I am a very dirty woman. At least that’s what you might think after my next few confessions:
- I do not wash my hair with shampoo.
- I do not brush my teeth with tooth paste.
- I do not use any lotions or creams.
- I do not use make up remover after I’ve put on some make up.
- I do not use soap to wash my body.
But this wasn’t the way I’ve always lived. It’s no like I was raised by monkeys. On the contrary. My mum’s a hygiene and cosmetics freak. She’s always very clean and she always uses the right products for each specific part of the body. Like the perfect consumer should.
There are A LOT of products out there. I wanted to write down a list of all different kinds of products but I got so annoyed by the ridiculous amount of skin care, hair care and body care that I had to stop before dying of exhaustion.
Now here I am asking myself: Why? Why do we think our body that is capable of the most amazing things is not able to maintain itself. Maybe we’ve never really thought about it, because there are companies out there telling us what our body needs. So we believe them and never question it.
My journey of questioning began as I became interested in the zero waste movement. For those who do not know anything about it please check out Bea Johnsons ted talk, which I embedded in my TOP 5 Inspirational Websites post.
Thinking about zero waste made me analyze my consumerism. The whole hygiene topic was bigger than I thought and I wanted more than to just make my own products. I wanted to eliminate them for good if this was even possible.
This reminded me of another movement I’ve heard of No Poo, which actually means no shampoo. I’m not so much into trends and even if I was, Switzerland is very slow to pick up on them, so I didn’t realize no poo was already such a big deal. I’ve googled a lot and read a ton about it until I ended up on a German blog called HappyGaia, where the blogger describes how she’s washing her hair with only water and started her transition with only lemon juice. This sounded great and especially very easy. Perfect for my lazy self.
It took my hair about two months of random greasiness to get used to no shampoo, but it eventually worked out. Today I only use water to wash my hair on a regular basis. And my hair looks and feels great.
How could I reduce the use of toothpaste and the plastic packaging that comes with it? I wanted to have good teeth, obviously. And protect them from those evil bacteria. That’s when I thought of my grandparents. Many muslims use miswak to brush their teeth with. It’s a twig made from the arak tree, amongst others.
I’ve never given that twig any thought growing up. I’ve seen people using it but I didn’t realize you do not even need to use toothpaste with it. It really is natures toothbrush.
My teeth tend to get black stains after a while. My dentist once explained to me, that this has to do with some enzymes in my saliva. And although it does not look very pretty it actually isn’t harmful at all. So I got used to my half-yearly appointments with the dental hygienist.
After using miswak for a little while I had to cut it to get new bristles. Before I could do so, I had to soak it in water over night. I didn’t have a back up miswak at that time, so I had to use a normal toothbrush with toothpaste for once. And then something amazing happened: I was able to brush away almost every last black stain. How great was that!
Dentists, and dental hygienists always told me, that only professionals could remove them. But nope.
My guess is that the stains couldn’t get too deep into my teeth, because I wasn’t using any toothpaste. Whatever the reason, I believe that little twig is to thank for that, since this was never possible before.
I have dry skin. That’s why I’ve always been keen on using the right moisturizer. But before I stopped using any product at all I switched to coconut oil. I love its scent, which reminds me of islands and hammocks. But maybe that’s also because I really need a vacation… The coconut oil did a great job, but I somehow still wondered if it was possible to leave my face just totally naked. So I tried it out. At first my skin was rather dry – as expected. But after about 2 hours the dry spots were gone.
For years I thought I NEEDED face moisturizing cream. But it turned out to be a false belief. At least during summer – I still have to face winter. And if I really do need to use a product then, it’s gonna be coconut oil. But for now I’m quite happy with my bare skin.
I do use make up from time to time, but I wear it less and less. I think the whole process of learning to understand how my body works made me appreciate my natural beauty even more. This, plus being very lazy, since I do not see why we always have to try to look perfect, if we already are perfect the way we are.
But there are days on which I feel like enhancing my features and those are the days where my good ole friend coconut oil comes in. There’s absolutely no need to buy any make up remover if you have coconut oil at home or even any other kind of cold pressed oil such as olive oil. It does the job perfectly. Yes, it even removes waterproof mascara.
I haven’t used soap on most of my body for quite a while now. It just dries out my skin. But I did use soap on my armpits. After a hot summer day and some heavy sweating I usually begin to stink. Not too much, be enough to get noticed. A few days ago I forgot to wash my armpits with shower gel. I got out of the shower, realized that I forgot to use soap and was almost already back in the shower when I noticed: Hey, I do not smell at all! I’m clean! That’s when I understood that I didn’t even have to use soap for my armpits as long as I wash them thoroughly with water.
I made it – I eliminated soap for good. No shampoo, no body wash. Only water.
Well aaaaalmost. I am currently using up my solid deodorant from Lush, which does have sodium stereate in it. That’s the last trace of soap which my body gets in contact with. Maybe I won’t need any deodorant in the future – I really do hope so. But I also love my garlic and onions, which make even a person with very healthy eating habits like me smell. That’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. Mmmh garlic…
Now you know my dirty little secret.
Side Note: I do wash my hands, so you don’t have to worry about getting all my filthy germs. I felt like I needed to clarify this.
What do you think? Do you want me to elaborate on any specific topic? Let me know!