That up there? It was actually completely unrelated to the rest of this post; it was just on my mind. Something else, though, that I have been thinking about a lot, is how we clean ourselves. I mean, we tend to use so many beauty products - we wouldn't have had them hundreds of thousands of years ago, before society and civil customs and specialized trade developed. Animals, don't use shampoos and body washes, but the majority of them can get pretty clean, providing they haven't been rolling in things to hide their scent or whatever. But why should we be any different?
In my opinion, we're not.
There is one difference though - clothes; we wear clothes. This essentially traps a layer of oils and toxins and things, on our skin; they are not open to the air, to evaporate, or brush off on grass, or anything else; Ideally, we would live in an environment that was suitable for this kind of behavior, however - as a teenager, going to school, living in Wisconsin, especially in winter, there are social, legal, and even personal reasons it is just not possible or a reasonable option. This is why I feel that we as humans must wear deodorant. I know a few people who assume that it's not necessary, since they eat well - they assume they won't have toxins for their bodies to expel, they won't smell. Though this may make the scent considerably less noticable and unbearable, it won't eliminate the smell, because we are not in our natural environments - in the open air, without material covering our bodies.
However, I also don't feel, like the use of Shampoos, Conditioners, Mousse, Lotion, Perfume, Makeup - and who knows what else, is at all necessary either; The fact that they have to test these products on animals, should be relatively alarming in itself - not to mention the act of doing it.
The chemicals in these products, are not natural to your organism, and, though they may rid you of oils and stenches, in doing so, they deposite additional toxins, to be absorbed through your skin - which in turn, must be eliminated from your body. Causing you to need to clean yourself again, too shortly after.
In my experience, many of the beauty products - and just products in general, that we use today - are very short-term fixes, and actually create a viscious cycle, causing you to need to go back and use more, after using this product that was supposed to solve your problem.
Well, I came to this decision, maybe a little over a month ago, and have since tried several different options. I know a month isn't a very long period of time, and that, had I continued using these methods, I, and my body, probably would have adjusted a bit better - however, there are multiple options out there, and I have been eager to try as many as I can, just to know what works best for me.
First, for a few days, I simply used citrus peels. I would squeeze them (to try and extract the natural oils in the skin as best I could) and rub them over my body, and even through my hair. It worked very well to remove scents on my skin, and I smelled delicious, like an orange all day.
The orange was very effective for cleaning my face. I used the same process as I did my body, on my face, then rinsed my face, and repeated once more.
Using the orange in my hair made it feel a little bit sticky, but not in a bad way. Maybe I just didn't use enough, but the orange peel, though it did clean my hair somewhat - didn't work as well as I would have wished.
Next, I tried soapnuts. I made soapnuts liquid, and put it in a bottle with a squirty top. I had heard quite a few things about soapnuts, and I really wanted to like them - but too be honest, though I tried.. I don't know if I was doing something wrong, or what, but they just weren't really my thing. They didn't make me feel clean or refreshed, my acne got worse when I started using them on my face, and they left my hair a little too oily for my liking. Not too mention, the soapnut liquid went bad pretty quickly.
I don't know where I heard about clay, but I did. I started researching it, and soon after, purchased a pound of powdered Bentonite Clay. I would like to try Rhassoul Clay eventually, but as of now, I have not.
Anyhow, this stuff is frikkin' great. It's definately the best I've tried. I love it, it leaves my skin feeling so clean. It removes odor amazingly well;
The stuff was amazing for my face. Just put it on, wait for it to dry, wash off with damp cloth. My face feels so clean, and so soft. At first, admittedly, my acne got worse - which had me super scared. But I did some research, and it turns out that that's supposed to happen, it's the clay drawing impurities and toxins to the surface of your skin; Essentially, my face was detoxifying from years of using harsh, chemical products to keep my zits at bay. Well, as promised - my face is clearing up wonderfully, and I like the way I look again.
This clay cleans my hair much better than the soapnuts liquid or orange peel, too. However, in this area - the clay is not without its drawbacks; I swear, you could spend forever in that shower, rinsing out the clay. And it will feel like all the clay is gone - but it's not. Once my hair dries, if I run my fingers through it, it feels rather rough, and heavier than after washing with shampoo; It also feels a little matted, and is sometimes hard to brush through.
I have tried using a little olive oil in my hair, but that just leaves my hair looking super oily.
So,, I was pretty sad. Until I learned about co-cleaning. I haven't tried it yet, but I plan on giving it a whirl tomorrow in the shower. Basically what it is, is, you wash with clay, and then wash your hair with conditioner afterwards. This should be moisturizing, but not leave my hair feeling oily, like the olive oil did. Admittedly, conditioner is a commertial product, which is too bad... but it can't be nearly as damaging to hair as shampoo, that is designed to strip away your hairs natural oils and thigns. So, despite the fact that this method is kind of a compromise, I'm still pretty excited, and I am going to post an update on how it went. If I remember.
Another aspect of hygeine, that is very important to cover, is deodorant. The stuff you put under your arms to keep youself from smelling like a rotting onion. Believe it or not, there are viable alternatives to using the chemical-ridden, and potentially dangerous deodorants that you buy at your local Walgreens. Why is it potentially dangerous? Well, for the reason that a lot of commertial products are dangerous - just the damaging effect they have on the environment, and our skin cells, the toxins an chemicals that they introduce to our bodies.. But there's something else about deodorant, that makes it that much more alarming. Deodorant is formulated, to keep us from sweating. Sweat, is produced, as a way for your body to rid itself of toxins. When you eliminate your underarms ability to sweat, you eliminate a lot of your body's ability to eliminate toxins. Meaning that they are trapped inside you. That's scary.
Luckily, as with everything else - the world has given us alternatives: Essential oils, and baking soda. Just a few drops of grapefruit oil is what I use, though I know there are other essential oils that also help to eliminate odors; This information is pretty easy to come by if you google it; Anyhow, a few drops of essential oil, to wet about half a teaspooon of baking soda. You can make it ahead of time, it is equally powerful either way. Then just rub some of the mixture onto your underarms.
It really does work, providing you remember to do it every day. I have found that I sweat a little more, using baking soda and essential oil, than using commertial deodorant, but, there has never really been an odor, except for that of the grapefruit oil (believe me - I've gotten scared and checked).
So,, this is already a pretty long post, but there is one more thing that I want to cover - shaving. I know that it's best for us to let our hair grow, because thats how we were designed, that's what's natural - but I'm a 15-year-old girl. No matter how concious I am about my health, there are a few things I'm not ready to give up quite yet, a few lines I'm not ready to cross... and having bushes under my arms, and fur on my legs is one of them. However, shaving cream, like body wash, is another one of those unnecessary artificial cleaners, that I don't really want on my body. I tried shaving without anything, and goooodness gracious, did my legs itch the next day. It wasn't gonna happen again. So I thought about it... and the next time, I tried rubbing olive oil onto my legs, in the shower, before shaving. It works so amazing, I can't even describe it. It is so much better than shaving cream: Your razor glides right over your legs, arms, and anywhere else so smoothly; But that's not the best part. The olive oil leaves your skin feeling so soft and moisturized, there is absolutely no need to lotion. I love it.
So, that's my post about the important, but not-very-widely-spoken-about topic of personal hygeine. I look forward to learning more and more about natural and healthy ways to clean oneself, as I progress more into this new and exciting world that I had barely considered a few months ago.