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Podcast 240 - Poo-Less: Shampoo and Soap less

Adrien Lapointe
steward

Joined: Feb 23, 2012
Posts: 2525
Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
    
  81


Summary

Credit: Summary prepared by Susan McGuinness

About the toxic gunk we rub onto ourselves, plus a bit about diet, and what to do about it. Paul and Jocelyn discuss personal hygiene strategies from their different cultural perspectives. Paul may be presenting himself as an example of germ-conscious but not overly-sensitive 'guy'. Jocelyn has various sensitivities (sinus, skin, hair, etc) and may, for the purposes of this podcast, be offering herself as an example of someone further toward hyper-sensitive. Societal and cumulative reactions are discussed. Both have gone shampoo and soap-less and both report good results with various amount of detail.

Relevant Links

Podcast 240 - Poo-Less: Shampoo and Soap less

No Shampoo/Soap thread at Permies
Toxin-ectomy forum at Permies
Frugality forum at Permies
Cooking forum at Permies

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Permaculture Kingston
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Michael Skowronski


Joined: Jan 29, 2012
Posts: 21
I tried the POOless bathing system for about 3 months. I made the following observations...

*** I felt and smelt clean to myself...
*** My family was clueless, and my wife is always complaining about foul smells. She never complained about me. She had no idea, nor did any of the other people I lived with or worked with. I asked.
*** The towel I used to dry myself off after a shower needed cleaning MUCH more OFTEN!!! I considered this a downside since I don't like doing laundry. However, I suppose if you can save water by a quicker shower then you are saving water and all the side effects of using that water.
*** I like my long showers...sorry that I am not greener than that, but I do.

Conclusion... I am back to using soap...I do not shampoo except on rare occasions when I just feel like doing it.

However, I know I can get by without soap or shampoo and if needed can and will do without...like at when at the gym and they provide some sort of toxic gick that I don't want to put on my body...so what if the towel takes up the extra body oils and such, the gym super cleans every one of them anyway.
Greta Beach


Joined: Feb 07, 2013
Posts: 12
    
    2
Hi Michael,

I have been Poo-less for quite a while now. This includes deodorant. I found a great recipe for a quick mix that makes just over 2 sticks of deodorant. It works as well or better than the store bought brand and for safety, you can just about eat it. I am looking for a good shampoo recipe made from anything other than castile soap. Has anyone got one to share or other things they do for themselves? I'll give you the website for my stuff if you want to try!

g
Valerie Dawnstar


Joined: Dec 07, 2009
Posts: 185
Location: North Central New York
    
    2
Man, I would so like to do this but I admit I do have that "thing" about using some kind of surfactant in my daily ablutions. (How do you like them big words?)

There was discussion in the podcast about a transition period but am I understanding that you just stop using soap/shampoo cold turkey? So you are basically, what we in the conventional world would consider, just rinsing off? I avoid shampooing every day because it dries out my hair but when I go an extra day or two it just doesn't feel clean. I never thought about just rinsing it! Ha! I would like to hear more people's experience and thoughts on this. I would so like to stop putting soap out there.


Furthering Permaculture next to Lake Ontario. www.oswego.edu/permaculture

Rocket Mass Heater workshop (Ernie & Erica Wisner) in April 2015 - https://www.facebook.com/events/298154697021978/?ref=2&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
Claire Skerry


Joined: Jan 04, 2013
Posts: 28
Location: Converse, Texas
Greta Beach wrote:Hi Michael,

I have been Poo-less for quite a while now. This includes deodorant. I found a great recipe for a quick mix that makes just over 2 sticks of deodorant. It works as well or better than the store bought brand and for safety, you can just about eat it. I am looking for a good shampoo recipe made from anything other than castile soap. Has anyone got one to share or other things they do for themselves? I'll give you the website for my stuff if you want to try!

g


Don't suppose you could give us the recipe? We have hot summers down here and while I'm alright with loosing the shampoo, loosing the deodorant might be one step to far.


Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. ~Frank Lloyd Wright
Heather Brenner


Joined: Jan 21, 2013
Posts: 26
Location: Helmville, Montana
Here's an odd deodorant solution I stumbled onto: I keep a squirt bottle of vinegar and a squirt bottle of peroxide (a peroxide bottle to which I've added a squirt top, as peroxide stores better in an opaque bottle) in the kitchen for sanitizing countertops and cutting boards when needed. One day, less than satisfied with the performance of store-bought "natural" deodorants, I wondered if the peroxide/vinegar combo, which kills countertop germs so well, might not also take care of stinky armpit germs. You have to wait for it to dry a minute or two, but it does the job quite well.
Claire Skerry


Joined: Jan 04, 2013
Posts: 28
Location: Converse, Texas
Heather: I had read that using rubbing alcohol the same way does something similar. Sounds like your version is a lot more eco friendly though. Especially since you can make vinegar on your own no biggy Thank you!
Heather Brenner


Joined: Jan 21, 2013
Posts: 26
Location: Helmville, Montana
I don't make my own vinegar--yet. That is on the list of things to try, but, for now, I use Costco's white vinegar for cleaning, and Bragg's cider vinegar for eating. So it's just plain white vinegar in the squirt bottle. But it gets the job done and costs close to nothing (not even $ for the squirt bottles, since I use them for the countertops, anyway.)
Greta Beach


Joined: Feb 07, 2013
Posts: 12
    
    2
Claire Skerry wrote:
Greta Beach wrote:Hi Michael,

I have been Poo-less for quite a while now. This includes deodorant. I found a great recipe for a quick mix that makes just over 2 sticks of deodorant. It works as well or better than the store bought brand and for safety, you can just about eat it. I am looking for a good shampoo recipe made from anything other than castile soap. Has anyone got one to share or other things they do for themselves? I'll give you the website for my stuff if you want to try!

g


Don't suppose you could give us the recipe? We have hot summers down here and while I'm alright with loosing the shampoo, loosing the deodorant might be one step to far.


Absolutely! While I could give you the recipe it is better to give you the website of Wellness Mama where I found it. She has so many other good recipes too. The best buy is to get a pound of the wax and butter (got my at Amazon). (If you have a problem with the cost of shipping I buy a lot at Amazon and get a lot of free shipping with A/Prime) It only takes about a heaping tablespoon to make 2 bars the cost really isn't that high. I use a lemon blossom fragrance oil and haven't needed to use the probiotics. http://wellnessmama.com/4901/deodorant-bar-recipe/ Good luck!
Julie Anderson


Joined: Jun 04, 2012
Posts: 58
Location: Zone 9B Santa Rosa, CA
    
  14
I have been 'poo-less" for 18 months. I hardly ever use anything to substitute as a shampoo any more. I wet my hair and scrub my scalp the same as if I were using shampoo. If I feel like I need something more, I dissolve a TBS of baking soda in about 1 cup of water, apply to my hair and scrub scalp like shampoo. I rinse that out of my hair, and than I follow it up with 1 TBS of apple cider vinegar in about the same amount of water. I put a few drops of peppermint oil in the ACV (I have a travel size container of ACV in my shower) to over ride the vinegar smell. I leave that on for a few minutes, then rinse.

I had been struggling with the deodorant thing for a while. My initial solution was to apply a bit of coconut oil in my pits and then dust with baking soda. That was OK, but a bit of a hassle. It also did not stand up to a vigorous workout. I recently found a recipe on-line which I am quite happy with. It's much more convenient because the end product is in a used deodorant container and is applied the same way. This is much better for traveling. I think the antiseptic action of the Tea Tree oil helps with odor too. Here's the link: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2011/09/gentle-all-natural-deodorant-stick-recipe.html

Julie


I have a blog that covers Permaculture, Paleo recipes, gardening, food preservation and whatever catches my fancy. http://www.ranchoseabowpermaculture.com
Greta Beach


Joined: Feb 07, 2013
Posts: 12
    
    2
OK I didn't look at the proportions of the recipe so I didn't use the one at Wellness Mama but it is close. Here is the recipe.

