Personal Hygiene

What skills to learn, what tools to get
Jin+Guice
Posts: 792
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Personal Hygiene

Post by Jin+Guice »

What's everyone's regimen?

Do you use soap? Toothpaste? Floss? Shampoo? Conditioner? Moisturizer? Sunscreen? Beard Oil? Beard Balm? Retinol? Anything else?

Is it all a scam? Is some of it a scam?

Does anyone DIY some or all of their own personal hygiene stuff?

Does anyone understand the chemistry behind it?

User avatar
Alphaville
Posts: 3448
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by Alphaville »

all surfactants have hydrophillic (ion) and hydrophobic (fatty acid) ends.

the hydrophobic end attaches itself to grease, the hydrophillic tail attaches itself to water, and your greasy ools dirt gets washed away

soap is made from boiling fats and lye and has a high ph (very alkaline)

detergents are made in different ways and have different properties.

the skin produces sebum it uses to protect itself. soap and detergents remove it.

too much sebum removal will cause skin problems. some people add window dressing (moisturizers) to soap, to compensate. other milder agents don't remove it in the first place.

etc etc.

i did a related thread... i will post link here

eta here you go: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11849

Hristo Botev
Posts: 1315
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by Hristo Botev »

I don't understand the chemistry (b/c I don't really understand any chemistry). But, speaking anecdotally (which is all I know to do), I make my own soap (https://www.resilience.org/stories/2021 ... nsumerism/) and deodorant (https://www.greenmatters.com/p/make-you ... ant-recipe) and toothpaste (https://www.news-medical.net/health/(Ho ... paste.aspx), which I supplement with Bronner's Castile soap, which is what I also use to shave my face and my head (I'm bald), and I also use Bronner's for our family's hand soap at our bathroom and kitchen sinks. I use whatever floss and toothbrush I and my family get from the dentist in the little "free" care packages they send you home with. And I swear by the Merkur safety razor. DW and DD have expensive lotion that our dermatologist cousin recommends, and which I'll use a drop of every once in a while when it's really dry outside and my clothes are clinging to my body through static electricity. That's it. I also only shower every other day, and I take camper showers when I do and try and keep the water around lukewarm instead of hot, and I think that helps with dry skin during the winter.

mathiverse
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by mathiverse »

@Hristo: When you make the soap, do you use an essential oil? If not, does the soap smell okay?

Hristo Botev
Posts: 1315
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by Hristo Botev »

mathiverse wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:07 am
I don't, and the soap smells fine to me; though I also supplement with Bronner's (on my head/face and hands) which does have essential oils added. DW won't use my soap, however; so, there's that. It's on my list of things to do to get better at making soap, Tyler Durden style. For now, I'm still a beginner simply trying to figure out ways to avoid trips to Wal-Mart or wherever.

User avatar
Alphaville
Posts: 3448
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by Alphaville »

that lard soap recipe looks righteous, no bs

tallow (from beef) is a more frequent ingredient than lard. eg various pricey soaps will read "sodium tallowate" in the ingredient list.

castille soap (bronner's) just means made from olive oil because that's what spain ("castille") produces in abundance since roman times.

other people use coconut oil or shea butter, etc.

it's always a fat + lye. hence, most soaps read "sodium -------ate"

detergents use mostly sodium too for the hydrophillic end. but they're harder to synthesize.

mathiverse
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by mathiverse »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:14 am
DW won't use my soap, however; so, there's that.
Why won't your wife use the soap yet? Also what aspects of the soap will get better as you get better at making it?

Frita
Posts: 683
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by Frita »

My spouse and I ditched deodorant/antiperspirant about four years ago. Paradoxically, I sweat less. No BO unless it’s the rare panic/fear stink.

Hristo Botev
Posts: 1315
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by Hristo Botev »

mathiverse wrote:
Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:52 am
Why won't your wife use the soap yet? Also what aspects of the soap will get better as you get better at making it?
Because she's got a stockpile of soap that folks (mainly her mother) have gifted her over the years that she's working her way through and that she prefers over my utilitarian soap (what she uses is girly soap). As for improvement, I have plenty of experimenting left to do to find the right amount of frothiness, and to make it smell nice (such that DW will prefer it). It'd be kind of fun to make soap that I could sell on the side for fun. What I make now just serves the purpose of keeping me from having to go to Wal-Mart to buy plastic-wrapped Dial or whatever. It's the same as my homebrewing; I like drinking it because I get a warm feeling about the DIY aspect of it, and the fact that I don't have to go spend $10+ for a 6-pack; but while folks appreciate getting the occasional free homebrew from me, it's not exactly fan-level beer at this point. But, I'm not in any hurry.

mathiverse
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by mathiverse »

Thanks, Hristo! I may try the soap and deodorant recipes.

