Less is More in Health: Minimalist Hygiene Tips
health hygiene minimalism
- Dr. Bronner's Soap (handsoap, occasional bodywash, shampoo, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, toothpaste)
- Olive Oil (conditioner, shaving cream, aftershave)
- Baking soda (bodywash, toothpaste, laundry detergent)
- Coconut oil (moisturizer, toothpaste)
- Salt brick (deodorant)
- Contact solution (can't really replace this, but I did find an all-natural brand that actually feels much more comfortable)
- Straight razor (no refills, just a blade and a leather strop for sharpening)
I feel much cleaner, I spend less money, and most of my stuff serves double duty as a cleaner or cooking ingredient. I rarely have to visit a pharmacy for anything.
In case you're interested in implementing a minimalist hygiene routine into your life, here are three ways to simplify and save money:
Make Your Own Toothpaste
- Equal parts baking soda and coconut oil
- Enough Dr. Bronner's to achieve a pasty consistency
- A few (very few) drops of peppermint extract (optional)
- Mix the baking soda and coconut oil until you get a thick paste
- Add the Dr. Bronner's a few drops at a time while mixing until the desired consistency is reached. You need less than you think
- Add a few drops of peppermint oil for flavor
- Use just a pea-sized amount for brushing.
Shave With Olive Oil
Based on the Rome mini-series, the ancient Romans used olive oil to shave (you see how I did my research there?). This works much better if you shave regularly and aren't tackling a scruffy beard. It is more appropriate for your daily shave. If you need to take out a full beard, I recommend using shaving soap (or Dr. Bronner's).
I have no idea if this works for women and shaving legs, but I'd bet it's just as effective, since facial skin actually has more pores and is more sensitive.
The oil does a really good job of lubricating the razor, giving a nice smooth shave that I feel is actually superior to shaving cream. It's also better for your skin, since it's not a soap but rather a moisturizing oil.
- Steam your beard, either by taking a hot shower or holding a hot towel to your face for a few minutes.
- Rub ample olive oil on your beard, working it into the skin and under the bristles.
- Shave as normal.
- If the razor has taken off all the oil, rub some on as aftershave. You could also throw in some sandalwood essential oil.
Simple, Clean Laundry Detergent
Most laundry detergents have a lot of harsh chemicals in them. Even the eco-friendly brands have a lot of stuff I don't recognize. We're just removing dirt, not sterilizing scientific equipment! I don't want that stuff rubbing into my skin all day, so I use Dr. Bronner's soap.
- Pour 1/4 - 1/3 cup Dr. Bronner's soap (depending on the size of the load and the amount of dirt) into your laundry machine. I usually just pour it over the clothes in the bin.
- Add a 1/4 cup baking soda sprinkled on top
- Run the machine as normal.
If you use scented soap, like I do, the house will smell like peppermint (or whatever scent you use) and your clothes will as well for a few hours, but it wears off pretty quickly.
Photo credit: Three Leaf Clover on Flickr