Okay, I don’t mean that I don’t shower at all. But I do mean that I limit my showers to once every week and a half to 2 weeks. Sounds pretty gross right? It totally was in the beginning! My hair and skin was so accustomed to being stripped away of all of it’s natural oils that it took some time to adjust to when I started skipping showers. I feel like the natural oils and bacteria on my skin is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting me from bad bacteria and viruses. But I was washing them away with the harsh, chemically infused, toxic soaps, rinsing off with hard water and then trying to replace the natural (and beneficial) moisture I just scrubbed off with creams and lotions. Then my integumentary system completely freaks out and has to over compensate to replace everything that it needs to function at an optimal level. Does this even make sense?
The majority of my life, I had been an obsessive compulsive clean freak (still am)! Not just scrubbing and anti-bacterializing my surroundings but also myself. At the time, I honestly felt that cleanliness was next to godliness. I have suffered for years with chronically dry and itchy skin. I would get the heaviest body creams and apply, apply and apply to try and hydrate my skin. It was never enough and I still scratched the hell out of myself. And I’d shower, scrub, apply creams and repeat the process. The same thing was happening to my hair. It was so incredibly dry. And I just kept thinking that I need to get better and more hydrating conditioners and put Argan Oil in my hair.
What about the impact that typical American hygiene routine on the environment?
|5-minute shower||10 gallons|
|5-minute power shower||20 gallons|
|Brushing teeth with tap running||2 gallons/min|
|Brushing teeth with tap off||.25 gallon|
|One toilet flush||3 gallons|
We use 127% more water today than we did in 1950. We have water shortages even though there’s plenty of rain. Our demand for water increases every year. Eventually, water companies will not be able to keep up. Water requires an enormous amount of energy. It costs a ton to have our water cleaned/treated and then pumped into our homes for use.
So here we are in a society that deems that daily showering is a normal part of life when we are spending and wasting money on scarce clean water for showers that strip away the good bacteria on our skin that should have never been removed in the first place.
I’ll admit that it did take some time for my hair and skin to stop over-producing natural oils. I’ve been practicing the limited showering for several years now. My hair hardly ever gets greasy (unless I’m sweating) and my skin’s dryness has really improved. I only use shampoo and conditioner while showering. The rest of my body is just rinsed off with water. I feel that the water cleanses me more than enough and that using any kind of soap on my skin will just dry my skin out. I also don’t have to slap on ridiculous amounts of creams/lotions anymore because my body has the opportunity to replenish itself with natural oils. Me and my hair & skin are getting along great these days. And, I don’t smell bad! Ask anyone who hangs around me all the time. Especially my yoga students whom I hug after a sweaty vinyasa class. 🙂
My body knows exactly what’s its doing. I’m just trying not to hinder the process anymore. 🙂