You don't need 20 different products in the bathroom.
Don't be a sucker any longer, get rid of all that unnecessary lotion and soap.
Decrease your thoughtless consumerism.
This post is more of a rant. Whenever I’m stopping at someones house I’m amazed at how many different lotions, shampoos and soaps people have. If you glance at the shower there are usually 4-5 different shampoos and conditioners, 1-3 different body soaps, shaving cream, and 1-3 different kinds of face soaps. Then theres the face lotion, the face lotion with sunscreen, the body lotion, the hand lotion, facial scrubs, foot scrubs, hair leave in conditioner, etc. Then welcome to bath and bodyworks, an excuse to buy and store 5-10 more smelly lotions, body soaps, shampoos and conditioners underneath the counter or in the shower most likely only being used a couple times before being forgotten about. The human body does not need so many items to be acceptably clean and moisturized.
I think this is 99% marketing hype that begun as we were teens growing up. The moment in time comes where puberty and poor diet culminate into the inevitable teen acne. Instead of improving diet, theres a trip to the store which includes buying maybe 1-2 face soaps, something with salicylic acid and one with benzoyl peroxide, and one with a facial scrub, perhaps an astringent, and a facial lotion designed for acne, some spot treatment, and sometimes a face mask too. That’s anywhere from 5-7 items FOR YOUR FACE! There is a short period of time where some of these are indeed helpful but adult acne is more rare than most think.
I was a victim of this thoughtless consumerism too. I decided to eliminate all the extras and just have one of everything for 30 days to see what exactly I need. I went from using a multitude of items to just bar soap and body lotion, using the lotion for shaving cream of course. Then I tried Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap for a couple years (the peppermint makes your skin feel nice and tingly), and one lotion. Miraculously, being a guy, my short hair stayed in pretty good condition with no shampoo or conditioner. I didn’t get more acne cutting out face soap and anti acne creams and soaps, if anything I GET LESS NOW.
So what is the purpose of having all these different items? Well, what is the purpose of soap and lotion in the first place? As a healthcare worker staying clean and hygenic is uber important, as well as the condition of my hands since I have to wash them about 100 times a shift. I want to have a clean face and body. I want to feel fresh. I want my skin to be in soft clean condition, not dry and rough. Do I really need 50 different products to do that? No. Maybe a few of the products out there make it worse, especially if they're using harsh unnecessary chemicals to do their job. Many people have skin that responds very well after cutting out products with harsh cleaners or foaming agents like sodium laureth sulfate or parabens.
Try eating healthier, if you have acne cut down on greasy foods or chocolate. If you have eczema try steering away from coffee or gluten/wheat products or caffeine. Many times the acne you have will decrease significantly just by giving your body time and space away from all these products designed to prevent and treat it. The human is a machine that successfully runs itself without any help other than good building blocks and repair supplies (food and water).
My challenge is for you to not buy or accept anymore smelly or fancy soaps or lotions. Put everything away except maybe 2-3 things and experiment what is actually necessary. Once you realize that the human body that has lasted for millions of years without a ton of different products for every part of your body. As far as the acne and eczema part goes give yourself at least a month. It takes time for your body to reset its natural oil production and get accustomed to being free of all these chemicals. It also takes time for your body to process harmful effects from wheat, gluten and caffeine out of your system. It actually takes about 3 months to really feel the effects of no caffeine mentally and physically.
Once you’ve detoxed from some of these items and your chemistry has begun to normalize, introduce something one at a time for a week or so (some people find a 7 day juice fast helpful in detoxing). Maybe if you have a bit of acne popping up you realize you only need one soap or one lotion once or twice a week to help out, not every day and not 3-5 items. For the girls out there, I know makeup can clog your pores but there are brands that help reduce this and natural remedies like apple cider vinegar that can serve tons of purposes in your cabinet and reduce thoughtless consumerism.
It’s pretty freeing cutting unnecessary things from your everyday life, it saves you tons of money, and it makes travel easier when you realize you don’t need as huge of a bag for toiletries. Big companies want you to feel like your life can be improved by a smelly soap or try to create a need or convince you your life will be improved and you’ll feel fresher and more beautiful by adding yet another product to your counter space. Their job is to make you feel like your life is incomplete if you don't start adding their product to your regimen, that’s how they generate revenue and increase their sales every year.
Don’t let the big companies win by selling you snake oil or compelling you to have different scented lotions and soaps (p.s. that’s what perfume and cologne are for). Make extra room in your wallet and save time by realizing you need less.
Next time you purchase something, or add something to your life ask yourself if you're really improving your life by buying this product, what percentage of your life will improve with this product and if you could live without this product and be happy. Look at the size, how long it will last and how much it costs and calculate that over a year. Does this product improve your life by that much? Will you really use it as often as intended? If you really want it put it on a list and wait a month. Search online and look at reviews, comparisons between other brands, and see if it's cheaper online or if there is a small sample size available.
The photo above is my trip to Hong Kong in 2011. Acne free with bar soap and no lotion. I use shampoo and conditioner now that I have longer hair.