Homemade Natural Stick Deodorant

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Tbs coconut oil
1 Tbs shea butter
1 heaping Tbs beeswax
2 Tbs cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 Tbs baking soda
10 drops essential oil ( I use tea tree, lavender, or lemon for their anti-bacterial properties)
Few drops of vitamin e (optional)

Directions: In a small pot or sauce crock pot melt coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. Once melted mix in baking soda and cornstarch really well. Turn off heat and stir in essential oils. Pour into an empty clean deodorant container. Let cool. I put mine in the freezer so that it would cool quickly and decrease the chance of the baking soda and cornstarch from settling. That’s it!

This stuff goes on really smooth and my armpits feel so moisturized without feeling overly greasy and it goes on clear! To me if feels more like commercial deodorant, but I can feel better about not putting on tons of chemicals and aluminum. Better for the environment and myself! Yay!

FYI If your just switching over from the commercial products your body may go through a 1-2 week transition period where this deodorant may not seem to be working as well as you might think. But once your body gets used to it it will work wonders! So don’t give up your body will thank you!
Caroline Cooper


Joined: Jan 25, 2013
Posts: 12
Hi Friends,

I haven't been able to use deodorant for decades and have four great ideas for homemade deodorants:
http://eatkamloops.org/healthy-household-four-deodorant-options/

Here is a link for more safe household cosmetics and cleaners. Do note the the safe sex lube. People really like that:
http://eatkamloops.org/healthy-household-staying-clean-safely-and-saving-money/

Cheers,
Caroline Cooper
WAPF Kamloops Chapter
eatkamloops.org

PS: Take a look at what's in my cellar right now:
http://eatkamloops.org/pantry-foods-charcuterie/
Harry Greene


Joined: Nov 20, 2012
Posts: 14
I swim daily in a chlorinated pool. I've been shampoo-less for about two years now, and my hair is much less damaged than that of others with long hair. I wear a cap, but nonetheless it gets chlorinated daily. My hair is about 11 inches long. When I need to wash it, I use a baking-soda rinse (put some in a glass with hot water, shake it up, and pour it over my head every which way. Works really well. I've been told that I have great natural hair.
Harry Greene


Joined: Nov 20, 2012
Posts: 14
Also, as far as soap and deodorant go, I use any kind of natural soap (true body from Vermont works great, so does Juniper Ridge), and salt-block deodorant if I feel like it. I haven't had narsty armpit BO in a long time...the salt seems to work as a complement to the natural soap.
Linda Sefcik


Joined: Feb 17, 2013
Posts: 72
Location: Central Oklahoma
Saunas are popular in some cultures... or you can work up a sweat every day.
Eating lots of green leafy vegetables would add more chlorophyl to one's system.
Chlorophyl in one's diet would help create a cleaner perspiration, seems to me.

I posted something in another thread, but still wanted to share it.
I had never heard of this "poo-less" concept before listening to the podcast.
I have used vinegar rinses and they were too strong, I guess.
My whole system felt acidy afterwards... like acidosis.
So... after listening to the podcast, I thought... what can be used instead ?

Lately I have been watching videos about the uses of pine trees...
that you can eat the younger sprouting needles and new growth,
and drink a tea of the older needles by chopping them up and infusing.

Pine needles are full of vitamins... and Vitamin C.
I had heard of using "pine tar soap" for dandruff and psoriasis...
so... making a tea of pine needles started appealing to me.
I may try to make a strong tea of pine needles and aloe vera for WASHING.
I wonder if egg whites would be a good lathering medium for it... in cool water.

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/pine-oil/

One of the problems with going poo-less seems to me, is...
our bodies shed old skin. I've always heard that we should wash with
rough washcloths to help remove these old scales, or dry with a rough towel.

Also... Vitamin A and D help our skin cleanse.
If a person increases these in the diet they may think it is giving them pimples.
Not so. It is your skin expelling impurities and you must let this cycle finish.
And those impurities need to be gotten off of the skin.

Baking soda is considered to be anti-fungal... and thus a mixture with water
would be the preferred wash and not the vinegar. IMO
Our system should be slightly alkaline for best health.
As for dry skin -- smooth on fresh aloe vera juice... or a tiny bit of vegetable shortening.

Having done some living without direct access to water...
I learned how to bath using a minimal amount of water.
Pour a cup or two of water slowly through your hair.
Shampoo. Wet a washcloth with a bit of soap and begin washing.
Wash in this order: face/neck, chest, arms, legs, armpits, crotch, feet
Pour water by cups from hair downward til rinsed thoroughly.

