5 easy and natural alternatives to products containing the dangerous chemical Triclosan

Photo: Mike Mozart / Flickr
Photo: Mike Mozart / Flickr

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From pesticide to paint and now personal care products, controversial chemical Triclosan has made its way to a lot of products you see at the store.

For those who don’t know, Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that has raised health concerns among consumers and governing bodies alike. You can find out more about the dangers of Triclosan.

No one can really confirm the long-term effects of Triclosan on humans, which is already enough cause for skeptical eyes. What we do know is its effect on rats: abnormalities in the reproductive system, metabolism, and hormone irregularities. This is especially worrying for Filipina mothers-to-be.

Currently, Triclosan has not yet been banned in the Philippines. This leaves residents like us vulnerable to its potentially harmful effects. So, we’ve listed a few examples of potential personal care products that Triclosan could be found in, plus some healthy natural alternatives you can find in your local store, or maybe in your own pantry.

 

Antibacterial soap

Oh, the irony.

When you walk into your local store and pick up some antibacterial soap, you think you’re buying an extra layer of protection from the big bad germs. This is probably as accurate as saying “9am Manila traffic is a breeze.”

Triclosan is commonly found in a lot of antibacterial soaps, body washes, and more. Its effectiveness, *ahem* however, is very questionable.

What to use instead: Regular soap. It doesn’t have any active antibacterial chemicals, but it definitely doesn’t mean that it’s less effective. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is no evidence that soaps marketed as “antibacterial” actually work any better than just plain ol’ soap.

 

Face masks

Fun science fact: our faces are more sensitive than other parts of our skin because the cells on our faces are smaller. This means less protection.

So instead of treating our skin with natural ingredients, why are we putting synthetic and man-made chemicals on our faces anyway?

What to use instead: Honey. Cheap and naturally antibacterial, unlike its man-made counterpart (which could include harsh and irritating chemicals) honey has a soothing effect and reduces inflammation. Plus, it gives a lovely afterglow to your skin. Hooray to an acne-free face!

 

Toothpaste

This is probably the most important one. According to The University of Massachusetts Amherst, Triclosan may have widespread health risks such as “aggravating inflammation” and promoting colon cancer by altering the microbes in our gut.

There’s a pretty big chance you’ll find sneaky Triclosan hiding in the label. Having the whole family ingest this chemical bit by bit every day, no thanks!

What to use instead: Organic toothpaste. It’s less harsh on your teeth and it’s safe for kids, as many children have tooth or allergy sensitivities.

 

Body lotion

Why a chemical originally used for pesticide is now used for our skin is beyond us.

What to use instead: Shea or cocoa butter. It is high in antioxidants, which keeps your skin healthy and youthful looking.

 

Deodorant

Most deodorants have that sickening perfume smell that never really smells natural anyway.

What to use instead: Baking soda. This household cooking ingredient reduces moisture as well as some really nasty B.O. People mostly mix it with water until it becomes a paste, then apply it. Otherwise, opt for deodorants that do not contain Triclosan (or its sneaky cousin Triclocarban).

 

We are exposed to chemicals every single day, and it’s important to be mindful about which ones we let affect our lives. When it comes to Triclosan, is it really a necessary chemical?

Watch the video below for more reasons why you should not let Triclosan affect the lives of you and your loved ones.


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