Thursday, September 27, 2007

Looking after your body the gentle way

Cleaning your own body might be bad for you if you suffer a reaction to the many chemicals used in soaps and shampoos.

The good news is that we do not need to use harsh chemicals to clean our bodies. I use plain soap for my hands, a small amount of "soap-free" soap for my body and water only for my hair - no shampoo necessary! By not using shampoo, I can cut out the lengthy rinse under the shower which also saves water.

I also realised that I had long been misled by toothpaste advertisement into believing one had to use a great amount of toothpaste (enough to cover the whole brush!) to clean one's teeth. Most of that surplus toothpaste just ends up in the drain. In fact, no toothpaste is necessary to actually clean our teeth, however, a small amount of fluoride is useful in strengthening the enamel. Now I use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste which is perfectly adequate. I find that we now use less than half a tube of toothpaste per person per year and we still have clean teeth.

In the cosmetics department all I need is a small amount of moisturising cream. It was great to read in the newspaper today that skin experts agree with me on this one: The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Professor John McGrath, of the St Johns Institute of Dermatology in London: "The message is harsh and sceptical, I'm afraid - rubbing these creams and potions on your skin might make it feel nice but chances are they are doing nothing. [...] A good diet, simple moisturiser, abstaining from smoking and avoiding the sun [are] the most well-proven anti-ageing measures, but people [seem] to be bored of hearing this."

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