Today I’ll give you a glimpse of my morning shower routine so you can see how I have simplified my toiletries and eliminated chemicals altogether.
It may be too simple for some and extraneous for others, but I’m confident everyone will be able to glean something helpful.
Let me start by sharing the humorous history of my love for long, hot showers.
Growing up in Michigan, my bedroom and shower room were on one end of a long ranch style home heated by a wood burner clear on the other side. That means both rooms were very cold during long Michigan winters. Did I mention the water pressure was horrible? Put the two together and it scarred me for life. Now that I’m in control of the plumbing, my showers are a long dance with hot water – and I love it!
Yeah I know, it’s not great for your skin, it wastes water, and I should be more responsible. I’m working on it, but oh my how I love long, hot showers! (Long for me means 15 minutes.)
I don’t use shampoo and haven’t for several years. I have short hair, and if yours is long you’ll probably need shampoo. Don’t buy it from the store, make it yourself. Need conditioner? Don’t worry, you can make that too.
I scrub and massage my hair and scalp under the water for several minutes. This stimulates the scalp and keeps natural oils in place, which also helps eliminate dandruff and renders hair spray (gel, mousse, etc.) unnecessary.
Once the hair is washed I grab a bar of real soap. We buy our hand crafted soap from a friend, but you can make your own for much cheaper. We plan to do this eventually, it’s just one project we haven’t gotten to yet. If you want to buy real soap you can usually find it at your local farmers market or health food store. (UPDATE: Since publishing this article, we have learned to make many types of homemade soap. Find a great face/body bar recipe here.)
I lather up my body, but not my face. (On a daily basis, I soap only my arm pits and unmentionables, unless I’m dirty or sweaty elsewhere.) I only use soap on my face when I shave, which I do about once per week.
While the suds do their work I gently wash my face with a wet washcloth. The water and exfoliating action of the washcloth provide all the cleaning I need without stripping away the healthy, natural oils; this also allows me to eliminate the need for face lotion, except after shaving.
If I do shave, I skip the shaving cream (gel, etc.) using the soap instead. Real soap is much better for your skin than commercial shaving lubricants, it usually costs less, and is another way to simplify your routine.
I brush and floss in the shower. (I know, I shouldn’t waste the water. It’s just so nice getting everything done in the shower.)
I grab my floss, being sure to hit both sides of each tooth, then employ the toothbrush and homemade toothpaste. A little dab is all you need. Using more costs more and is unnecessary. (After experimenting with different amounts I decided a small pea-sized amount was all you need.)
I close by rinsing off any remaining soap and toweling off.
This section is short because I only have need for one toiletry. (Except on shaving days when I need face lotion or aftershave.)
There are so many reasons to make your own deodorant, but we’ll keep it as simple as saying it’s much less expensive and is free from toxins common to commercial products. After a few sprays I rub it around with a chicken dance and call it good.
Since my hair still has its natural oils intact, I can skip the product and just style it with my fingers. (I used to spend a small fortune on hair shaping products and am so glad to be rid of it.)
Wrap It Up
Once all of the above are done it’s time to get dressed.
Yep, it’s as simple as that folks. All of what you need, and none of what you don’t.
I challenge you to choose one thing in your bathroom routine this week to simplify and make natural.
If you’re already employing other simple, natural solutions, leave a comment to share your experience with the community.
God bless and happy grooming!
photo by PhotoAtelier