Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Could You Go One Week Without Soap?

I received my first chemical-laden hygiene products at the age of four. Impressionable, I followed society's lead. Now I know differently. I want to prove a point in the crusade against unnatural cleansers; to show that the human machine self-repairs.

My Challenge began:

- I bathed daily with no soap for one week
- (I still used deodorant and soap for my face/hands)
- No funk complaints received
- Passed stringent roommate sniff-tests

No stink, no problems. I still embrace soap; I'll simply use less, choose it wisely, and spend more on what counts.
* * *

No More Dirty Looks

I really enjoy the No More Dirty Looks blog. The website is full of  information on being healthy and chemical-free. (I highly recommend you buy or check out No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics from your library)

 [Lies, I tell you.]

The No More Dirty Looks Soap Free Challenge

I had already started my soap free challenge when No More Dirty Looks dared readers to go one week without soap and submit their stories. I'm going to submit mine; so should you! The prize is a $100 gift certificate for the natural beauty store, Nunonau. Get the details here.

Both me and the ladies at No More Dirty Looks were inspired by Sean Bonner's Why I've Given Up Using Soap story.

The Soap Box

Lab tests prove that chemicals in your soap and shampoo causes cancer in test animals, yet manufacture continues. I wouldn't advocate using these products the same way I wouldn't advocate smoking- but I'm not that guy who tries make you stop. I'll just share one compelling reason to make a switch from chemical products: They Don't Work.
Even your $200 creams have more filler than active ingredients. Buy natural products from places like Whole Foods, or make your own. These products have little to no filler and no chemicals, they'll make the difference in your hair and skin that the expensive chemical junk never did. (Bonus: They'll be cheaper! But do read the label and make sure they're really "clean" products!)

Would you take a one week soap free challenge? 
Admit it: After one week with no soap, this blog didn't smell funky!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. I've been on this band wagon for a while. Actors ask me all the time what I use to keep my skin looking so good. "Nothing" I say. "Nothing?! Really?!" Nothing. I use soap for my hands and use a combo of soap and crystal rock deodorant for my arm pits. I use Aveeno lotion in the winter sometimes if I get really dry. I may bust out the regular deodorant in the summer since I do labor outside quite a bit. But I never use anti-perspirent, we are meant to sweat! I'm still working out what to do with my curly hair-it's really fine and tangles like a bitch, so it needs some help.
    I think too, a lot of this depends on your water and water pressure. Have you seen the Seinfeld where Kramer gets the elephant shower? That's what mine is like and I swear it just beats the dirt right off. I really notice a difference if I use one of those low-flow shower heads, I feel disgusting after, I can do a better job myself with a wash cloth.
    Good luck, you'll see things are wacky for a few days but then your body will even itself out. Also check out the Environmental Working Group's cosmetic database. It will really open your eyes to the chemicals in cosmetics.

  2. This is embarassing, but I've been known to not only go soap-free but SHOWER free for a number of days. Not a week, though! In any case, I use minimal soap to start with. It helps I work at home though.

    One issue - if you play a lot of high energy sports (let's say, hockey) you probably can't get away with no soap =) We sometimes used to grab dinner right after a game, and my, everyone (guys and girls) absolutely reeked...

  3. monogirl: I'm excited to make the transition to low soap/no chemical life. Less crap around, less money spent.

    I have a post coming about dealing with curly hair. I have the same fine-strand curly hair that gets incredibly tangled every. damn. day.

  4. A La Modern: I wonder about that, too. I NEVER exercise or sweat much so it was easy for me to go soap free last week.

    I've read soap-free livers insisting that plain water is enough to wash away the stink from vigorous activity but I'm not so sure...

    * * *

    I also forgot to add these fascinating articles where people talk about less showers, no showers, no soap, low soap, etc:

    "The Great Unwashed" The obsessive cleanliness of western society:

    The Dirty Theory:

    Five Reasons Why Daily Showers may be bad for you:

  5. The article was interesting, especially when talking about shampoo. I'm seriously tempted to go the no shampoo route myself! Hmm, maybe the no soap thing, too, to be honest.

