I could bake myself

with all the ingredients from my pantry that I just used to clean myself. The only conventional bath product I used in the shower this morning was my body wash, only because I haven't read up enough on natural soaps to be ready to make that switch. But I've ditched my shampoo and face wash, at least temporarily, for a little trial period, and I'm already pretty optimistic about how this is going. I was a little too excited when I was telling my mom about all of this on the phone this morning, but I'll attribute some of that to my morning coffee and the rest to the adrenaline surge that comes with new knowledge.

First, the hair. If you're at all interested, read this post about going shampoo-free, which I read for info before I started. She goes into great detail about how to use baking soda and an apple cider vinegar rinse, and other ingredients if you want, to clean your hair without stripping it of its natural oils the way conventional shampoos do. A lot of people are doing this, partly because it's better for the environment but largely because it's just a better and cheaper way of getting clean, but I feel like it's so far under the radar that most of us have never heard of it. I realized this morning that it's largely because no one is marketing baking soda or vinegar; shampoo companies spend millions of dollars trying to convince us that we need to use their products, but really, we don't. And that's pretty cool.

I have dandruff and a pretty oily scalp. There, I said it. It's always been true, but for some reason in the last few months my scalp has been particularly itchy and gross. So after reading about ways to combat that with natural ingredients, I used some brown sugar to slough off flakes (yes, I rubbed brown sugar into my scalp), rinsed, then made a paste with baking soda, rubbed that into my hair, left it for about a minute, and rinsed it with a solution I mixed in a squeeze bottle of 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 cup water, and a few drops of tea tree oil (which isn't necessary, but I had some, so I threw it in). Then I just rinsed with water for a minute until it felt like everything was out. Brown sugar, baking soda, then vinegar. Crazy, right? And my scalp feels wonderful, my hair isn't greasy, I don't smell vinegary at all, and I'm generally very excited about not plunking down tons of money on shampoos and conditioners that I used to think I liked.

I've read that there's an adjustment period of a couple of weeks for some people during which their scalps figure out what's going on, so I'll report back after I've been doing this for a while to see how my scalp and hair are doing. I usually shampoo every other day, so I'll do this regimen every other day as well and see what happens.

Next: the face. I used honey. That's it. Wet my face, rubbed a teaspoon or so of honey on there, rinsed it off, and repeated for good measure. I had anticipated a sticky mess, and there was NONE. Zero. When I got out of the shower, I realized that my skin felt wonderfully soft and moisturized, whereas the foaming face wash I normally use leaves my skin so dry (mostly from the alcohol that's in there to make it foam) that I have to put on moisturizer right away. Typically, if I'm out of the shower for more than five minutes and haven't put on moisturizer, my face feels itchy and peely, but we're a few hours away from my shower already and I don't feel dried out at all. Quite the opposite. My face feels really soft and touchable. I checked the Weather Channel, just to make sure that the humidity wasn't making me feel abnormally moist, and it's a near-record-low (for Louisiana) of 36%. Dude. Honey is my new best friend, and this particular honey is even more exciting because it's from a local farmer in NC, given to me by my Aunt Irene last year when we were there for a visit. I remember hearing from Val of More Hip Than Hippie and Greenfeet.com that she's been washing her face with honey for years and no longer worries about acne (honey is naturally antibacterial) or dry skin, and now I know that she's not crazy.

Incidentally, I've also been using a homemade sugar scrub as an exfoliant on my feet, knees, and elbows about once a week for the past few months. It's 1/2 cup of canola oil, 1 cup granulated sugar, a few teaspoons of lemon juice, and a few drops of teatree oil to make it smell nice (though you could use lavender, vanilla, etc., depending on what smells you like and what essential oils or pantry items you have). It feels a little oily after I first rinse, because of the oil (duh), but after a few minutes of being out of the shower, my feet just feel soft.

Now instead of a bunch of bottles of beauty products in my shower, I have a jar of sugar scrub, an old trial-size shampoo bottle filled with honey, a shallow screw-top container with baking soda, and a squeeze bottle of vinegar rinse, just to minimize the mess and keep everything handy. I'm finding myself eyeing all of my plastic-bottled beauty products suspiciously now. I wonder what else is out there that I haven't tried. I know my grandmother in NC often brushes her teeth with baking soda; I'm not that hard-core because I need some mint, but I know it works, and baking soda has about a thousand/million other uses that I'm interested in trying out, both on my body and on my house.

Next up: making my own deodorant, following the lead of angry chicken and Anilia. More on this story as it develops.

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heheeh, it just takes a tiny push sometimes... I am on my way to honey wash for my face!
Seriously. No easing into it for me, I tell ya. I jumped in headfirst!
That babyslime or whatever page is AWESOME! She even solved my "but I need hair gel for my hair style" problem with a hair gel recipe! woohoo!

I'm jumping in as soon as I finish up the bottles of what I have!!
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