I know what you’re thinking…gross! But hear me out!
I was just like you 10 years ago. I showered religiously everyday. In my skincare regime I had expensive body washes, face cleaners, shampoos, exfoliators, masks, the list is quite actually endless. In fact I would have multiple bottles of the same type skincare product. I would be unhappy with the condition of my hair so I would try a new shampoo, which I would discover didn’t work either so I would purchase something else. A clarifying shampoo twice a week, the shampoo for “long” hair three days a week and so on. My bathroom was a product testing nightmare.
About eight years ago I started looking into how to rid my body of these chemicals that are all around us. Cleaning products, skincare products, lotions, soaps, plastics, Teflon, again the list is endless and a discussion for another day. In my studies it occurred to me that nothing good was ever said about soap. Obviously not the antibacterial kind that comes in handy in the kitchen, but I am talking about the soap that we wash our bodies with everyday.
I read that it dries out skin, has toxic perfumes, dyes, sulfates etc. What are the benefits of using it? Just that it smells good?
We took a field trip in middle school to Annapolis, MD. There we took a tour with a lady dressed in all colonial garb. She spoke in a funny accent and comically kept us pre-teens occupied and out of trouble. I can remember her talking about the “pockets full of posies” that were worn during the colonial era. She described that there was no running water and baths were at best twice a week. The “pockets full of posies” referenced a sachet of flower petals worn to hide a persons B.O. Of course as kids we found this hilarious.
This got me thinking. It makes sense that cultural evolution naturally moved toward washes that hid a persons natural oder. People were tired of the stink! But these soaps and perfumes came along when baths and showers were not available on a daily basis. Sure if you bathe twice a week you are gonna need a heavy perfume to cover your stink.
This is not the case anymore. We have the ability to wash ourselves once, twice, dare I say three times a day if necessary! So I ask you, what are you getting on your body daily that deems necessary to use harsh soaps that dry out your skin and expose your body to carcinogenic substances? Mechanics and fisherman you are excused from this conversation.
So I did it. I traded my loofah and my body wash in for a good old fashion wash cloth and hot water. Of course I kept this to myself for a number of years but it’s time to come clean (see what I did there?), and tell the world what happened when I stopped using soap. These are the four truths I learned when I ditched the soap.
No One Told Me I Smell.
Nope, not a single person. Sure there were a few august days that it was dicey, but on those days it was a bit dicey for everyone around me as well. I am aware that some people have a stronger natural body oder than others. Personally I don’t need to wear deodorant (most days), I am lucky. If you find you are one of those people with a deeper odor, I say look for an organic deodorant, they work and smell great. Make sure you’re not skipping the shower all together. A good hot scrub down does wonders.
My Skin got HEALTHIER
I had these small bumps on the back of my arm for as long as I can remember. They were unseen but I could feel them when I rubbed my arm. GONE. Using the wash cloth is a natural way to exfoliate. No salt, sugars or sand needed. All the dead skin came off daily and my skin was smoother, glowing, and not as dry.
After a few months of seeing the results on my body I got to thinking what if I can achieve the same results on my face. I have always had a very minor problem with acne. I always had one spot somewhere on my face. Sometimes they were small no-biggies, easy to “gasp” pop. Sometimes though they were those deep SOB’s that took weeks to surface from deep under the skin and then took weeks to fully heal and subside. Giving up my face skincare ritual was my worst fear. Consequentially, it was also the best decision I have ever made for my skin. Using just warm water and a fresh wash cloth to clean my face twice a day (mostly). If I use eye makeup I use coconut oil to remove. Coconut oil is a moderate comedogenic, so if you are sensitive to that only use in the eye area or choose a different oil.
Saved Beaucoup $$$
The brand of body wash I was using is Dove, which runs approximately $5.49 a bottle at Target. Figured that I would go through about bottle every month. That’s $65.88 in savings a year. Or for me, since it has been eight years of non use, that’s a savings of $527.04! Add to that cost the cost of my face wash, three bottles a year at $5.25. After 8 years that’s another $126!
Since this little experiment I have decreased the number of times I wash and condition my hair to about once every five days (same results, still don’t stink.) Plus now I make my own skincare anti-aging products. (Check back, those recipes to come!) The savings are incredible. In the shower alone over the course of eight years I have saved approximately $929!! Almost a thousand bucks and I am getting better results!
Now go, be brave, ditch the soap!
Comment below and tell me your results!