No Soap: The Verdict

For January I tried an experiment. No soap when washing myself.

Here are my results & thoughts:

  1. The first week or so is the worst. My body was obviously flushing something out. I don’t know what, but it smelt pretty bad. I had a lot of showers per day.
  2. The first couple of weeks I also got quite a few blocked pores, but they went away too.
  3. Even with a very active lifestyle, it’s actually quite manageable. I started by using no deoderant (I wanted to know what was going on), but ended up using an eau de toilette under my arms. There wasn’t a strong negative smell, I just preferred it to myself. Oh, I hate my body smell, quelle horror. Not really, just a minor preference.
  4. Interestingly, my (very slight) eczema flared up a bit when my body was detoxing, initially, then calmed right down, went away & hasn’t come back at all.
  5. When I get out of the shower I’m actually drier. As with the toxin flushing, I suspect that even using a very light soap & rinsing well leaves enough of a film that a) toxins can’t naturally flush & b) water gets trapped on the surface rather than naturally being absorbed
  6. I’ve also stopped using shampoo. Hair feels fine. There’s a little grease when I run my hand through my hair, but I figure that’s just healthy natural oils. It’s certainly never been too oily, not like when I was using shampoo. My scalp is great.
  7. It’s really easy to be lazy & just stand under the shower, but it’s important to rub your hands over your body, same as if you’re using soap – particularly on high sweat areas – thighs, chest, armpits, back.
  8. Ears. Ears are weird. In ears & behind ears? Couldn’t keep those clean without soap. I don’t think I have particularly dirty ears (unless they’re running off while I’m asleep), I suspect it’s just a function of the way ears are (you know, waxy & all)

pic by jciv

By the end of the month, I’d settled on using soap in the following circumstances:

  1. Before preparing food (duh)
  2. After bathroom (see? not a complete philistine)
  3. To wash extreme amounts of grease/grime/etc off my hands, or, for example, after vigorously rubbing my scalp to keep my hair/scalp clean
  4. In high sweat areas if there was strong smell or I felt compelled to (after super heavy exercise) – so, that’d be arse, groin, armpits, oh, & the ever magical ear. Even then, I’m using the lightest amounts possible, and very rarely, maybe once a week

Given that my skin is my largest organ (ooerr), & obviously there was something unhealthy being blocked by using soap, I’m very happy to continue with the above plan. That pretty much works for me.

Oh, & for bubble baths? All rules are off :)

[earlier post: The No Soap Experiment]