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A Not-Dirty Secret...

Around a year ago, I stopped bathing with soap.

No soaps, shower gels, or cleansing agents (other than water). I still use shampoo, but for washing my body I just use the water and a washcloth (or other scrubby thing), and I just scrub myself all over.

Of course, day to day, I still use soap on my hands (for obvious reasons) and my face (when make-up removal is needed).

The result: I'm still clean. Not only that though, but a lot of skin problems that I suffered from my whole life have disappeared. The skin on my elbows no longer becomes sandpaper. The horrible body-acne that has always infected my chest and shoulders since I was a teenager is no more...or at least, only flares up occasionally during a certain time of month, but even then it's much milder than it was before.

I also find that I actually smell BETTER, at least to myself. When I need a shower, my armpits still get a bit stinky, but not to the extent that they used to before. I find that I no longer need to use deodorant at all.

Also, the skin on my legs used to dry out too, and that's stopped. Now, the only parts of my body that I need to moisturize are my hands and my face (coincidentally the only two parts of my body that I still wash with soap...I suppose I could try to scrub make-up off my face with only water, but the hands thing is non-negotiable since I don't want to give myself some sort of medieval dirty disease.)

The reason I'm telling you this is because I kind of wish I had done this long ago...maybe then I wouldn't have stupid acne scars on my chest.

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
samantha890
Mar. 15th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
I have body acne too. And those blackheads (the ones normally on the nose) all over my back. I hate it, makes me feel so self-conscious. I'm debating if I should give this a try...

I'm glad it worked for you and thank you for sharing. :)
hells_half_acre
Mar. 15th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
I make no promises, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to try (which is how I approached this experiment.)

Let me know how it goes! Like I said - I still get acne from time to time, but it's more in sync with normal hormonal fluctuations.
samantha890
Mar. 15th, 2012 01:36 am (UTC)
My body acne isn't that bad, looks more like scars than acne - so I'm also thinking it wouldn't hurt to try! And periodical acne is so much better than permanent acne. Thank you, again. I'm going to start it today - lol have to write it in my journal to track my experiment. :D
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Mar. 15th, 2012 01:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - samantha890 - Mar. 15th, 2012 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
sgmajorshipper
Mar. 15th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
Me. Too. I have pretty shoulders(or so I've been told), but I hate wearing sleeveless/halters because my back acne is so horrible. It even crosses over and goes down my arms to just above my elbows, which is fucking annoying.

I recently got my hair cut(from being all the way down my back to a few inches longer than Dean's), and I'm waiting to see if that has any effect on it.

Edited at 2012-03-15 01:35 am (UTC)
samantha890
Mar. 15th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)
That pretty much sucks. Makes wearing anything revealing around that area a nightmare. My back acne isn't that bad, I can't even see it (or the blackheads) when I look in the mirror, but I can FEEL it - and that makes me not want to wear halters or anything of the sort.

Would hair have any effect on it? If you're wearing a shirt, that would block it, right? I can't cut my hair too short, regardless. But I hope it helps you! :)
(no subject) - sgmajorshipper - Mar. 15th, 2012 01:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - samantha890 - Mar. 15th, 2012 05:00 am (UTC) - Expand
hells_half_acre
Mar. 15th, 2012 01:44 am (UTC)
I recently got my hair cut(from being all the way down my back to a few inches longer than Dean's), and I'm waiting to see if that has any effect on it.

Let me know if it does. I've been wondering about the fact that I still use shampoo...which runs down my chest when I rinse it out of my hair...but, I figure that's a long shot and probably whatever periodic acne I still get is just normal for my body.
(no subject) - sgmajorshipper - Mar. 15th, 2012 01:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Mar. 15th, 2012 01:56 am (UTC) - Expand
sgmajorshipper
Mar. 15th, 2012 01:29 am (UTC)
I used to have skin issues(still do, actually) like dry skin, body acne all over, skin irritation, to the point where I had to use special soap if I used any at all. As I've gotten older, the problems have faded enough so I can use body wash rather than nothing, but I still deal with a hell of a lot of acne everywhere and my legs still dry out. If I don't use soap, though, it just gets worse. But I'm glad you have a solution!
hells_half_acre
Mar. 15th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
D'oh! Well, sorry it didn't work for you! I'm glad that the problems are lessening with age though - it gives me hope for the future!
(no subject) - sgmajorshipper - Mar. 15th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Mar. 15th, 2012 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sgmajorshipper - Mar. 15th, 2012 01:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Mar. 15th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC) - Expand
cordelia_gray
Mar. 15th, 2012 04:36 am (UTC)
That's really cool! I actually stopped using cleansers for a lot of household stuff - I have a bunch of microfiber cleaning cloths, and I use those and warm water, and maybe a little vinegar, for tables, counters, windows - all kinds of things. It's amazing.

There is so much effort put into selling us expensive, specialized products that are really no more effective than the cheap, natural, non-toxic solutions our great-grandmothers might have used.
hells_half_acre
Mar. 15th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
Not to mention that stuff like vinegar or baking soda doesn't have harmful chemicals like triclosan. :P

Apparently there are people who have gone off shampoo too, and they use baking soda for their hair. I'm not that bold yet, because it takes a long time for your hair to re-adjust and look nice again (if it ever does).

But yeah, with the exception of a few things (like toilet bowl cleaner), I'm trying to use less chemical cleansers as well.
cordelia_gray
Mar. 15th, 2012 04:54 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think I'd give up shampoo. And conditioner, otherwise it's frizz city.

When I was little we used Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap for everything (my parents were hippies!) It was pretty awesome stuff, actually. I wonder if it's still around.
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Mar. 15th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cordelia_gray - Mar. 15th, 2012 05:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Mar. 15th, 2012 05:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cordelia_gray - Mar. 15th, 2012 05:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - Mar. 15th, 2012 05:34 am (UTC) - Expand
et_tu_lj
Mar. 15th, 2012 04:51 am (UTC)
That's great that you found a solution. I had similar results by switching household cleaners for hot water and limiting myself to body wash and shampoo made for babies or allergies. Dry skin is still an issue, but I live in an arid climate. I might try it for a few months though, since cutting out other chemicals worked so well.

Thanks for sharing. :D
hells_half_acre
Mar. 15th, 2012 04:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, it certainly doesn't hurt to try!

Having dry skin in Vancouver really baffled me, because Vancouver is decidedly NOT arid. So, yeah, my dry skin was completely to blame on something other than the environment. ;)
mymuseandi
Mar. 15th, 2012 03:35 pm (UTC)
This is intriguing. I have a bit of chest acne as well. My back acne has lessened though, ever since I stopped exposing it to the environment as often. Plus my elbows and knees are so sandpaper-y.

However, I'm still hesitant about forgoing deodorant because unlike temperate countries, Singapore is hot and more importantly, humid. Humidity can -and usually- range from 70s all the way to the high 90s; it's like we're swimming in moisture if we're out under the sun even for five minutes! Without any deodorant I would stink so badly. LOL

Also, do you think that your skin's better partly due to your scrubbing? As in, maybe you know you're not using soap so you (sub)consciously scrubbing them much more, and thus it's better?
hells_half_acre
Mar. 15th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I should point out that in Vancouver, I don't have to deal with humidity at all. When I'm back in Ontario, I do have to deal with humidity, and I don't use deodorant often there either, but I probably would be more likely to. I can't remember if I used deodorant when I was in Singapore - but I wouldn't be surprised if I did.

I don't think my skins better do to my scrubbing, and the reason for that is that I've always REALLY liked to scrub my skin. You know how face soaps always say "wash, rinse, pat to dry"? Yeah...I scrub to dry. :P

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )