I was reading an article today about this man who is traveling the US without any money. It's an interesting article, and I think a lot of the suggestions he makes for living free while traversing the country are applicable also to people who have a home to support. With the exception of the few bills suburbanites are naturally going to have to pay that he won't have to pay (like property taxes and the like), most of us could live with a lot less cash than we think we need.
Through much of the article, I was nodding my head and thinking, "yeah, I already do that, anyway," and while it felt good to note that I live a pretty eco-friendly life, I started wondering, if maybe, most of us do, and that the media hype about what the average American uses is just that - hype.
In particular, the man biking the country was talking about the personal hygiene products he uses. He says the only products he carries are toothpaste, Dr. Bronner’s Soap, a toothbrush, floss, and essential oil, which is interesting to me, because those are the only commercial products I use, too. In the interest of full disclosure, I also use a homemade deodorant, especially in the summer (not as much in the winter), consisting of baking soda, cornstarch, coconut oil and an essential oil (usually lavender, which is both nice smelling and anti-bacterial).
I don't use shampoo or conditioner. I don't use hairspray or gel or styling mousse. I don't use shaving creams or exfoliants or night creams or wrinkle creams. I don't use commercial deodorants or antiperspirants.
Most of the commercial products people use thinking they're getting cleaner or smelling better, not only don't make them cleaner, but they also cause one's body to produce more of the substances that those products are designed to take away. Using shampoo actually makes hair MORE oily rather than less. I wash my hair every other day using Dr. Bonner's bar soap (almond scented is my favorite). On the days I don't wash my hair, it's actually more silky and smooth than on the days I do wash it. Yes, that's right. I wash my hair only four times a week, and I never use conditioner ... and, yes, I have long hair.
I just wonder, though, if maybe we're being sold a bunch of lies. Like, maybe there aren't nearly as many people with a ton of products in their cabinets as the media claims. Maybe this guy - and me - with our austere stash of personal hygiene products are actually normal, and the media claims of the average American having a closet full of smelly stuff is just an attempt to get us to buy more.
In the interest of science, I would like to take a small poll. What's in your bathroom cabinet, with regard to personal hygiene products?
Gratuitous Fall Photo