January 31, 2013

Reduce your use


This blog mainly focuses on showing better alternatives to the chemical filled products that dominate the market. That's really the fun part of going natural for me. But I think another important piece is using less product, less frequently when you can. This means reducing your exposure, and also being more environmentally friendly. If you question the safety of the products you use, you might also want to question the idea that we need use them all the time. Here are some of my ideas for reducing your use:
  • Shower less. Yes, I said it. I'm not talking about letting your hygiene go, but the truth is that many people do not need to shower every day. I think society has this crazy idea that if you don't shower constantly, you are a dirty person. And it's just not true. It's so much easier and greener to shower less. There is the convenience of the extra bit of sleep, and saving the time it takes to style and dry your hair. You also save water and energy. Over time, this can make a real difference.
  • Wash your hair less. This goes hand in hand with showering less, and I talk to people about this all the time. I always hear "I'd do that, but my hair gets oily after one day." Here's the trick: for many people, your hair gets oily after one day because you wash it everyday. I've been there. In high school I'd wash my hair every single day, or else it would get oily. But I was insanely busy, and I started to slip. To my surprise, when I stopped washing my hair so often, I stopped needing to! I haven't gone back since. It will depend on the person, but I usually only need to wash my hair two times a week. If my hair happens to get a bit oily between washes, I dab a bit of baby powder or dry shampoo on the roots to freshen up. Soon, I am going to switch to the no shampoo method, and I applaud anyone who has gone this route. 
  • Ditch the body soap. Awhile back on No More Dirty Looks, I read a post challenging people to lay off the soap for a while. It made it seem like this might be a huge struggle, which I found it really funny because I have never been one to soap up everywhere. Of course you should use soap when you're physically dirty. But if you are not caked in dirt or covered in sweat, you probably do not need to soap up your whole body. 
  • Use multitasking products. Try using natural skincare oils for multiple needs. One bottle of any good oil can replace hair styling products, moisturizer, lotion, eye makeup remover and shaving cream. I will readily admit that I myself have to work on this one too, but I am trying to keep my skincare buying to a minimum (makeup is another story). Right now sweet almond oil is my go to, and there are a slew of wonderful oils to choose from. Apple cider vinegar is another product I use for many things: you can rinse your hair with it, tone and clean your face, and I even use it to remove underarm odor. 
  • Skip the makeup on some days. I know this is a pretty counter-intuitive thing to read on a beauty blog, but let your natural face see the light of day sometimes. Even if you don't use clean products, reducing the frequency of use will reduce your exposure to the chemicals in them. Even Snooki takes no makeup days, and if she can do it, anyone can.
In what ways do you use less? I would love to hear some thoughts from others on this topic!

18 comments:

  1. You made such good points. Less is more! My doctor told me I washed my hands too often, and explained to me how we need to only wash our hands when needed, (after using bathroom, before handling food, after touching raw meat, etc.) in order to protect our skin. We do more harm by washing too much and using antibacterial products.

    By the way, Snooki is truly a pretty girl under that makeup mask.

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    1. That's another good point, using too much antibacterials is another one! And people who overuse hand sanitizer.

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  2. Excellent post, I concur! I don't shower or use the bath all the time (I know that sounds terrible...), every other day I just use the sink basin instead :) I also switched to shampoo bars which is essentially just soap, so I use that for my body too. Sometimes I just let the bubbles dribble from my head, depends on time restraints! Overusing soap & water is definitely detrimental to your hands especially if you're using antibacterials or sanitiser. It strips the skin. I worked in hospitals for ten years and my skin was a cracked mess! Left nursing a year ago and my hands are much better :)

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    1. No, that's great, I don't either! The shampoo bar sounds nice, I might try one as part of going no-poo (non detergent soaps don't count). I can imagine your hands would get dried out from all the antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. A hospital is one of those settings where you really do need to hand wash all the time.

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  3. great post!
    I don't use body soap anymore... mainly because
    I don't have a natural one at home to use, so I
    just avoid using the others altogether ><

    I'm also rarely dirty >>

    I just purchased a bottle of Jojoba oil! :)
    and I'm very thankful for dry shampoo lol

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    1. That's great to hear you've ditched the soap! Jojoba oil is probably my favorite because it absorbs into skin so much faster than other oils! Dry shampoo or baby shampoo are also so essential!

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  4. Great tips you give here. I'm a stinky person I don't shower every day (shock horror!) I learnt many years ago that it does me know favours and worsens my eczema.

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    1. Good for you! I bet your water bill is thanking you too.

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  5. So happy to read your post! All very good points... great ways to limit our exposure - which really can add up and make a difference in well-being for us as individuals and our planet :) Keep up the great posts

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  6. Aaaaaaand these are the reasons I love this blog. It's awesome that being environmentally friendly also happens to coincide with being totally low maintenance so often. :P

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    1. So true, I can't deny I love being lower maintenance sometimes!

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  7. Also I'm looking at picking up Batiste dry shampoo; I've heard mixed reviews about it...have you tried any dry shampoos that you've really liked??

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    1. That one isn't natural, so I haven't tried it. I just bought the one from Acure Organics and so far I'm not super impressed. In general, I really just like using baby powder. It's cheap and basically the same thing. Make sure whatever you get is based in corn starch or arrowroot, not talc. Talc is bad news!

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  8. I read your post yesterday,and this morning I don't use soap at all on my body,even on my armpit.I'll take the NMDL challenge for 5 days.However,I still need to use the soap on my hands and feet since I deal with my cat pets,so in order to kill bacterias I have to use soap on both hands and feet. This morning I get less itchy(I always get itchy everytime I finish showering/bathing),and surprisingly less body odor! Hope I can continue doing this in this hot weather of Indonesia :)

    Basically I agree on all that you've written above.Except for the shower less,it's hard to do it in hot weather country like Indonesia.We sweat more :/

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    1. Very true, if you sweat a lot and live in a hot climate you might need to shower more often. And like I said, there are times when you are dirty and sweaty that you will need soap. But as long as you cut back where you can, you are doing great!

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    2. Done,works great(I post about it today)!And will continue doing this:)

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    3. Great! I'm going over to your blog now to check it out!

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