How many toiletry items do we really need?
I’ve seen it said in multiple places that the average woman has 337 items in her bathroom. I can’t seem to find a credible source for that, so I’m not sure I believe it, but it still brings up a valid point: most of us have a lot of extra stuff cluttering up our lives. Do we really need all that?
I’m somewhat vehement in my quest to declutter, simplify and get rid of stuff (which is good, because my husband is not, so we balance each other out - in theory).
Extra stuff weighs you down and sucks time out of your day. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time being productive when I’m surrounded by a bunch of clutter.
The bathroom is no exception.
But in the bathroom, it’s not just having clutter that is a problem, it’s what that clutter consists of.
Read the ingredients of your favorite lotion, makeup remover, or deodorant. It’s not pretty.
I’m not sure why having all these chemicals, and having them in such vast quantities to boot, is so popular because the truth is, most of the natural, simpler options work just as well or even better.
Let’s look at a few of them, shall we?
Surprise! Making natural, effective deodorant isn’t as much of a mystery as you might think. In fact, you probably already have the necessary ingredients in your house. This is a good thing, because slathering conventional, chemical-filled deodorant onto the sensitive, super absorbent skin of your underarms is a dangerous idea.
Baking soda and cornstarch are the staples of deodorant making. You can brush these alone onto your underarms, or mix them with a little coconut oil to fill an empty deodorant tube and, voila! You’ll never know the difference!
Or, if you don’t have time to make it yourself (shameless plug here) buy it from here from my etsy shop!
Try gargling either hydrogen peroxide, or baking soda water instead. Since you already likely have either of those in your house, you get to eliminate another bottle in your bathroom. Double win!
Sprinkle some baking soda on your tooth brush and start brushing! If you want to get fancy try mixing a tablespoon of baking soda, two drops of peppermint essential oil, and enough water to make a paste. Store in an air tight container.
Wash your hair with a few tablespoons of baking soda (seriously, is there anything you can’t do with baking soda?) mixed into a cup or small bottle of water. Optionally, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil which is supposed to eliminate dandruff (haven’t tried that one yet.)
Rinse with apple cider vinegar. You can read about my experience with this method here. I’ve found that my hair changes dramatically with hormone changes (pregnant, nursing, etc.), so sometimes this method works Better than others.
Aloe Vera Gel also works very well in place of moose or hair gel. Curly girls I’ve talked to say that aloe vera gel works even better than chemical alternatives!
I’m a coconut oil girl all the way. I have super dry skin during the winter, and coconut oil has been the best moisturizer I’ve ever used on my face. At first, I used it cautiously and sparingly, afraid that I’d start seeing pimples and whatnot, but now I just slather it on.
I realize though, that not very one shares my love for the stuff. For a non-greasy, but totally amazing facial moisturizer, aloe Vera gel works wonders.
Here again, you can just use straight coconut oil, which is great! But even better, make some of your own lotion with more skin nourishing stuff like cocoa butter, jajoba oil, vitamin E oil… And the list goes on. There are lots of great and simple recipes floating around like this one for whipped body butter. Give it a try!
Soap. I’m not talking about the glycerin-stripped bars of detergent you buy at the store - that stuff just dries your skin out - I’m talking about real soap here. The stuff you make yourself, or get from someone else who makes it. I use goat milk soap (again, find it in my etsy shop), but really, as long as it’s soap. You’ll be surprised how much you love using soap in place of shaving cream. If you’re like me (and other people I’ve talked to) you’ll even like it better.
Hooray for one less item in your shower!
Cleansing (Soap/body wash/face wash)
One bar of soap. That’s all it takes. Just one bar of soap in the corner of your shower. It’s cleansing, it’s moisturizing, it’s natural. Cosmetic companies try to sell you a different wash for each body part. you don’t need it!
I use a mixture of olive oil and witch hazel with some skin nourishing essential oils thrown in, but really, all you need is some sort of oil in which to dip of Q-tip or tissue.
Oh yes, I went there. Paper menstrual pads are so full of chemicals and toxins - and we put them on some very sensitive, absorbent skin! You can save a lot of money, and live a lot greener by switching to cloth. (Check out this article for a more in-depth look at the topic.)
If you look look into our shower, you’ll see exactly three items - four if you count my razor. Shampoo, conditioner, and a bar of soap. We all use the homemade soap from head to toe - I’ve found it to be mild enough even for little babies. I still use the shampoo and conditioner occasionally, but when it’s gone, I also don’t plan to replace it. Then we’ll be left with only one item in our shower.
Now that’s some serious minimalism there!
What are some ways you simplify your bathroom routine?