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Got soap? Maybe you don't need it, water-only bathers say

January 21, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

Health-minded folks avoid lots of temptations – soda, cookies, fatty foods – but soap?

Julie Deardorff of Julie’s Health Club blog writes about blogger Richard Nikoley and his acolytes, who say water-only showering and cleansing is the way to go. She explains:

"Soap does have its good points. It helps germs that cause illness and death slide off your hands and into the sink. Bubble baths are very relaxing. And I'd hate to have health care practitioners start avoiding it.

“But going soap-free also has some potential advantages; for starters it could help reduce the amount of triclosan -- a chemical found in most anti-bacterial soaps -- that ends up in lakes, rivers and streams. Though triclosan isn't yet considered hazardous to humans, animal studies show it alters hormone regulation.” Check out the full chat with Nikoley here.

Of course, you don't have to give up soap to skip the triclosan; you can buy soap products that don't use the chemical.

Healthcare professionals repeatedly tout the importance of washing your hands with soap and water to thwart illness. And here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends when you don’t have access to soap.

But apparently that’s not deterring the water-only cleansing crowd. Witness this blog post “Is soap-free the new clean?”

Oh and one other thing: Soap-freers swear they don’t stink. But we’ll be the judge of that.

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