Thursday, January 22, 2015

And While We're on the Subject of Hygiene...

If you read my most recent post, you'll know that I've been co washing my hair instead of using shampoo. Today I had my hair trimmed. I co washed and went off to the hairdresser. He didn't notice any difference - not that I told him. My hairdresser is pretty upfront so I'm certain he would have told me if he thought my hair was oily.

That was just an update, not the topic of today's post. I just thought that, since my last two have covered hygiene, I'd make it a trifecta.

I've been doing a lot of reading about hygiene and what is healthy and what is over the top. I was far more interested in researching it from a dermatological - rather than cosmetic - point of view. The cosmetic industry is the reason we think we need to cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturise, defoliate and douse every inch of ourselves with potentially harmful chemicals.

These are my findings:

Washing hair two to three times each week is sufficient for hygiene. "Squeaky clean" isn't clean; it means one's hair has been stripped of its natural oils.
Dermatologists don't seem to have a strong opinion one way or the other in relation to not using shampoo.

Bathing and Showering
Again, two to three times each week is sufficient, with additional sponge bathing of the smelly parts in between. Daily showers or baths are drying and damaging.

We're over-washing our faces. All we need to do is wash with a PH balanced cleanser in the evening and moisturise if the skin is dry. The older we get, the more important it is to exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin cells. Oil cleansing is still quite alternative and I could find nothing on what dermatologists think of it.

Not necessary for any reason other than social.

How is this relevant to Footprints??? Anything we can do to reduce the products and, thus, resources that we're using is important to us.

Having said that, the idea of not showering every day is eew. I realised many years ago, though, that if I only used soap on the smelly parts, my skin wouldn't dry out so much. The soap we use is very kind; it's made with vegetable oil and is locally and ethically produced. I still need to moisturise after my shower but my skin isn't dry or damaged. I've been thinking that using a loofah or flannel a couple times a week to remove dead skin might be beneficial and help the moisturiser sink in more deeply. At present, I use jojoba oil to moisturise. I do use soap all over when I've been wearing sunblock, been swimming or have been particularly sweaty.

Despite the fact that deodorant is unnecessary and I use a more natural alternative, I don't plan to stop using it. The reasons may be social but they're deeply ingrained, not just in me but in others. I don't want to smell.

I don't think the family and I are doing much to save the planet when it comes to our hygiene. We like our daily showers and to smell and look clean. What we are doing, however, is not overusing products and trying to use ethical and natural ones.


1 comment:

  1. Very interesting Rachel. Since becoming ill, I haven't always been able to manage a full shower as much as I would like - it is energy-draining, especially if I am washing my hair as well. It is good to see that my routines are all okay according to your dermatologist's statistics. I am unable to shower every day, but do have a wash every day so the bits that need it, are clean. I have found it very difficult to find a deodorant that uses natural ingredients. The one I have been using is now in new packaging and with that came new ingredients which means that I won't be able to buy that product any more. It is so annoying to find a product that works only to have it change or discontinue. The search begins again...I do like essential oils, and the shopkeeper offered me an alternative product that uses essential oils but that is unsuitable because it has added perfumes! Why would one need to add synthetic fragrances to a product that uses essential oils? It doesn't make sense and our society makes it very difficult to obtain healthy alternatives that are affordable. What is your experience here?