Germs -- they're everywhere. But that's OK! While it's hard not to think of bacteria as nasty, disease-causing germs, some of the bacteria on your skin actually help protect you by keeping more dangerous strains at bay. And while it's important to keep the bacteria on your body under control, you don't need to go overboard. In a Columbia University study, one group washed their hands with antimicrobial cleansers while another washed theirs with conventional hand soaps. As it turned out, both groups had the same reduction in bacteria on their hands -- what mattered most wasn't the cleanser they used, but the attention and time paid to scrubbing [source: Yarosh].
It's one thing to use antimicrobial hand soap, but never use these cleansers for your face. Though sensitive skin is vulnerable to acne, and it might seem like a good idea to annihilate all those germs with a good antiseptic, remember that antimicrobials are comprised of harsh chemicals that dry out and damage your skin. Plus, research shows that antimicrobial cleansers actually help breed stronger bacteria. Don't believe the hype. There's no reason to use antimicrobial cleansers unless you're a health care professional.