Liquid Soap Not So Good For Your Hands

  I have long wondered why so many people buy liquid soap. It is a burgeoning – and relatively new market and we seem to have all been convinced that liquid soap is a must in our lives now. OK, it’s convenient, but what is actually in it and is all this lathering good for us?

First, I worry about the over-use of antibacterials and what that is doing to our immune system. We need some bugs to develop a strong immunity.

Then, there is how toxic they are and the effect they are having on hands. I have seen dry, cracking skin, dermatitis and eczema quite regularly improve when I’ve advised to lay off the anti-bacterial strong liquid chemicals. It doesn’t make sense to constantly strip our skin barrier and alter the pH of our skin. The barrier is set partly by the amount of oils in our skin so it doesn’t make sense to me to strip it with chemicals.

I like liquid soap for the convenience and the pretty bottle as much as the next person, but actually I put my faith in nature bubble bath liquid in the pretty squirty container instead so I know what’s in it.

Anyway, I was interested to see this piece in the Daily Mail health section yesterday from a doctor advising we specifically avoid a chemical called methylisothiazolone which, he says, is being used in greater concentrations than before:

LIQUID SOAP IS RUINING MY HANDS (towards the bottom of the page under a different piece about arteries)

So, if you have dry, sensitive, cracked or eczematous hands, watch your use of liquid soaps.

Whilst I’m at it too, don’t rely on mineral oil based hand creams which, like vaseline on your lips, will feel very softening for a while but you’ll gradually notice yourself using more and more of it as it actually draws moisture from the skin. Good repeat business but not so good for you! My fave hand cream is this one; it used to be our best seller in the dispensary (not for TGFs though, pls note):

Sea Buckthorn Hand Cream 50ml

Read more about the skin barrier, how to protect it and why you should also be avoiding sodium lauryl sulphate here. 

8 Replies to “Liquid Soap Not So Good For Your Hands”

  1. Strange you write this article Micki – my mum has been in hospital suffering a stroke 27 Dec and I have been using the antibacterial hand wash on both entering and leaving the ward to avoid bringing in infection (so they say). My hands are in an absolute awful mess, dry, cracking and sore and after using it you can immediately feel them dry out and the soreness begin.

    1. Ouch. That is alcohol based I think and very strong, so no wonder. I always take teatree with me and use a few drops of that on my hands when entering and exiting a hospital.

  2. Yes I will – where can I get it as I do find I have a problem also with hair mousse – that seems to crack and dry out the skin and adding on top the hospital antibacterial soap my hands are in a mess – must be well cracked because when I used it today entering the hospital it stung like mad almost like I had a cut

  3. Hi Micki, have you got any recommendations for soap for hands with eczema? Jasmine’s hands are dire at the moment- she’s always being asked to wash her hands at school/clubs etc and she uses Dermol 500 from the doctors (liquid soap) but I just have no idea what is a good soap substitute for very dishydrotic eczema on her hands… 🙁 Would that cream help too? Thank you!

    1. I was just looking at these soaps which are pure olive and laurel oil so would be v nourishing and potentially good for eczema skin. They do a liquid one I see: Yes, that cream would also work, or look at Weleda’s Calendula range – I think they also do a soap bar – the rose looks purest – or their SkinFood which has a real cult following for anywhere on the body – models use it apparently as a face cream! I use NHR organic soaps – heavenly if a bit more costly. There are lots of soaps on the Natural Dispensary search – put soap into the search page if this doesn’t link properly and work your way through those – you can certainly get the Weleda stuff there: Good luck. Check for her sensitivity ingredients obviously.

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