Thursday, February 27, 2014

Keeping Clean and Things I Do That Relate to Health and Not Smelling Like Old Sweat

I wrote this up a couple years ago and am posting it now from the "drafts" archives...

What do I like?
Smelling like a human.
What do I like? Cleaning only once or twice a week.
What do I not like? Crazy chemicals.
What do I not like? Washing all of my natural oils down the drain.

I’ve been avoiding putting insane chemicals on my body for a little/short/long while. I’ve been moving from a commercial-product dependency and find my body happier with substitutes you can eat or at least ones with one-item ingredient lists.

I’ve moved away from shampoo, conditioner, lotions, deodorants, and shaving creams.


Keeping my hair clean requires three things - baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and water.

Baking soda helps scrub the dirt out.
Apple cider vinegar restores a proper ph level.
Water is the universal cleaner.

Why no shampoo? Well, I guess I just don’t need it. None of us do. Shampoo strips the scalp of all those lovely healthy oils it creates. What does this tell the body? More! Make more oil! And then we get oily greasy hair.

When I used shampoo, I had to wash my hair every three days, as, on the third day it would start to look kinda gross. Now, I can easily go a week before it needs some washing (I do, often, rinse it with water half way through the week, which does the trick to freshen the hair up).

My hair and scalp have loved the switch and I like how simple it is. It’s saving money. Saves time. The world likes it (the packaging for both are glass and cardboard - no plastics).

So, what do I do?

I have a bottle I tote around of acv (apple cider vinegar) and a small container (old hummus container) of baking soda. Before heading into the shower, I put a few large pinches of the baking soda into an old Adam’s Peanut Butter jar.

In the shower I add about 1 cups water to the jar and swirl it all about. I rinse my scalp thoroughly and then turn the water off (don’t need to waste it). When the water’s off, I pour the baking soda water on my hair and scrub that scalp clean. I get to every part of my scalp and massage it good!

Water on. Rinse it all away. I pour 1-2 tablespoon’s worth of acv into the same jar and add some water. Turn off shower, dip ends of my hair into the jar and then pour the rest of the contents on my hair.

And that’s it.


To clean my body, I use four different things, depending on my mood. Soap can have some funky things in it and I’ve found a few soaps that I trust.

Chandrika Ayurvedic Soap
Dr. Bronner’s
Baking Soda

My favourite bar soap is Chandrika Ayurvedic Soap from India.

The ingredients list is simple and, low and behold, I can pronounce all of them.  The base is coconut oil (which, oh goodness, I adore that stuff). Then there’s wild ginger, lime peel oil, hydnocarpus oil, orange oil, and sandalwood oil. Without Ink does a good job at exploring the purposes of all the ingredients. It’s a pretty heavily scented soap, but not with fragrance. And the smell definitely stays around for a while on the skin.

Dr. Bronner’s is a staple in most of my social circles - everyone knows and loves it.

Blues dancers.
Contra dancers.
River guides.
Haines locals.
Punks and hippies.

This stuff is great - you can get it in bulk and it’s ever-so-powerful.

Currently I’m toting about two bottles - the 18-in-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap and Tea Tree.

Ingredients? Water, coconut oil, olive oil, tea tree or mentha arvensis, hemp oil, jojoba oil, citric acid, and tocopherol. Ok, I admit, I don’t know what tocopherol is.

Peppermint tends to be the preferred, of folks I encounter.

And what girl hasn’t experienced the strong tingling sensation of Dr. Bronners peppermint soap “down there.” The topic came up on a Tuesday as mojitos were consumed. Every woman knew exactly what we were talking about. Turns out, there’s a song about it.


I haven’t used a crazy-deodorant-antiperspirant for a while. Eh, don’t need to.

Your body is supposed to sweat - sweating is good.
And, if you eat well and shower enough, your sweat won’t smell that bad.

We’re supposed to have our own smell. Since when are my armpits supposed to smell like juicy watermelon or French vanilla? There seems to be a huge aversion to the smell of humans, which I find sad. When I meet someone and hug them, I’m smelling them, as that’s a way of documenting them in my brain, in full.

So, what do I use? Because bacteria does want to form in those pits.

My magic crystal! Ahh, it’s “Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal.” Hypoallergenic. Paraben free. Fragrance free. From Thailand.

All it is is natural mineral salts (Ammonium Alum) and aloe vera. That’s it.

So, what the mineral salts do is they prevent that funky bacteria from forming. That’s it. The bacteria is the smell. No crazy bacteria, no smell. Yes, I do sweat, but I like that. Sweating is healthy and necessary.

And, one small crystal lasts for years and years. I just put it on after I shower.

Sometimes, though, my armpits need some special love (like the other day) where I feel like, even if I wash ‘em good with Chandrika and use the crystal, after some sweating, they don’t smell like I’m used to. Then I just put some apple cider vinegar on a washcloth and wipe my armpits with them at night. By morning - back to neutral.

Most of the time (80%) I don't use anything - no crystal, no acv....


I just use oil. Jojoba oil. Olive oil. Coconut oil. Vitamin E oil.
On my face, arms, hands...

And that's about it.

1 comment:

Your words make me grin.

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