My friends, I am embarking on a journey. An experiment, really.
What if I replaced my skincare routine with organic, natural substances? And what if I swapped my shampoo and conditioner with common household ingredients that are in my cupboards?
What if, indeed?
Let’s talk skincare. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Oil Cleansing Method. If not, it’s the idea that “like dissolves like,” meaning that the harsh substances in our cleansers and toners are actually stripping away the good stuff in our skin, which is why we then have to add in moisturizers. Or perhaps you’re on the other side of the fence, with oily skin. You might be blanching at the thought of adding oil to your face. But think about this: Your skin needs oil. And if you use product after product to strip away your skin’s natural oils, then wouldn’t it make sense that your skin would kick into over-drive to compensate?
I’m not going to go in-depth about the OCM because there are already a kabajillion blog posts and articles about it. Just Google it. I will, however, tell you what I’m trying, my reaction, and a cost analysis.
50% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 50% Castor Oil. I put it in a cosmetics bottle, shook it up, squirted a little on my fingers, then rubbed it into my face for about two minutes. I even closed my eyes and rubbed it over and under them, because neither of these oils is irritating to eyes. Then I sprinkled a few drops of Tea Tree Oil on my fingers and added that to the massage, as it isn’t the best to put in/near your eyes, but it is a natural acne and fungus-fighting oil. Plus it smells like nature-y heaven.
Then I put a warm, damp cloth over my face. (Just run hot water on it in the sink, ring it out, and plop it down.) Let it cool, approximately 2 more minutes, then rub it over your face to wipe off any excess oil that hasn’t soaked in.
That’s it. a 4-5 minute mini-spa. It was SO relaxing and I can honestly say my skin felt great afterwards. Clean, smooth, nourished. It looked nice too; not oily or greasy, just refreshed. The olive oil is the “moisturizer” oil and the castor oil acts like more of a “cleanser” oil. As I mentioned before, Tea Tree is great for acne.
Did I mention that rubbing these oils on your face actually removes your makeup? SOLD. I can attest that it did, too, as I had makeup on when I tried it. Hours later, my skin still felt and looked great, and I didn’t have any oiliness in my T-Zone.
So let’s talk cost comparison.
Old skincare routine, assuming I use one whole bottle of each a month (which is more like every 6-8 weeks):
Makeup Remover: $18
Eye Cream: $29
TOTAL EFFING AMOUNT: $90.50
Tea Tree Oil-$8
And let’s throw in the set of 4 cosmetic bottles I bought to hold the stuff- $5
Total Amount: $25.
For those keeping track at home, that’s a savings of $65.5. SOLD. And considering I never have to buy the bottles again, it’s $70.5.
A note about smell: I think olive oil smells nice, though I did kinda feel like a salad-face for a bit, though it didn’t linger on my skin. The castor oil didn’t have a smell to me. Tea tree oil has a strong smell, but I adore it. It’s very earthy and woodsy. And it does linger.
Now on to hair:
Remember that thing I said about stripping natural oils from your skin? Same thing with hair. Shampoo is actually cleverly disguised detergent, which is why we need conditioner. That’s why the more often you wash your hair, the oilier it becomes. For a couple of years now, I’ve only washed my hair 2-3 times a week, and for longer than that I’ve only used the highest-quality salon brands I could afford.
Then I heard about this idea of being Shampoo-free. Instead, mix water and baking soda in a squeeze bottle, spritz it on, rub it around, and rinse it off. Follow with an apple-cider vinegar “conditioner” that restores the pH balance of your hair and acts as a natural detangler.
A few weeks ago, my scalp was driving me crazy with itching and a little flakiness, so I Googled natural scalp remedies. I tried the following recipe, and holy heck, my head and hair felt amazing afterwards.
Add 1 cup boiling water to a heat-resistant bowl with 2 tablespoons each of Rosemary and Thyme.
Cover with a cloth and let steep for about 10 minutes.
Strain into a squirt bottle.
Add 1 cup apple cider vinegar.
Enjoy a refreshed scalp and silky hair.
So that’s what is in my “conditioner” bottle. My shampoo is about a tablespoon of baking soda and tap water. (You’re supposed to tweak recipes until you find what’s right for you, which is why I’m referring you to the information already out there instead of harping on all the variations.)
My hair was soft, shiny, silky, and relatively tangle-free considering the mess it was when I entered the shower. (Forgot to comb, whoops.) Even more surprising, there wasn’t a trace of oil in my hairline. Even more-r surprising, it cleaned out the product and hairspray gunk in my hair. Even morerererer surprising, my hair had body and bounce and height at the roots. Let’s talk cost:
Old Hair-Care Routine, again assuming I use a bottle of each, monthly:
Heat Protector- $11.99
TOTAL EFFING COST: $51.96
Baking soda- round up to $2
Apple cider vinegar– $4
More water- free
2 squirt bottles- $5
Total: $17. THAT’S A SAVINGS OF $34.96; $39.96 considering the one-time purchase of squirt bottles.
A note about smell: Baking soda smells like less than nothing. Apple cider vinegar has a strong smell, but I assure you it doesn’t stick to the hair at all. Trust me, I’m 23, hideous, and perpetually single. I cannot afford having hair that smells like vinegar. My hair doesn’t really smell like anything right now. MAYBE, upon 3 deep sniffs, a hint of rosemary/thyme, but I could just be imagining it. Which, is the general progression of things after sniffing, am I right?
I would consider adding an essential oil to the mix, or maybe just spritzing my hair with perfume after the shower, because fragrance does cling to hair, and I like having yummy-smelling hair.
So that’s my experiment. And I really, really like it so far.
If any of these methods (or savings!!) interest you, please Google away! And let me know if you try anything. I’ll update you guys in a few weeks to let you know how these changes are working for me.
- Hair Health: The Rapunzel Sequel (livehealthylookhealthy.com)
- WHAT?! No Shampoo!! Why I Use Coconut Oil, Baking Soda, and Apple Cider Vinegar For Body Care… (thisissogood.wordpress.com)
- Miracle Worker Tea tree oil comes to the rescue for an array of skin issues (theinsider.retailmenot.com)