Monday, April 16, 2012

Natural Body Care- On not buying Shampoo, Facewash, Moisturizer and Conditioner

I was at the mall a few days ago (!) when one of those makeup salespeople--think male European model--asked if I wore makeup. When I said no, he said "why not?" I wish I'd had a witty response (Do YOU wear makeup? Because I'm THIS beautiful without it?!) but I think I mumbled something about Noah needing to pee (again).

The reality is, I'm so far from wearing makeup I'm in another universe. I'm in the universe where water is good enough. And I like this universe.

Over the past year or so, I've stopped buying almost all beauty, body care, and cleaning products. Together, these changes add up to a lot in our household- both in what we need and in the chemicals in our home. That said, my clothing and house is not super clean, so I've also learned not to be too much of a perfectionist.

The exception is if I receive gifts of shower gel or moisturizer or soap- I consider those a blessing so I usually use them. I also use Sunlight dishwashing soap, regular toothpaste and floss.

So here's what we use:

  • For washing my hair, I use about 1tbsp of bicarb in a cup of water, every 4 days or so. It's become less and less frequent over the past 18 months that I haven't been using shampoo. Eug uses bar soap.
  • For washing my face, I use a mixture of castor oil and olive oil.
  • Although the oil gets steamed off, I don't have to use moisturizer because the face wash cleans and nourishes.
  • For super treats for my hair and skin, I use the occasional older avocado.
  • For exfoliation every week or two (or month or two, when I remember), I use a little nutmeg in a little milk.
  • For body moisturizer, I use almond or apricot oil.
  • For deodorant, I use bicarb.
  • We use bar soap for washing, and Noah doesn't get washed with soap unless something he becomes extraordinarily dirty (like, once every 3 months). Water works- even for things like finger paints.

There's plenty of ways chemicals still get into our house- paint, paint cleaner, anything new we do buy (in the form of linens or foam etc. So I'm not trying to earn frugal-sustainability points here.

I guess my main testimony here is that it's incredibly freeing it is not to have to think about many products. We don't have to buy them, store them, or worry about them. For most cleaning products, I've found that the benefits just don't outweigh the risks and waste and wasted attention. There are times of exception, and I love the nice smells of commercially produced stuff. Yet it's so much easier to know the one or two companies that produce vinegar or bicarbonate of soda or oil, than the multitude of companies that produce unnecessary products with unpronounceable factory-produced ingredients.

1 comment:

leah said...

good for you, Jo! I switched to water only for my face an my skin has never been healthier... somebody should have told me that when I was a teenager.