Microbes, bacteria and viruses are everywhere; they are especially prevalent in our guts, on our skin, and on our face. Almost all that reside permanently with us are benign and help us to live our lives better, but some microbe species live their lives at our expense. The question becomes how do we help our good microbial companions to thrive and impede the ones that make us sick from gaining a foothold in and on our bodies. The natural processes occurring in and on us are like a jungle, with hundreds of species of bacteria, and other microbes too, struggling to find a place to live and find their daily food. In this example, we are providing these living things with their home and their food. It may sound a bit disgusting, but we are constantly exuding stuff from our skin, and in the long run it’s a good thing. So, our plea becomes, “What should we do?”
Antibacterial soaps are designed to kill every bacteria they come into contact with, and that is a good thing in a disease-ridden place where there are open wounds, like a hospital operating room. However, in a normal home the standard practice for over a hundred years has been soap and water on our bodies, and to limit heavy-duty cleansers to the floors and other surfaces. Nowadays there is an ongoing epidemic of obesity with younger people that probably isn’t caused by overeating, but by using antibiotics and antibacterials that kill off too much of our natural bacterial environment. Of course, we must control the evil germs, and they are ubiquitous, but they are normally in very small quantities and isolated, and it takes a large number of them to colonize and infect a healthy person. So what I am proposing is keeping the bad microbes diluted and separated from each other, rather than killing them. The problem with killing them is that by using strong antibiotics we kill the good bacteria too, and it’s those bacteria that protect us.
What I have been doing recently, and it seems to work so far, is bathing daily with plain water, and scrubbing my hands and face a couple of times per day also with plain water. After my hands are clean I shake off the water and with wet hands rub my face. I rinse my hands and rub my face three times and then pat dry. It only takes about fifteen seconds. Of course if I was doing something that got my hands dirty, I would use soap, but after I do use soap on my hands or face, after drying I rub them on the sides of my stomach to get some fresh bacteria and natural oils back on my hands and then I rub my face. That restores my hands and face to their natural state of wild jungle.
Outside of our civil society we are living in a wild jungle and should behave in ways that fit our natural condition.