FRx
Posts: 222
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:29 pm
Location: Oaxaca

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by FRx »

My deodorant is water, baking soda, lavender essential oil, just 2 drops for 2 ounces. Never stink (according to partner) and I work out a lot.
My research on the topic of toothpaste is that you don't really need it if you have good brushing techniques and good flossing. I have used a touch of baking soda for brushing but you have to be careful because the technique changes with something that abrasive.
I use a natural soap, often something someone makes locally every few days on my body. Rest of the time I just wash with water and avoid scrubbing the skin since it removes the important layers you need for the good bacteria to colonize your skin and avoid pathogenic colonization.
Don't use sunscreen but am smart about exposure and every season before I get sun exposure I reacclimate my skin and eyes and avoid sunburns and wear long sleeves in Mexico and California and a hat.
No shampoo because I shave my head. No beard stuff. No retinol since I don't mind wrinkles.

shelob
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:04 am

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by shelob »

How I make shampoo/conditioner/liquid soap last way longer: I dilute it with water. I have empty bottles where I put in a bit of whatever, then fill it up with water and use it for up to several weeks till I need to put the next splosh in. This seems to actually work better than unaltered hygienic product (or at least faster in terms of time spent washing) because what comes out of your bottle is in a foam-like state right away. It doesn't seem to clean any worse, IOW a lower concentration than sold in supermarkets is just fine. Also good for putting up a more normal front for roommates, and squeezing the very last bit of product out of any bottle.

For doing away with conditioner altogether: a ~1L container with water and a splash of concentrated lemon juice (Edit: looked it up, apparently in English this is lime juice) or equivalent. Commonly used in combination with hair soap, works best for "hard" water because it removes calcium/magnesium ions by precipitation. Monetary savings depend on price paid for concentrated lemon juice.

Cold water works generally better for washing hair AFAIK because the outer layer of a hair (cuticle?) has a scale-like structure that "swells" less. If cold showering isn't an option, a cold rinse as the last step works also. This reduces the need for brushing for me at least.

For making hair go greasy less quickly: avoid moving the hair roots. In order: no stroking away loose bangs, scratching one's head, and if this is a serious issue, avoiding loose hairstyles in favor of e.g. certain braids (French/Dutch/...) that require no attention for a while. Generally the higher the washing frequency, the quicker hair greases, so picking a weekend/holiday to run around with greasy hair may extend one's acceptably-looking period between washes by a day or so. Back when I had a hairstyle with loose bangs that framed my face, I would just wash those in the morning. If the rest was orderly, no one would notice if it had been washed. It's also possible to shower without washing one's hair to save water/time. OTOH, the whole hair-getting-greasy thing might just be an issue for people my age aka teenagers. (It is also possible to go overboard with these techniques and get concerned questions from teachers/pretentious fellow student council members worried about the time one devotes to personal hygiene and how it reflects on the school. Apply caution as needed :lol: )

My general strategy is to try and figure out how the purchased product works (by studying the list of ingredients etc) and then attempt to replicate it. I haven't yet gotten around to dental hygiene though.

YMMV ;)

ellarose24
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:44 am

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by ellarose24 »

I use aluminum blocks for deodorant. Much better than woman deodorant that basically smells like rose scented BO by the end of the day.

I wash my hair once a week. This took time. I started by not washing at all for a month during covid. Then once a week. Oils are good for your hair—the key is to distribute them via something like boars hair brush or other synthetic variant. I use whatever shampoo on hand for once a week, doesn’t really matter.

I’ll have to look more into soaps/moisturizers. I take very very hot showers and/or baths. I usually put coconut oil or whatever I have on hand. I could probably just take normal temperature showers and not need anything because it’s humid enough here and I drink enough water.

I did try some sort of traditional Indian type shampoo made from soap pods—some kind of bean or veggie I can remember that is sudsy. I boiled the pods and as well as holy basil to make a sort of tea and probably something else, can’t remember, and then froze them as ice cubes, then rubbed on my scalp in bath/shower. This was years ago. It worked okay but for some reason I stopped, probably too much effort.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 792
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by Jin+Guice »

Thanks for the replies y'all.

I'm very interested in pursuing a number of what I think Jacob referred to as "basic home economic skills" that I essentially don't have as a result of growing up under modern industrialized consumerism.

Since my body is zone 0 in a permaculture sense, I'm starting with that. I have at least a basically functional nutrition/ workout routine, so this is the next area of focus...

I'd like to reboot this thread by asking specific questions about different personal hygiene areas. These could each be their own threads but that would be a lot of threads. Also, my follow through on stuff is not always the greatest...

I'm interested in 1) whether or not a certain hygiene product/ practice is necessary (from a personal health perspective), necessary from a societal perspective (like maybe you won't get sick, but you will look/ smell weird) or is a total scam; 2) What the cheapest/ most diy/ most minimal way to achieve the results are and; 3) how the product/ practice actually works (not necessary, but we are nerds so...)


Anywho....


Do y'all use soap? Why or why not? How often? Are there any areas you don't use soap? Do y'all make it? What are your hygeine results?


