Yes being clean is overrated! So many of us use antibacterial or sanitising wipes, hand wash and even toothpaste! Perhaps we don’t even realise. Take a look at your toothpaste- if you see triclosan on the ingredients then it’s antibacterial!
The thing is, we need bacteria on our bodies but antibacterial products wipe out ALL bacteria. Kills 99.9% of germs includes the helpful ones!
The helpful bacteria is required to colonise on our skin and crowd out the harmful bacteria. This is particularly important for people who experience skin issues as they have been found to have higher levels of Staphylococcus aureus to start off with. It is thought that this is due to the lack of other helpful bacteria which work to crowd out the harmful ones. Most of us have this bacteria on our skin and it has no ill effects but when levels are higher and there is a weakness in the skin or open sores then staph can take hold easily.
Recent studies into the microbiomes of Amazonian tribes has shown they, who have never heard of antibacterial handwash, have a much more diverse (healthier) array of bacteria on their skin.
We also need the good and bad bacteria to train our immune systems. Being exposed to small amounts can help our bodies know how to tackle a more serious exposure. If you want a healthy immune system then killing all known germs is not the way to go about it.
So how can you help the helpful bacteria on your skin?
– Stop using antibacterial products (soap is sufficient in almost all cases),
– use non bio washing powder,
– use natural skin products
– get dirty!