My first step to zero waste living in the shower has been to not shower everyday. This has helped us reduce the amount of water used in our home. A desirable side effect has been the money saved on our water and hot water bill!
Showering everyday can be bad for your skin. The other most layer of your skin or stratum corneum is made up of hardened dead skin cells and held together by lipids. The action of showering with hot water and scrubbing dissolves the lipids. Showering also strips your skin of the beneficial bacteria.
Showering too often can cause:
- Dehydrates skin
- Irritates skin
- Washes away good bacteria
- Increases risk of infection
- Aggravation of dermatitis
- Aggravation of eczema
My next step was to stop using shampoo and conditioner that comes in a large plastic bottle. I switched instead to a shampoo and conditioner bar. My personal favorite the Maple Hill Naturals Bars come in paper boxes. They also offer a 100% money back guarantee!!
The next change I made was to buy body soap bars instead of liquid body wash. This eliminated the plastic bottle with plastic squirt top that I used to buy. Another benefit of soap bars is that they last longer than liquid soap. I am in love with Dr. Bronners Castile Soap bars and 1 bars lasts my family of 4 about a month. I buy them in packs of 6 on amazon twice a year. Dr. Bronner’s uses organic, vegan, fair trade ingredients and 100% biodegradable packaging.
Using a washcloth or loofah has always been a part of showering for me. However, I was using plastic netting bath scrubbers which I recently found out hold a disgusting amount of bacteria! I made the transition to All Natural Loofah for scrubbing instead. Loofah I found out is actually the fruit of a plant in the cucumber family.
Last, when drying it is recommended that you allow your skin to air dry. If this is not an option for you a 100% organic cotton bath towel can be used but DO NOT SCRUB!! Scrubbing will further remove that protective layer and cause further dryness and irritation. Choose instead to gently tap your skin dry.
Finally, in between showers I’ve started dry brushing my skin. Dry brushing helps by gently exfoliating skin and cleaning oil and dirty residue from your pores. Also, dry brushing is quick and easy to learn.
Start by getting a firm bristled brush with a handle. To begin brush your feet and up your legs in long smooth strokes up towards your torso. Repeat the process with every other part of your body always brushing towards your torso. You may need a softer brush for your face but I use the same one just in a more gentle way.