For the past 45 days I've stopped using soap (except on my hands). For a year I haven't used shampoo or any un-natural chemicals on my hair so I thought "why am I using soap on my body?". During the year I've mainly been using soap on my feet, privates and bum, armpits and hands - and simply washing the rest of my body with water and a sponge.
(7 months update: I love being no-soap! My showers are shorter and fresher and I feel more free. It's been 7 months now since I last used soap, except on my hands. I have a delightful natural, clean scent. My husband doesn't use soap either and I find that he smells better and better as time goes by. Today I found that he smelt so fresh and just really delicious! Humans have a natural scent just like all other animals. And just like all other animals, we like and even enjoy the scent of our own species. It can take a while for the natural scent to come back after years of chemical mixing, but eventually it comes back, and is so worth it!! I still wash my hands with soap because they come into contact with a lot of dirt and germs, and it seems to have been proven that using soap on hands helps in decreasing or avoiding a lot of contamination. But the un-exposed body parts do NOT need soap washing.)
Before doing this, I did some research on not using soap and how to wash the private area naturally. I found out that the body does not need to be washed with soap (except the hands as there is some research which suggests that since humans use soap on their hands, a lot of disease has been avoided). The body creates its own oil that is needed to keep the body clean and protected, but when we use soap we strip it all off and leave the body vulnerable, so it gets dirty, dry or greasy and even stinky. Another point is that apparently by stopping soap, the body is less smelly because it regulates itself better. Some soaps are really damaging and even create imbalances in the body's hormones - which is very unhealthy! The private area also (which is what I was more worried about washing properly) doesn't need soap. Apparently a lot of people tend to know this - but I didn't - you should only use water on your privates! And that includes the bumbum too. (I've heard that coconut oil or white vinegar are good ways to kill any fungus or smells and is a good idea to use after menstruating for example or if -God forbid- you have an infection down there.)
I have several showers a day to wash myself completely with water only. Each shower takes about 4 minutes so I'm not wasting too much water. I also wash my privates every time I go to the toilet (in this way) to make sure I stay clean at all times (this is necessary in my life to be able to carry on with my daily religious rituals). During my shower I clean every orifice very well because this is where infections and dirt get into the body = ears, nose, mouth, navel, vagina and anus (and eyes, but I don't wash inside my eyes). As well as the orifices, it's important to wash all the hairy parts of the body by giving a good scrub with your hand or sponge. The armpits are the ones I wash the most thoroughly until any smell goes (but luckily I haven't been smelling lately). And finally the feet. I wash in between my toes and the whole foot. It's also good to wash feet during the day whenever they are dirty or damp or any 'not normal' situation. For my religious rituals, I need to clean my feet several times a day, also if you're a bare-foot person then you'll need to wash your feet a lot. The main thing is to wash them before getting into bed so that you sleep clean. I've had to use soap in between my toes twice because it got itchy and I thought it was because I didn't use soap, but it turned out to be just my toe nails getting long and digging into the toes around! So I can go no-soap, worry-free again even on my toes.
Dry skin brushing:
In my shower I do not use a sponge or brush, I only use my hands and the shower water. BUT before every shower I've also started Dry Skin Brushing. This is to stimulate the lymphatic system and to revitalise my body as well as getting rid of dead skin cells. I find that it also leaves my skin clean and soft, which means it doesn't require scrubbing in the shower.
I haven't used any deodorant since transitioning to no-soap, but I've read that some people go really stinky for the first few days so they went for a natural or homemade deodorant to help during that time. I have noticed that I smell nicer, I really like my natural smell and no one around has noticed any change. Even my husband hasn't noticed any difference. No smell is a great smell! Because my sweat used to be quite smelly... This is also affected by clothes. If you wear synthetic fabrics then this will make your sweat smell. If you wear natural fabrics then your sweat will not be affected by it. If you do want to use deodorant you can make a lovely homemade one or I would recommend using Alum rock (yes Alum come from aluminium but check the ingredients because sometimes it's made of the bad type and sometimes it's made of the good type). The easy and lovely homemade one requires 1, 2 or 3 ingredients, depending on how intricate you want to be :)
option 1: Rub some coconut oil on your armpits
option 2: Rub some baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) on your armpits
option 3: Mix baking soda and coconut oil in a little tub and apply it to your armpits
option 4: Mix baking soda, coconut oil and a few drops of essential oils for a delightful scent (I use lavender and it smells so lovely) mix it in a little tub and apply it with your fingers.
So, how to be a no-soap person? It helps to use the Dry Skin Brushing technique and why not try a natural deodorant to add a little scent.
Have you ever thought of going no-soap? What do you think about it?
Love J xx
PS it's been around 3 years now since I used soap on my body and I wouldn't go back. It seems silly and wasteful. I still use soap on my hands and occasionally on my face if I've been in a polluted environment. The doedorant I use every single day is the coconut oil and baking soda mix.