Simplifying my Life by Spending Less Time in the Lotion Aisle

You know, when you tell someone you do not use shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, face lotion, toothpaste or deodorant, they think you are a stinky hippie.  Well, not that there is anything wrong with hippies, but I’m not.  I smell like jasmine, thank you very much!  My hair is shiny and clean, my skin is healthy and soft, and my breath is cinammony fresh.

Before I had a kid attached to me, standing in the lotion aisle trying things, sniffing things, reading their claims… it was a luxury.  One that is impossible with a three and a half year old chomping to peruse the toy aisles.

I’ve spent countless amounts of money on lotions for face and body, shampoos and conditioners, body care products of all sorts and descriptions.  Few of those worked (hence the constant trying of new things that didn’t work) and all of them contained harmful chemicals that when you really REALLY think about it you don’t want anywhere near the largest organ of your body to be absorbed into you… urgh.

I mean, if you wouldn’t want to EAT it, why would you want to absorb it through your skin?

I stopped using shampoo a long time ago.  Shampoo was a luxury… one that became more of a hassle than a benefit.  For so long I spent so much effort on my hair.  Dry, brittle, baby fine hair that turned to frizzy poof at the drop of a hat.  Unless I wanted to damage it more spending time blow drying it to perfection.

So, I stopped using shampoo.

I tried the whole baking soda/vinegar routine, but my hair felt like straw.  Lovely looking straw, but not a texture I liked feeling.  So I switched it up, found a natural conditioner and still skipped the shampoo.  That worked for a long time.

Then summer hit.

Maybe it was the heat and sweating, or maybe it was a change in humidity.  My hair suddenly was looking oily, though it hadn’t been for the months I’d been shampoo free.

I recently switched back to baking soda and vinegar, just a couple times a week.

But I added a new thing.

Not a new thing to me, but a new thing to my hair.

See, I also stopped using facial moisturizer, because I found something better.

I met grapeseed oil.

I added a little fragrance oil, and BAM!  I have a moisturizer that smells fabulous, is great for my skin and contains no toxins!  Who knew oil was what skin needed?  It just takes a drop or two straight out of the bath.  (Grapeseed oil might not be the best for your skin type, though something out there will be).  No oily skin either, it soaks right in.

THAT very same bottle of grapeseed oil is also my go to leave in conditioner.  After applying to my face, I add another drop or two to the ends of my hair.  No more straw!  It’s light, it’s not drying, it’s wonderful.

I had been using argan oil, but that stuff is liquid gold.  Grapeseed oil is very economical, as are avocado oil, hemp oil, and almond oil.  All have different properties, so either test them on yourself or look up their properties.  Not so incidentally, they are great in various other body products too.  More bang for your buck!

So, now my skin looks and feels great, my hair looks and feels great, and I’ve discarded a whole slew of products from my bathroom.  Baking soda is cheap, apple cider vinegar is cheap, grapeseed oil is cheap… essential oils and fragrance oils can be pricey, but a few drops go a long way in most uses.

That sent me looking around my bathroom, looking at other products I use and how I can make a change.  Which led me to a whole bunch of information on the toxins I’ve been loading into my body without even realizing it.

Did you know deodorant has aluminum and parabens in it?  And really doesn’t work all that well in the first place?  Yeah, me either.

Deodorant had to go.  Even if it isn’t overly expensive.

BO was not an option, though.

Turns out, baking soda is an excellent deodorant for more than just your fridge.  Coconut oil (yeah, the stuff you use to make fried chicken, go figure) has antibacterial properties and is solid at room temperature.  If you want a bar or stick, you can add beeswax, then mold it, though a little starch helps with both moisture and solidifying.  Or even a bit of shea butter so you can have silky smooth moisturized underarms.  It costs pennies to make from things I already have.

This clearing out my cabinet has now become a landslide of discarding products and changing them out for the SAME FEW INGREDIENTS.

Ingredients I already have for laundry soap, soap making, and general cleaning.  A few oils and butters, plus beeswax and baking soda.  Epsom salt is a good thing to have, so is washing soda (though you can turn baking soda into washing soda in a pinch).  A few essential oils, and you are SET for body care and keeping your house clean.

What the hell?  I’ve been spending a crapload of money to buy all these products that I can replace with just a few?

I can EVEN make a good for me toothpaste that doesn’t taste bad!  It’s cinnamon flavored!  Sweetened with stevia, flavored with essential oil, a bit of baking soda to clean and either castile soap (ew!) or coconut oil to make a paste.

Seriously, a few ingredients makes tons of things that work as well or better than the commercial counterparts.  They take a bit of time to prepare, but generally less time than the drive to the store.  And you can make them in your pjs.

Just start with one, single change.  One product replaced by a natural healthy alternative.  Give that change two weeks for your body to acclimate (this is particularly true with chucking shampoo or store bought deodorant or facial moisturizer.  Your body will need time to adjust to the change.)

Make a vegetarian meal once a week.  (Don’t tell the family, just feed it to them.)

Start reading labels and thinking about the products you use.

It might SOUND difficult, time consuming, pain in the ass, but it’s not.  Really.

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