It’s a nice thing to be (reasonably) clean.
Admittedly, some weeks are more hygienic around here than others.
I think it’s a phase or perhaps his age, but Luke would go a week without showering if I let him. Ya, been there too.
It’s the whole having to do the hair- lotioning-scrubbing- shaving-washing the Alice Cooper eyes from my face-time-consuming thing that gets annoying.
And showers are one thing, then there are baths. Unless by complete random occurrence, no one bathes in our house. For me, I’ve never had the urge to just sit there and hang out for 30 or 40 minutes in an awkwardly crunched position, staring at my feet…or the soap rings on the sides of the tub.
Can’t say I’ve ever understood the draw to take baths unless I were still a kid and could use it like a pool, but each to their own.
Being adequately clean is good for your health (your marriage! ha!) and socially necessary. While I mention the word healthy, yes — it’s important to know the what we put in our bodies but it’s equally essential that we understand what we put ON our bodies.
Like the attention we put on the ingredients in food that ensure the insides of our bodies work well, we must know that what we put on the outside matters too.
Skin is the human body’s largest organ. It can range in average size from about 11–21 square feet. That’s a lot of area to allow good or toxic stuff into our bodies.
We expose our skin to so many things, intentionally via applying creams, make-up and soaps or unintentionally via chlorinated shower water, continuous environmental pollutants and ingredients in much of the food that is eaten in North America today.
Like creating a solid habit, we know it’s the little things — over time — that matter. Eating take-out pizza, for example,…one or two meals here and there…no biggie. Eating it every meal every day…you’re going to feel it and notice it physically. And moving our bodies — move it or lose it right? One super long, intense workout a month is not going to do anything for you body (except maybe injure it). Whereas, we know how helpful a 30 minute brisk walk each day is.
A large contributing factor as to why people ‘lose weight’ when on a ‘diet’ is because they aren’t taking in all the added extra, chemical ingredients that no one can read that wreak havoc on our body’s ability to process real food. Yes it’s important to read nutrition labels for certain items if you have sensitivities etc., but that flavoured low-fat (aka: modified trash) strawberry yogurt won’t help you in efforts to feel better.
Many folks forget or choose not to consideration ALL the contributing factors as to why their bodies aren’t working well for them.
The lymphatic system is one system responsible for helping clear out the toxins in our bodies and to do its job. And it can’t be bogged and overloaded down all day every day with long lists of unnecessary additives. Our bodies weren’t designed to know what to do with chemicals so it freaks out on a small scale and does the best it can which causes an immune response (again, consistently and compounding little by little everyday over time).
I can almost guarantee you, like 90.0% of the North American population is immunocompromised in some way, shape or form on a cellular level (and just doesn’t totally know it)…thanks to our processed food, big business companies and their cheaper chemical trade-offs, pesticides, low-level constant radiation with electronics etc.
Back to soap…
When soap first was a thing, sodium tallowate (animal fat and lye, typically sodium hydroxide) was one of the go-to ingredients. It’s the stuff that makes conventional soap frothy and creamy but it also strips your skin of the healthy necessary oils. It’s still used in many, many soaps, shampoos and cleansers today. Keep in mind too that for most store-bought soaps, the tallow is harvested from left-over animal carcasses at meat-producing plants. Most likely the animals weren’t raised in a free-range, pesticide and antibiotic-free environments either.
In esthetics school (17 years ago), we learned that sometimes the reason people have or have the exacerbation of acne and skin issues is becuase of using soaps like the above. What happens is the skin keeps trying to compensate for the taking-away-of the natural oils and then goes into overproduction thus making super oily skin and contributing to problems.
Another ingredient you will see, even in some ‘natural’ brands, is Sodium laureth sulfate. It too makes the bubbles and foam but that fleeting delight comes at a cost (not to mention washing all the time removes healthy, necessary bacteria). You can read more about it here: davidsuzuki(dot)org/queen-of-green/dirty-dozen-sodium-laureth-sulfate/.
I get that it’s not always easy or economical. With kids and teenagers, the shampoo bottle can be emptied in a couple of days, even with a Mom tutorial. But it’s simple — being mindful about this stuff — and not expensive if you know what you’re looking for and want to prioritize your wellbeing.
A fantastic resource for checking out a product is a site called EWG Skin Deep. www(dot)ewg(dot)org/skindeep/. It will break down and rate all the ingredients in almost any product on a store shelf that you can think of. Highly recommend it.
And also remember, if the food (or otherwise) list is longer than 5–10 ingredients and/or they aren’t words that are easily pronounceable…take a pass.
I’m constantly reminded in life that it’s always the little things.
Local Kamloops plug! — Bear All Body Care, Real Wellness Products …Gotta check em’ xo