cause sickness. These products are especially handy in environments where individuals are susceptible to infections, like a hospital. You can also use antibacterial products if you want to contain an infection and avoid an outbreak in the home.
Most antibacterial personal care products are ready to use. Just apply the product on your skin, spray it on germ-ridden spots in the home or wash your body with it to remove germs. Hand sanitizers are the most convenient of all antibacterial body care products. Just chuck it in your purse and use it whenever!
Generally, hand sanitizers come in very small sizes. They fit in a pocket or a purse. These products are ready to use. They are very handy especially if you travel a lot. Hand sanitizers are also perfect for pet owners. You can use this product when you have no access to soap or water!
The Disadvantages of Using Antibacterial Products
One of the most common cons of using antibacterial products is that they change a person’s sanitary practices. These products should only be used occasionally. However, some tend to apply the product excessively, leading to over cleansing. The fact is, hand sanitizers should not be used as a replacement for soap and water. Although antibacterial products are effective in terms of killing germs, over-cleansing has its own drawbacks too.
Destroys Good Bacteria
Contrary to popular notion, not all strains of bacteria are bad for the health. In fact, the body is dependent on good bacteria to carry out several biological processes. For instance, good bacteria are needed to keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy. These microbes aid in nutrient absorption and digestive processes. Some strains of bacteria protect from infection and improve the skin too!
Unfortunately, antibacterial products cannot tell good bacteria from bad bacteria. The product will destroy most types of microbes, including useful ones that the body cannot live without. Using antibacterial products excessively leads to weakened immune system. In addition, studies show that 99.9% of bacteria decoyed by antibacterial products are not harmful to the health. The 1% of bacteria resistant to antibacterial agents are the ones to avoid.
Effects on the Immune System
So how does antibacterial affects the body’s immune system? Believe it or not, the immune system needs bad bacteria to build immunity from. If your immune system is exposed to zero bacteria, it cannot create counterattacks to harmful compounds. If you are not exposed to a certain strain of bacteria, your body becomes even more sensitive to sickness!