In order to be able to re-use a towel if needed...
dry face arms legs with one end of the towel
dry armpits and crotch with other end (one end usually has a label)
Dry feet only on the corner where the label is.

I'm becoming more and more a fan of pine trees.
Some people put pine oil (Pine-Sol) cleansing products in with their laundry.
I began using it to handwash my clothes and found it quite acceptable.
I don't know how many trees they have to kill to produce this stuff...

Vinegar/water 50/50 is an acceptable disinfectant for the house.
It is also the best way to wash vegetables and fruits.
Pine oil for clothes (not the body !!) -- pine needle tea for the body...
Hmm... the only thing left to wash is... pans and dishes.
What would be the best thing to use... ?

I really enjoyed this subject, and have decided to adapt it to my own preferences.
Thanks.




"The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time."
--- by Terry Tempest Williams, naturalist
Galadriel Freden


Joined: Jul 27, 2012
Posts: 158
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
    
    3
I've been no poo for about five years now, and my small son who is nearly 3, has had one shampoo in his life, at the hospital when he was born. For his hair, it stays pretty clean by itself. It doesn't get wet very often (maybe once a month), and pretty much we don't touch it, other than to run our fingers through it He has very beautiful, clean hair.

For myself, I rinse my hair about twice a month, and every couple months will do a vinegar rinse. Then about every six months I wash it with Dr Bronner's soap (castile soap), very diluted. I'm really sensitive to perfumes and chemical smells, so I really love being able to go without shampoo!


http://meandgaladriel.blogspot.com
Lisa Whitesel


Joined: Mar 11, 2013
Posts: 1
Ok so I've been trying this poo-less thing for a few days, just rinsing with water. Last night I had the genius idea to do an olive oil treatment on my scalp. I didn't consider how I would get all that oil out if my hair without soap! I tried baking soda (and apple cider vinegar to condition) which seemed to have helped some, but it's still pretty oily. Any ideas? Also, any great poo-less ideas for shaving legs and armpits? Tried the olive oil for that too and it worked fairly well but I'm wondering what other people do for this. Thanks!
Claire Skerry


Joined: Jan 04, 2013
Posts: 28
Location: Converse, Texas
Lisa Whitesel wrote:Ok so I've been trying this poo-less thing for a few days, just rinsing with water. Last night I had the genius idea to do an olive oil treatment on my scalp. I didn't consider how I would get all that oil out if my hair without soap! I tried baking soda (and apple cider vinegar to condition) which seemed to have helped some, but it's still pretty oily. Any ideas? Also, any great poo-less ideas for shaving legs and armpits? Tried the olive oil for that too and it worked fairly well but I'm wondering what other people do for this. Thanks!


The oil treatment only works if you do shampoo. I actually used to dip the tips of my hair into grapeseed oil or put a drop or two on my hairbrush. But doing that with the pooless is just going the other direction fast. With shampoo you strip the oil, with oil treatments you over replace what your body produces. Better to just let it even itself out. Your body will find it's balance if you leave it be. And you'll save a lot in hair products. With the shaving legs and pits, I've replaced it with sugaring. Tons of info on the web. Takes some practice getting the mixture to the right consistency and then learning the flicking method. But if you do it long enough it has the same effect as waxing in that instead of reacting with thicker darker hair like shaving, it comes back smaller, and less noticeably. This means you have to do it less and less frequently and hopefully end having to do anything about it. That's my goal anyways. Still getting the kinks out of the recipe and method. Good luck!
Renate Howard
pollinator

Joined: Jan 10, 2013
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
    
    9
I started having pain in my pits from deodorant so I had to quit using it. My favorite alternative is Philip's Milk of Magnesia, unflavored. It lasted about 12 hours when I first started using it, now it lasts about 2 days, usually. So I guess it caused a change in the bacteria of my pits. Someone told me in Central America a lot of people use that instead of deodorant - cheaper, I guess.

