We use a substance called Totarol extracted from the heartwood of New Zealand’s native totara tree. This evergreen forest giant is famous for its resistance to rot.
New Zealand scientists have extracted the substance that gives totara wood such staying power. Totarol has broad-spectrum antibacterial properties and is active against a wide range of bacteria, including those that cause common skin infections (Staphylococcus aureus) and those that cause acne (Propionibacterium acnes).
This is a hot topic in medical research:
The activities of plant-derived antibacterials show that there are many potential new classes of antibacterial agents which should undergo further cytotoxicity, microbial specificity and preclinical studies.
So the same natural, organic substance that protects a New Zealand tree from rot can also help protect your skin from harmful bacteria.