The delicious ritual of a shower or a bath has evolved over the thread of time. Of feel good moments, stepping out of the shower after a good sudsing is on the top of many people’s list -with the exception of some little boys. What used to be a luxury of cleaning after a week of hard work and accumulation of sweat and dirt, has become a quick car wash type rinse in most of our lives.
The products that we use in these showers have also become sort of a speedy wash type of experience, with highly scented over foaming body washes and quick sprays of deodorants post washing.
So how do we bring back the ritual of bathing? The joy of using natures ingredients to adorn our skin, and leave it clean without burdening it with toxic fragrances and chemicals. The first is to see our bodies and skin as a great gift and in need of nurturing. If we look a little deeper at some of the fruity scented body washes the ingredients are actually adding to the list of things you would find better off your body rather than on.
Ingredients like SLS (SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE)
This foaming agent can be found in cosmetics like cleansers, bubble bath, and shampoo. Many commercial varieties are contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane – known carcinogens.
This ingredient helps make cosmetic products creamy or sudsy and can be found in products like facial cleansers, shampoos, soaps and moisturizers. In the short term, DEA can cause moderate skin and eye irritation, while sustained exposure has been linked to liver, skin, and thyroid cancers.source - jordan ecodiscoveries.com
A beautiful ritual for me is dry brushing before a shower or bath. You can find one here. This process uses a dry brush to exfoliate and stimulate my skin with a delicious circular motion from the tips of my toes to my decolete’. It has become an addictive part of my bathing ritual and wonderful for my body for so many reasons I will address in a later post.
Next is what I wash with. I go between a simple beautiful essential oil scented bar of soap, either charcoal or clay, and washing with body oil. Yes body oil! Like SW Basics Lemongrass Body Oil.
Massaging body oil onto my skin as the water washes over me is a delightful way to adorn the skin, and leaves you clean and glowing without the need for body lotion to follow. I love that I can massage tense spots on my neck or hips while I cleanse. Just like oil cleansing on the face, using oil on the body is a delicious way to care for skin that might be dried out from years of SLS and fragrance body washes. Using oil to shave is also incredible if you want satin smooth legs without the strange pink foam.
When the shower is over. Taking a moment to appreciate that I had the water to bathe in is a great way to recognize that this opportunity is not available to everyone in the world, and a shower is a gift. The products we wash with are important to think about since they wash down the drain and back into the water system where we end up watering our gardens and farms. So know those pretty synthetics are ending up somewhere.
Drying our body with our towel is something that can be a quick once over or more of a drip dry. An important thing to think about is when you get to the face, please pat dry rather than a vigorous rub to avoid causing abrasions on the skin. I want to take a side bar to note that if you have switched your soap to clean ingredients but not your laundry detergent or dryer sheets you are rubbing those same chemicals back onto your body after your shower. So consider taking the extra step of switching out the detergent you use to keep your skin super clean. Options like Seventh Generation and Charlies are great!
So now we have cleaned up and enjoyed a shower. What kind of products are your favorites?