My hair tends to be oily and I get itchy when my scalp sweats so I have to use shampoo sometimes but my habit that's been working for months now is to wash my hair once a week with Dr. Bonner's liquid soap, diluted 50:50 and the rest of the time I use a tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in water every other day, the other days I either don't wash my hair or just use a vinegar rinse (which I also do after shampooing or using the baking soda).

There's a bit of chemistry to it all. The baking soda, being alkaline, raises the hair cuticle. If you leave it like that, it will be more "fluffy" but also coarse and dull and tangle easily. The vinegar rinse changes the pH and that causes the cuticle to go back down, making the hair smooth, shiny, tangle resistant, and much more manageable. So you should always rinse with something acid after using baking soda. I use 1:10 ratio of vinegar to water.

The easiest way I've found to store my vinegar and baking soda solutions is in plastic catsup and mustard bottles from the dollar store. They have pointy tips so I can squirt it where I want and they are easy to refill.
Ben Mosley


Joined: Nov 08, 2012
Posts: 43
Location: Upstate,SC Zone 7a
    
    1
Renate Haeckler wrote:I started having pain in my pits from deodorant so I had to quit using it. My favorite alternative is Philip's Milk of Magnesia, unflavored. It lasted about 12 hours when I first started using it, now it lasts about 2 days, usually. So I guess it caused a change in the bacteria of my pits. Someone told me in Central America a lot of people use that instead of deodorant - cheaper, I guess.

My hair tends to be oily and I get itchy when my scalp sweats so I have to use shampoo sometimes but my habit that's been working for months now is to wash my hair once a week with Dr. Bonner's liquid soap, diluted 50:50 and the rest of the time I use a tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in water every other day, the other days I either don't wash my hair or just use a vinegar rinse (which I also do after shampooing or using the baking soda).

There's a bit of chemistry to it all. The baking soda, being alkaline, raises the hair cuticle. If you leave it like that, it will be more "fluffy" but also coarse and dull and tangle easily. The vinegar rinse changes the pH and that causes the cuticle to go back down, making the hair smooth, shiny, tangle resistant, and much more manageable. So you should always rinse with something acid after using baking soda. I use 1:10 ratio of vinegar to water.

The easiest way I've found to store my vinegar and baking soda solutions is in plastic catsup and mustard bottles from the dollar store. They have pointy tips so I can squirt it where I want and they are easy to refill.


I had the same problem with deodorant.I would rash up like I used poison ivy under my arms.I quite use deo,but the meds I have to take make make me smell like a tire fire next to paper plant with a sewage plant separating the two.I wash with baking soda as previously mentioned for hair,and use talcum powder.As long as I don't sweat,I'm ok.Unfortunately,we don't have a/c and it's pretty warm here most of the year.

Galadriel Freden


Joined: Jul 27, 2012
Posts: 158
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
    
    3
Renate Haeckler wrote:
My hair tends to be oily and I get itchy when my scalp sweats so I have to use shampoo sometimes but my habit that's been working for months now is to wash my hair once a week with Dr. Bonner's liquid soap, diluted 50:50 and the rest of the time I use a tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in water every other day, the other days I either don't wash my hair or just use a vinegar rinse (which I also do after shampooing or using the baking soda).


I have read about, and it's also my personal experience: if I wet my hair often with hard water it will get more oily than if I just left it dry. I don't actually know if the scalp produces more sebum, or the minerals in the water stick in the hair, or a combination of the two--but I have hard water and I don't get my hair wet unless I have to. This means my hair stays dry and unwashed for several weeks at a time. I have much less oily hair than when I was rinsing regularly, or even when I was using baking soda and vinegar.

This may not apply to your situation, however
Valerie Dawnstar


Joined: Dec 07, 2009
Posts: 185
Location: North Central New York
    
    2
What happened to the podcast? Why is it not there anymore?
Erik Little


Joined: Oct 25, 2013
Posts: 150
Location: USDA 5b - Central IL
    
    3
Valerie Dawnstar wrote:What happened to the podcast? Why is it not there anymore?


I am listening to it right now via http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/category/podcast/page/3/


"If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else." -- Dave Ramsey
Erik Little


Joined: Oct 25, 2013
Posts: 150
Location: USDA 5b - Central IL
    
    3
@Jocelyn - what was the deodorant that you and paul were using? It sounded like rock crystal but I wasn't sure.
Valerie Dawnstar


