Thursday, January 19, 2017

When I Stopped Using Soap & Shampoo

I stopped using soap a couple of years ago. Pause for reaction. 
I’ve always had dry skin. It got so bad in my 20s with eczema that I thought at times I was morphing into a crocodile. I slathered on lotions for temporary relief but the itching always came back moments later.

I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance in my late 20s followed by a soy, peanut and cashew allergy by 30. When I eliminated these foods my skin improved, especially eczema, but it was still dry. My scalp was the worst. I didn’t use additional hair products or heating tools, so why was it so dry and the ends always split? It seemed like I tried everything. Salon hair care, specialty concoctions, name brand soaps and body washes, followed by natural and organic brands. 

How much money had I put into this quest only to have the same hair and dry skin I did 5 years ago!?!? What would happen if I didn’t use anything? 

I couldn’t imagine it being worse. 
I took daily showers and only rinsed my hair. It looked a little dirty at first. But after a few weeks, the natural oils balanced out, my skin was less itchy and my hair looked healthier.

I poured coconut milk on my skin in the shower as my “soap”. The difference between soap and coconut milk on your skin is phenomenal. Dryness is eliminated. The natural oils cleanse the skin. It smells divine and I started getting compliments on how soft my skin was. 
Coconut milk has antibacterial properties; it's a natural conditioner and has been known to help with hair growth. I use a cotton ball of coconut milk on my face to remove makeup and stopped using facial cleansers too. I sweep it across my eyes for thicker eyebrows, eyelashes and it softens the age lines.

Still thinking I needed to use something on my hair; about once a week I tried pouring coconut milk on it with fantastic results. Now, the thing about coconut milk on the hair and scalp is getting the right milk to added water ratio. There was a lot of trial and error at first. Too much milk and the oils will weigh your hair down, creating a flat or oily appearance. This ratio will be different for everyone depending on your hair texture and the shape it's in. My sister who now uses this as well leaves it a little on the oily side and her hair absorbs it after a day or two. Her hair is dark and a little curly. For my blonde fine dry hair and itchy scalp, I use the following. 

In the shower: 
I pour a few tablespoons in a big glass (16oz) and then fill the glass up to the top with water. I use this as a body rinse. When the cup is ¾ gone, I fill up the glass again and use this on my head. It's just enough to clean my scalp and condition my hair. Bonus, it smells really good.
After the shower: 
If it's wintertime, date night, I just shaved or all of the above, I also massage coconut milk directly on my skin.
Rose Water

I buy the canned coconut milk that is ONLY coconut milk and water without preservatives or anything else added. Some of the preservatives cause an allergic reaction on the skin. Trader Joes Organic Reduced Fat Coconut Milk is the best! I open a can and immediately transfer it to a glass jar. It will need to be refrigerated after you open it. One can will last me 7-10 days on average but I also put it in my coffee in the morning. This eliminated my daily half and half indulgence, which saved enough money to pay for the coconut milk.

The only additional product I love and use is rose water. I'm infatuated with the smell of Rose water. It also softens the skin and hair. Instead of buying a spray bottle of it at the beauty counter or health store for $$$, I buy the beverage from the international market for a few dollars, put it in a spray bottle and it lasts for over a month. I spray it on my face, body and hair. I use it to set my makeup or just when I want to smell like roses. I also keep a small spray bottle of it in my purse to refresh my skin throughout the day. 

My skin and hair now look better in my 30s than it did in my 20s. And I've simplified by using one product that does the work of 5 products. I hope it can also work for you. 

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