For me: I have been only using soap on my armpits and below the belt only for a few years. I recently stopped using it on my armpits. I've heard that skin will eventually adjust to not using soap? I'm usually kind of smelly unless I've recently showered, but it's never that bad. I also live in fucking swamptown, U.S.A. and bike everywhere, so pretty sure I'm doomed no matter what. I didn't notice a huge difference in smell or how clean I can get my skin when I stopped using soap.

white belt
Posts: 639
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by white belt »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Mon May 10, 2021 10:53 am
I'm interested in 1) whether or not a certain hygiene product/ practice is necessary (from a personal health perspective), necessary from a societal perspective (like maybe you won't get sick, but you will look/ smell weird) or is a total scam; 2) What the cheapest/ most diy/ most minimal way to achieve the results are and; 3) how the product/ practice actually works (not necessary, but we are nerds so...)


Anywho....


Do y'all use soap? Why or why not? How often? Are there any areas you don't use soap? Do y'all make it? What are your hygeine results?
I think any hygiene questions are going to be highly individualistic due to climate, activity level, physiology, and local culture expectations. For example, I live in the humid South like you, exercise intensely daily, have a lot of body hair, and generally have a strong smell no matter what (romantic partners have commented how my smell lingers on clothes and is much stronger than the typical man). I sweat when I workout generally regardless of temperature, although I don’t consider myself the heaviest of sweaters.

So I shower daily with soap and shampoo. Luke warm showers generally because I find hot showers dry out my skin. I just use old spice body wash but in the past I’ve made body wash from Castile soap. For me, body wash is superior to a bar unless I want to spend my entire day picking hairs out of a bar of soap. Showering without soap doesn’t wash out the smell from my armpits.

I use Head and Shoulders because it is the only thing I have ever found that effectively treats my dandruff. I’ve tried every natural remedy imaginable, cold showers, going longer periods of time without washing my hair (makes dandruff worse), and none of it worked but for whatever reason the active ingredients in one particular kind of Head and Shoulders (the almond one) cleared things up within days.

I’d be careful about going extended periods of time without showering if you are sweating a lot. I’ve gone 1-2 weeks without showering during military exercises and prickly heat, trench foot, body acne, various fungal infections, etc are not a fun time. I don’t buy the appeal to nature argument that your body benefits from less frequent cleaning.

So I guess soap and shampoo is all I use. Also shaving cream for shaving; sometimes shaving soap and sometimes just regular cream. Deodorant so I don’t piss off everyone that steps within 10 ft of me at the gym. Toothpaste and floss for dental hygiene. So far DIY hasn’t really been worth it for me due to personal hygiene products being so cheap but I may return to it at some point in the future.
Last edited by white belt on Mon May 10, 2021 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ertyu
Posts: 1759
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by ertyu »

I use soap on my entire body without hair (I use a cheap shampoo on hair, otherwise it's dull and gets sticky, I think this is bc of the hard water in my area). I use just a normal drugstore soap brand - when I was in the states I used Ivory or Dial. I don't worry about cosmetic results because the quality of one's skin depends first on nutrition and water intake. I shower when I subjectively perceive I need it rahter than on a set schedule, so this automatically means I shower less frequently in winter. I shower more frequently in the summer, but I also need less water in the summer because I'm comfortable filling a bucket, letting it get to room temp, and pouring water over myself -- whereas in the winter, I take full hot water showers because it's cold and I'm a sissy. I guess the tl;dr here is that to me, reducing soap use isn't something that makes sense to reduce, optimize, or diy, either from a frugal or from an ecological perspective.

User avatar
Alphaville
Posts: 3448
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by Alphaville »

i only use actual soap (grandpa's) for washing bike grease, etc. from hands. it's great at brutal-level degreasing. otherwise no.

for hair + body i have switched to bars made of sodium cocoyl isethionate (sci).

i shower daily with a long hot shower because i sleep more comfortably that way. i only wash george carlin's choice 4 key areas unless i'm filthy from something: https://youtu.be/X29lF43mUlo?t=336 and behind the ears as well lmao. i shampoo just once a week or... less?

sci is a hypo-everything mild detergent derived from coconut that won't wreck the skin mantle or cause irritation, unlike alkaline & alkalinizing soap. my sci bars are also fragrance-free, antibacterial-free, paraben-free, etc, etc. this is good for my health and sanity.

for re-lubing all, my go-to is plain jojoba oil. it's similar to sebum and leaves on a good coat.

-

eta i broke the video timecode... see if this fixes
Last edited by Alphaville on Mon May 10, 2021 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Riggerjack
Posts: 3051
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by Riggerjack »

Nuthin' fancy here. But I do add refined cocoanut oil to my beard (refined takes the cocoanut smell out). I just took some out of the kitchen and put it in a tin in the medicine cabinet. It helps my beard hold shape and combing is easier.

kevib
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:29 pm

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by kevib »

Re dandruff; I find one weekly hairwash with a 2% ketoconazole shampoo for 5 min before rinsing out to be effective. That is the only shampoo I use - but every week of the year. I think that the combi of fungicid and not drying out the scalp with daily shampoo is the reason why it works (for me)....

Frita
Posts: 683
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Personal Hygiene

Post by Frita »

Wearing sunscreen (at least 30 SPF and reapplying) is also vital. It prevents skin cancers and wrinkles. Plus it keeps my skin lighter; otherwise, I get really brown (versus tan). I have nothing against being dark; however, living in the US, people seem to think asking, “Are you Indian?” is okay.

Post Reply