Joined: Dec 07, 2009
Posts: 185
Location: North Central New York
    
    2
Thanks, Erik. Got it.
Tina Paxton


Joined: May 21, 2014
Posts: 162
Location: coastal southeast North Carolina
    
    1
I haven't gone poo-less yet but have cut way back on how often I shampoo and only shampoo with Dr. Bonners. I'd never considered going soap-less as well... I think I can handle issues of body odor by using coconut oil and essential oils BUT how does one clean off the barnyard? I wear crocs out to tend to the animals (rabbits, poultry) and between the tannin rich soil/mulch and the droppings, my feet can get stained. Even soap has a problem with cleaning it off. Does anyone else deal with this? Yeah, yeah, wear different shoes...my feet get miserable in enclosed shoes especially in the summer when it is hot/humid.

Someone mentioned using pine needle tea but it wasn't clear to me if they meant as a rinse/wash external or to drink or both? I have read about applying Vitamin C serum or adding ascorbic acid to body lotion both as a chlorine neutralizer and as a skin beneficial. The aforementioned person mentioned the vitamin C level of the pine needle tea which got me thinking it would be a good addition to skin care....

http://notquitethereyethomestead.blogspot.com/ --On the highway going from here to there the question is oft asked "are we there yet". The oft given answer is "not quite yet". So it goes with life and with my little piece of it. This is my story. I get to tell it my way. I hope you enjoy it.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6675
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
139
Yet another reason to go poo-less:
Drug-resistant bacteria
This has been researched and measured in the UK.
Ted Crowder


Joined: Mar 10, 2014
Posts: 7
Location: Willcox, AZ
I went poo-less a couple months back. I had been convinced as a young man that pert-plus was the best. I had used it for about 15 years. I also used american crew firm hair gel everyday to style my hair. I no longer need any shampoo or hair gel. I like Paul, as he states on the podcast, never had any weird transition stage. My wife says my hair is thicker now, but becomes greasy if I don't rinse at least every 3rd day. I shower everyday for about 60 to 90 seconds so this is not a problem. No one else has noticed anything with my hair. I still style my hair, I just do it with water now and it stays every bit as good as it did with hair gel. If I don't push it up in the front to do a wave thing, then it just lays flat against my head and looks okay.

I love being poo-less. My wife wants to join me on this adventure but isn't quite sure about doing it with the kids. We'll see. Does anyone have any suggestions of keeping kids hair clean without shampoo? My kids love to play outside in the sand and dirt and think it is extremely funny to plop a big handful of sand on one another's heads.
Galadriel Freden


Joined: Jul 27, 2012
Posts: 158
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
    
    3
Ted Crowder wrote:Does anyone have any suggestions of keeping kids hair clean without shampoo? My kids love to play outside in the sand and dirt and think it is extremely funny to plop a big handful of sand on one another's heads.


My son, now four, has been no poo all his life. Like mine, his hair rarely gets wet in the bath; we just leave it dry and don't rinse/wash it very often (once a month? sometimes even less). Sand or mud isn't really a problem in hair--it'll rinse out just fine in the bath, without shampoo. In fact, that's pretty much the only time we actually wet my son's hair: when he's been rolling in the mud!
Sue Rine


Joined: Mar 28, 2013
Posts: 139
Location: New Zealand
    
    3
I've been experimenting with going soap and shampoo free since listening to the podcast a few months ago. I have long, thick hair and pretty quickly reverted. I already just use homemade soap with a vinegar rinse. I only need to wash it once a week but with no soap it needed doing every few days, hence longer shower time and all the mucking around getting it dry. However, as far as not using soap for body and face washing goes, I'm finding that fine. In fact I feel cleaner. I think it might be because without the soap making the scrubber slip over my skin, I'm actually rubbing harder and thus scrubbing off more of the dead skin and whatever. Every now and then I just feel like washing with my soap because of the pleasant, gentle smell of the essential oils therein. So, that's it. I mostly don't use soap except occasionally when I feel like it. It does make me wonder about what other things we do 'just because' that maybe aren't at all necessary.
 
 
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