Is triclosan in soap on its way out?

BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
edited December 2013 in Formulating
Safety and Effectiveness of Consumer Antiseptics: Topical Antimicrobial Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Human Use; Amendment of Tentative Final Monograph; Reopening Administrative Record
Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Ah, they will have to prove they are more effective than just regular soap and water.  Yeah, I don't think that is going to happen.

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I'm always skeptical of meta analyses.  

    This seems like such a simple question to answer.  Do a study with regular soap versus soap containing antibacterial agent.  It is curious that they would need to point to a meta analysis to prove there is a tiny benefit.
  • DuncanDuncan Member, Professional Chemist

    Triclosan (Or other antibacterial) in soap. Yes there may not be much difference in outcome if you compare correctly washed hands with soap against correctly washed hands with soap plus.

    Trouble is that they base the comparison on proper hand washing techniques.

    Evidence shows Health Care Workers wash their hands for 6-8 seconds, not 15 seconds plus which is why antibacterial soaps are still a valid choice, and that's why I'm a bit lukewarm about all the scare stories.

    UK based, Over 20 years in Toiletries, After a 5 year sabbatical doing cleaning products, back in the land of Personal Care
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
  • VingRhames3VingRhames3 Member
    edited August 2014
  • I think triclosan probably does have issues with its use.  I'm not entirely convinced cosmetic use is a major contributor to the problems - it gets used in everything; toothbrushes, plastic containers, pillows, paint, sponges,  air filters, water filters, carpets and on and on...
  • Surfactants remove oil from the skin and can cause moisture loss very quickly. If I wash my hands, especially with liquid soap, more than 3 times within a 4 hour time period, my skin will start to crack and break. Sometimes, I will start to bleed from these cracks and breaks. In my opinion, too many people use surfactants in their formulas when they could be using suspending agents to make gels and serums.

    An antiseptic, incorporated within a mild suspending agent, or even with a simple thickener, such as in hand sanitizer products, is often better for me when my hands are dirty because I can apply the hand sanitizer many, many times before my skin becomes dry.

    I cant comment on the difference between soap only and saop with antiseptic, except to say that if I have compromised skin that is infected or could become infected, I would like the addition of the cfu reducing antiseptic ingredient.
  • If an antiseptic isnt any better than a common soap surfactant, then why do products use preservatives instead of surfactants to prolong shelf-life? 
  • Stopping something from growing is a lot different from trying to kill it.

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