I do not know if this facial cleanser has antibacterial properties or not; it does not claim to. There is no applicator; you use your hands (or a wash cloth, or whatever you prefer to wash your face with) to apply the product and work it into your skin. Just squeeze some of the product (this is a 5 oz. tube) into your palm, add a little warm water, and work it into a lather. A little goes a long way, and it creates a thick, luxurious lather. Also, it removes all traces of make up. I had not previously used Origins products, but I really like this face wash. It smells wonderful, it is made with natural ingredients, it does NOT contain parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PABA, petrolatum, paraffin, DEA, synthetic color, synthetic fragrance, or animal products. It is dermatologist and ophthalmologist tested, so it is safe for your skin and your eyes. It is called Checks and Balances, because it "cleanses both dry and oily places without cacelling each other out." This product does contain essential oils (chamomile flower oil, spearmint leaf oil, geranium flower oil, lavender oil, and bergamot flower oil). The tube (which is "made with 30% post consumer plastics", the cap is "made from 100% recycled plastics.") can be returned to Origins to be recycled.