A number of events lately have inspired me to take a hard look at all the things I'm putting on my body. I've been working for more than twenty years to eliminate all the artificial and possibly dangerous substances from my food, and it only makes sense to also try to keep such things off my skin, since it absorbs whatever is put on it. That concept is driven home by the fact that there are a number of drugs that are available via dermal patches that are stuck to the skin for a few days, and the drugs are absorbed into the body. It is actually a more effective route of administration that oral medication, because it goes directly into your bloodstream, rather than going through your digestive system first.
If I won't eat food that contains sodium carboxymethylcellulose, then why should I use shampoo that contains disodium laureth sulfosuccinate or hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride? And this is from a company that claims to use natural ingredients. I have sometimes used my homemade soap to wash my hair, and it gets my hair clean, but it's a challenge to style. Then I came upon this blog post about using baking soda to wash your hair, so I thought I'd give it a try. I just put a little baking soda in my hand, get it wet and scrub it around my scalp. It gets my hair squeaky clean. In fact, it dries out my hair and makes it frizzy, which I would have previously assumed to be impossible. Remember Roseanne Rosannadanna? I tried putting the baking soda in my hair and then adding my soap, which works better, but styling is still a challenge.
I mentioned my experiments on the Antiquity Oaks Facebook page, and a few people said that they have completely stopped using shampoo. They simply rinse their hair with plain water in the shower. At first their hair was a little oily, but it was temporary. Some also mentioned using apple cider vinegar as a rinse. Now I am really intrigued and excited to try these ideas and see what happens.
Although my shampoo-alternative experiments have just begun, I started living without a commercial deodorant a month ago. I've known for at least 15 years that alcohol works just as well as any commercial deodorant, but I was always worried that if I used it every day, it would dry out my skin. So, I only used it after shaving under my arms, because I really did not want to put unknown stuff on skin that had just been shaved, regardless of how safe the company claimed it to be. Anyway, I decided to see if I could simply use a bit of alcohol to keep my underarms odor free, and maybe it wouldn't dry out my skin. I've discovered that if I shower daily, I don't need the alcohol, although I did need it the first few days after I quit using the deodorant, which I found kind of interesting. It was as if there was a rebound effect from using the deodorant -- discontinuing use made my underarms stink badly within an hour or two of showering. Now, a month later, I don't smell a thing for 24 hours after showering. I also tried witch hazel, and it worked as well as the alcohol. I just put a little on a cotton ball and rub it under my arm pits.
My next challenge is to find an alternative to toothpaste, because almost all the so-called natural ones have sodium laurel sulfate in them. I found one without it, but it had some tiny something in it that would get stuck between my teeth, which necessitated flossing. It seemed really weird that my toothpaste created a need to floss. Any suggestions?