Archive for the ‘soap’ Tag

A Weird New Goal of Zero Bottles in the Shower   Leave a comment

Not very long ago I was looking at my bottles on the shelf in the shower and realized that I don’t actually think I need any of them. For a long time I’ve been on a slow progression of simplifying my personal care routines (not that I was ever the stereotypical 20-bottles in the shower/over an hour to get ready in the morning woman), and it seems like I’ve reached a point where most of the rest of my products just seem pointless.

When I say slow progression, I do mean that. This story starts over a decade and a half ago, when I stopped shampooing my hair every day and switched to every other day. Over the years that became more like a couple times a week, then once a week. Then a few years ago I decided to try going shampoo free, using the baking soda and apple cider vinegar method. I had to switch back to washing my hair every time I showered (which was so hard as I had gotten so lazy about washing my hair!). Then gradually I was able to BS/ACV my hair only a couple times a week, and then weekly, while just rinsing with water in between. I’ve now reached a point where I don’t actually remember when I last used the BS/ACV, so I’m guessing I use it a couple times a year or so. When I last cleaned the shelf in the shower I realized that there’s really no reason for me to be keeping bottles of the baking soda and apple cider vinegar solutions in the shower, as I can easily mix up “single serve” batches when I feel like using them. Plus then I can customize the essential oil blends mixed in if I feel I need anything. I’ve also got a bottle of conditioner from back in my shampooing days, which I only use after getting a hair cut to make it up to my hair and restore a coating on the follicles. It’s going to take me another decade to finish that bottle, but there’s no reason it can’t join the extra bottle of shampoo for guests in the hall bathroom. So hair care: 0 bottles, 1 natural bristle brush.

The next simplification was a couple years ago when Conan was born. In the days/weeks after his birth I could find the time to splash my face with cold water every day, but not to use the cream cleanser that I’ve been using for years. After a while I realized that not using a cleanser and/or warm water on my face was not causing any breakouts. So why keep buying/using a cleanser? Then I started wondering if I really needed a moisturizer, and found that even my dry skin doesn’t generally demand a moisturizer if I’m only rinsing with cold water. At that point I started wondering about using oil, not a commercial moisturizer. Shockingly, when I switched to using grape seed oil on my face after showers (i.e. rinsing my face with warm water), I didn’t start breaking out. So facial care: 1 small jar of grape seed oil (the bottle lives in the kitchen for cooking), 1 facial brush.

The only thing left in the shower is the shave gel. I wax my legs, so it’s just for my underarms. Now I want to find out if we really do need special shave products as opposed to soap to shave. I suspect that it may be true for those who shave daily, and for legs, but for underarms that get shaved 2-3 times a week I suspect soap will be fine long term. If true that would mean shaving: 0 bottles, 1 razor.

Don’t worry, I’m keeping the soap.

Posted February 21, 2015 by mayakey in frugal living, goals, personal care, simple living, unshopping

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From a No ‘Poo Inspiration   5 comments

I have a coworker who decided to try to go “no ‘poo”, the term for shampoo-free (don’t ask me, I didn’t make it up). We’ve had several conversations about homemade personal care products and the green and frugal living aspects. The conversations have been simmering in my head and making me think that it is time to take a fresh look at my own practices. Currently, I do not make any of my own products. A very long time ago I was very interested in making my own products but I was not able to find the ingredients that I wanted, and the labor for some was more than I had time to do.

I first read about no ‘poo months ago and I’ve always just brushed it off. I figured that I don’t shampoo my hair very often, so I didn’t see the benefit; and instead I figured that I would probably end up washing my hair more often. Right now I don’t actually know how often I shampoo my scalp (I never shampoo my hair). My guess is that I usually go just over a week between shampoos, but it’s hard to keep track. In-between shampoos I’ll do a water only rinse or a conditioner rinse every few days. After talking to my coworker, I realized that I could probably try the no ‘poo strategies without much of a transition period just to see if they work. The incentive here is the fact that my shampoo bottle is approaching empty, and considering how long it takes me to finish a bottle of shampoo I should try this now instead of after buying a new bottle. I think I’ll go for it (sorry honey).

A lot of people make their own soap, but I don’t really want to because I enjoy shopping for bars of soap. I love standing at the soap shelf, picking a scent and ingredients, enjoying the variety. This one goes in the category of: when-I-have-kids-this-might-be-a-fun-project, but right now it just sounds like a pain. As for hand soap, I used castile soap in a dispenser for years and finally got fed up with constantly having to remove chunks of dried soap. So now we buy the ONE type of unscented liquid soap that Whole Foods carries. It pains me since it is a disposable pump (oh all that non-recycleable plastic!), but I haven’t found a way to get bulk liquid soap that won’t clump up on the dispenser. And again, making my own sounds like a pain.

There is one category of personal care products that I absolutely have no interest in making for myself: creams. I use a cream cleanser for my face instead of a foaming cleanser, and then there is also facial moisturizer and body lotion. I now know vendors where I think I could get the ingredients, but the thing with creams/emollients is that it is very hard to get all of the ingredients evenly mixed. I’m not sure that I want to use our blender to make myself lotions.

Oh, there’s another category of products that I do not want to make myself: toothpaste. I generally like the toothpaste that we buy (Tom’s of Maine, variety of flavors and types), and I can honestly say I have no desire to brush with baking soda alone. I did it once, and I checked that experience off the list.

I already make most of my own pamper products, except for body wash. I’m still working on the stockpile of body washes and body scrubs that I have received as gifts over the years, and I plan to make my own from castile soap when they are done. I also make my own mouthwash (stored in an old Scotch bottle) using water, peppermint oil, and tincture of myrrh for gum health.

And then there is deodorant. When I first switched from anti-perspirant my underarms rejoiced! They felt great! Fast forward a few years to now and my underarms are irritated almost constantly. I’ve been pondering this one. I can’t go completely bare, I’m uncertain about just using baking soda or corn starch, and I’m uncertain about rubbing essential oils on my skin every day. But obviously the store-bought deodorants are no longer the best choice. It’s still a dilemma…

Posted April 8, 2010 by mayakey in personal care, simple living

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