What Is Triclosan?

Font size Email a Friend Print

Triclosan is an anti-bacterial agent that can be found in a number of household items such as first aid creams, mouthwash, deodorants, and toothpaste. Triclosan is also a common ingredient in hand soaps and cleansers that are designed to clear up acne, the most well-known of which is Clearasil Daily Face Wash. Triclosan works in a manner that it similar to that of some treatments for acne by killing harmful bacteria on the skin. Triclosan is generally considered to be an effective anti-bacterial product though there are some concerns about its potential risks to health.

How Does Triclosan Work?

Triclosan is applied to the skin in forms such as creams or foam cleansers. Triclosan clears away the buildup of bacteria under the skin's surface that causes acne to develop. The anti-bacterial properties of triclosan are effective in low concentrations when used in treatments for acne, with 0.5% preparations being typical. When used regularly, triclosan can reduce the likelihood of skin bacteria and protect the skin from infection.

What Are The Benefits Of Triclosan?

The major benefit of triclosan is its ability to remain on the skin for prolonged periods of time. Triclosan is not very water-soluble and has a slow degradation time that allows it to remain on the skin and continue to destroy bacteria after washings. Because this anti-bacterial is believed to be effective against 99.6% of germs, triclosan's properties are useful for people who apply it to areas of the face and body that are affected by acne.

Triclosan Side Effects

Triclosan is associated with some side effects that can occur through treatments for acne and other bacterias. Overuse of this product may cause the development of new bacteria strains that are resistant to antibiotics and may pose health problems. There are also reports that triclosan can react with the chlorine found in tap water to form a carcinogen known as chloroform gas. The excessive use of triclosan has also been connected to the incidence of allergies.

Triclosan for Acne

Triclosan is most successful in eliminating acne when it is combined with other skin care products containing ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Triclosan acts as a protective agent that encourages the longevity and effectiveness of other treatments for acne. When used solely to combat skin disorders, triclosan is not as strong as some other solutions that are designed for the same purpose. To see for yourself which acne treatment is the most effective, continue on to our acne treatment reviews.