Living on board is somewhat about getting away from the trappings of society. Still, most women (and men, I am sure) feel the need to take care of themselves. Sailing the oceans can mean finding and buying products becomes a challenge both in availability and in price. Our book Cruisers’ AA contains a whole chapter on Beauty on a Budget and to supplement that, here’s my recent experiment on swapping chemical based products for natural products. I am the guinea-pig!
Your Challenge – should you choose to accept it – No poo, no soap & no moisturiser.
I have been toying with the idea of using natural products to wash with for a while. I am 43 and becoming more aware of middle age than I’d really like to.
I could easily purchase the paraphernalia of natural items that are readily available and get on with it. The trouble is I hate spending money, I really struggle to treat myself and if I have to buy something (food for example) I spend as little as possible. So buying a whole new range of natural products is not something I can do – I physically can’t do it.
So, I have been trawling through numerous websites to cobble together some-sort of health-dollar-compromise. With the information amassed I decided to stop using shampoo and supermarket purchased soap immediately; AND to stop using moisturiser, which I used (note the past tense) daily. However, I will continue to use sunscreen when necessary.
To lessen the dramatic change I used homemade soap (made with natural products) on my hair and body for two weeks before I went ‘naked’ so to speak. The soap is made by a friend. My hair maybe a tad dryer than normal, but other than that, I have seen no real effects. My skin is dryer, having not used moisturiser for two weeks either.
My Ethos I have dry skin, so lack of daily moisturiser is hard – initially. But from what I have read (and what rings true with me) is that moisturisers are stopping my skin producing the oils it needs. I also suffer with dry lips and have done for a long time, nothing seems to help them. I drink lots of water, keeping hydrated as much as possible.
The Great Plan The plan is to continue using the natural soap on my body, but NOT on my face. I will be washing my face with warm water only. I will continue to avoid moisturising and instead of the soap (which replaced the shampoo initially) I will now use just Bi-Carbonate Soda (BS) and White Vinegar (WV) on my hair.
No poo recipe 1 x tablespoon of BS in warm water, stirred until dissolved. 1 x tablespoon of white vinegar in warm water, stirred
Day One It was odd (and hard) not putting soap on my face, but fine. The hair washing was awkward as I am not organised and I used a china cup – very clumsy- washing hair while trying to pour (and control) the cup over your head, or very bright really.
Once my hair had dried, it felt odd – sort of thicker. It is quite long and I am not sure I used enough BS/WV. It feels clean but a bit drier than normal. Tangles were not a problem as the BS/WV in water just sort of flowed over my hair and I gently massaged it into my scalp.
My face feels clean and fine, still a bit dry but not too bad.
Day Two Last night, a lot of the dry skin on my lips fell off. They are still a bit dry but not much. It is the best they have been for ages, years in fact! I am not sure if it is because of not using soap on my face (and therefore my lips) for one day or that, after two weeks without moisturiser they are starting to ‘make’ their own moisturiser – or, of course, a combination of both. Either way it feels good – certainly better.
My hair feels a little oily on top and dry at the ends. Nothing too bad, but I am interested to see how the next wash goes.
I think my skin feels ever-so slightly less dry today. I hope it improves, everyone keeps telling me how tired I look. I know my skin is pulling a little tight and wrinkling. Not horrendously, but making me look tired.
After my shower, everything felt drier, my face and my lips, especially around my eyes. It isn’t particularly comfortable or attractive. I put extra BS and WV in the no poo mix. Once my hair had dried it felt better, but “thick” and not as clean as I’d like – but good enough.
Day Three No moisturiser- still, washing face with water and I didn’t wash my hair. Everything same as yesterday but hair felt quite oily.
Day Four Washed hair with extra BS and WV (1 extra tablespoon each) AND more rinsing. I’ve been rinsing hair with BS (dissolved), then following straight away with the WV (mind eyes), then only rinsing a little after that with water. This time I gave my hair and scalp a really good rinse.
Today my hair feels fantastic. Clean, bouncy, shiny and just fab. Lips feel the same, they improved a few days ago, but since then no further improvement (but no decline either) .
Day Five Hair feels fabulous, does not need washing at all; bouncy, healthy and just great. Lips feel ever-so slightly better today. Face/skin feels much better, not quite so dry and tight.
Summary so far Hair feels glorious. I had a couple of days where it was/felt a bit odd. Not enough for others to notice, but I could feel it. Scalp feels super clean. Skin/face, feeling & looking much much better. Lips feeling much better too – still a little dry, hope this improves over time.
I am determined to continue and will post updates every few days/once a week with results. But I’d love to hear other people’s experiences/suggestions . . .