Antibacterial soaps have been all the rage over the past decade, likely a result of a society that values being “clean” over nearly everything else. But now the FDA is taking a closer look at antibiotic soaps and body washes. While many of us think that these products make us clean and keep us from getting sick, the agency is skeptical, stating that the antibiotic ingredient triclosan may be an endocrine disruptor and that antibiotic soaps may contribute to the larger problem of antibiotic resistance. So instead, why not consider a more natural antiseptic? Here are some great options:
Superbugs Oh My! Try These 6 Natural Antiseptics Instead
Bergamot is a natural antiseptic that’s great for fending off dangerous microorganisms. It’s used in traditional medicine for intestinal worms and fever, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and skin problems.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is great on cuts, abrasions, and scrapes and much to many people’s surprise, it doesn’t burn the skin. Its extracts are used in OTC analgesic rubs and creams.
3. Neem Oil
Neem oil is used in a wide variety of body products like shampoo, conditioner, and skin care. It’s also great for bacterial and fungus infections, acne, and eczema. Mix neem oil with coconut or vegetable oil to dilute into 10-20 percent solution.
Goldenseal has a variety of antiseptic uses. You can apply it directly to the skin to fight infections or the leaves can be used as an antibacterial treatment for minor injuiries.
Garlic is great for fighting a host of bacteria including Staphylococcus and Streptococcus as well as species associated with diarrhea (Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Clostridium). Garlic mysteriously interferes with bad bacteria, while leaving the body’s good bacteria to thrive.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is widely known for its effective use on insect bites, rashes, burns, cuts, wounds, and fungal infections.
Bee balm: iStock/Thinkstock
Garlic: Digital Vision/Thinkstock