  6. Is that you I smell? giggle
    I make my own natural astrigents and face moisturizers all purpose balm that can be used for booboos and chapstick,just for about anything/ People dont reallize that if a Dr. can give you a patch that releases meds. in your body so can chemicals from lotions and soaps. I just started using a natural toothpaste and its hard to get used to but uts so much better chemical wise. I use homemade natural soaps also. People need to know and this is a good post.

  7. Alyssa: You'll be surprised how little you'll miss either of them. I can say this being a soap lover.

    CRY: I'd love to see your recipes for making your own products. I'm in the process to switching to all natural/making all natural. So far I make my own astringent (just diluted tea tree oil) and moisturizer (extra virgin olive oil, applied with cotton pad where needed).

    I love your prescription hormone patch argument, I wouldn't have thought of that one and it's definitely proof that the skin absorbs harmful chemicals like a sponge.

  8. I haven't used soap in years. It has always dried out my skin and I can't stand it. I don't stink either! I do use deodorant but I worked a very high stress physical job so and I live in Phoenix so you know....:)

  9. I have dry skin so I regularly go without soap, just using it weekly (except for face and the undercarriage, that's daily). But I must use shampoo daily. And antipersperant. Things get funky without those.....

  10. i have rosecea that flares up now and then so a decade ago or so I went to a dermatologist for help. one of the first things he told me was to stop using soap. there is no need for soap unless you have a really dirty sticky mess to clean off. especially the face keep the soap away from the face. and another hint use cold or colder water not hot (this is hard for me) because it keeps teh poors from expanding which altimatley capture dirt and oils causing blemishes

  11. this is really fascinating. I've been hearing about shampooing less frequently (or not at all) for years, and have been washing my hair with shampoo only every third day for some time now. My hair seems much healthier and far less brittle (I am one of the many with curly and dry hair!), but I occasionally have problems with scalp build-up. Anyhow, thank you for the new-to-me information about soap!

  12. I quit mainstream "soap" products several years ago. I LOVE Dr. Bronner's products and don't think I could go a week with out those. I have gone more than a week without using shampoo though. Have you heard of the whole "Don't use shampoo, your hair will thank you" thing?

  13. Bounty Huntress and Teacup Adventure: My dry brittle curls thank me for not using shampoo! I went over a month without it and did have a build up problem, so I'm testing an Alaffia shampoo:

    This one is all natural, "for curls", & smells good. It worked well last night. I think I'll shampoo once a week.

    (I LOVE Dr. Bronner's too. I'm trying the tea tree oil soap now.)

  14. Stampmouse: I'm trying to get in the cold habit, too. It's hard; but in the end I'll save my skin and the electric bill.

    I read that bathing in warm water loosens the natural oils on our skin so we wash them off and strip the skin of moisture...that's no good.

  15. You know me. Shower every other day.

    I tried to do no poo,or natural shampoo recipes but my hair just won't take it.

    If I chopped it short, it would work. But since it's long and oily *sigh*

  16. Wow, interesting. I have heard from the no shampoo thing and I only use shampoo once a week, but I can't tell you if it is better for your hair 'cause I have dreadlocks. Maybe i will try the no soap thing too.

    @FB @ you can also use water,baking soda and vinegar to rinse your hair. I must admit I have never used it myself, but heard some good stories about it.

  17. hey fellow soapless one... I just blogged about my experience sans soap... it was a good one! Thanks for visiting my space and sharing the challenge, it was fun! :)did you send in an entry ?

  18. I am willing to take the challenge.

    But I also have to say that actual *soap* - the real stuff - is really not "chemical-laden." (Now body washes, shampoos, many standard supermarket soaps, etc. are another thing.) So long-term I'm more likely to give up my shampoo than my soap.

  19. I want to try and make my own shampoo. We've used natural stuff for years, and soap too. My hubby's always harping on how soap just dries skin out and we shouldn't use them unless feeling really funky. Maybe he's right...

  20. In case it helps anyone who has tried no-shampoo and struggled:

  21. I can't live without soap that's my reality of my life I hate having oiliness on my face.



I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

Like us on Facebook

Related Posts with Thumbnails