Thursday, September 12, 2013


Fragrances are everywhere and in everything.  We are bombarded by them so much, that they have just become part of the background.  We wash with soap and shampoo that has fragrance added, then we put on moisturizer and deodorant that has fragrance added.  Some people put on makeup that has fragrance added. Then for some reason, we also put on perfume and cologne.

But what about folks with allergies? There are folks with severe allergies or asthma or other breathing issues, who know that they have a hard time tolerating so many chemical fragrances.

What if there are many other people who are suffering and don't even know the reason why?  We might be suffering from frequent sinus infections (thinking some of them are colds), we might be having trouble sleeping (possibly due to post nasal drip), we might be feeling fatigued (not only from lack of sleep but also from the effects of smelling so many chemicals) 

But we've been feeling badly for so long (but not quite bad enough to know there is an issue), we just assume it's job stress, or spouse stress or the weather, etc.. What if it's all the smells that we are bombarded with every day.  Not only personal grooming items but also air fresheners, cleaning products.. Even smelling other people and their perfumes can all take a toll.

Try to reduce fragrances in your life and see if you feel better.

-- Instead of commercial cleaners, try vinegar, barking soda, hydrogen peroxide, etc
-- Instead of soap, try a sugar/lemon scrub or try  water only showers
-- Instead of shampoo, try baking soda water or vinegar water or try just plain water (do your research on vinegar and baking soda first - some people have issues)
-- Instead of using a commercial moisturizer, try rubbing on coconut oil when you are still wet out of the shower
    -- Or once you stop using soap, you might not need moisturizer
-- Instead of commercial hair grooming products, try any type of cooking oil, or fragrance free aloe vera gel or make a hair gel out of flax seeds
-- Instead of deodorant, try a deodorant crystal or baking soda or corn starch or coconut oil, or rubbing alcohol, or witch hazel, or nothing
-- Reduce the times you spend in crowded indoor situations
    -- Take online classes instead of on campus classes
    -- Go to the grocery store during non peak hours and/or wear a mask when you go

What about laundry?
Well, if  laundry just needs refreshing, we can wash in hot water and hang out in the sun (if we have a yard)
For tough stains, thus far, I have not found anything that works as well as detergent (other than elbow grease). But we can purchase perfume free detergent.  See my experiment below

If you have found a way to clean your laundry without commercial cleansers, tell us about it in the comments below.
Email general questions to

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ten Years of Sun Sensitivity Fixed in An Instant

When I was younger, I could spend all day in the sun. I even used to pick peaches for 8 hours a day in the summer.
Then some time around the early 2000s, I started getting sunburned if I spent too much time outside.  And each year, my sun sensitivity seemed to get worse.

Last summer, I was wearing 3 layers of clothing (one regular shirt and 2 long sleeved SPF shirts), hats, and sunscreen and I was still getting burned.

I stumbled upon some blog posts about water-only showers and I decided to try it.  After the first shower,  my sun sensitivity issue seemed to clear up immediately. I will still get sunburned if I stay out too long.  But for the first time in a long time, I can walk from the parking lot to my place of work while wearing just one short sleeved shirt - without getting burned.

I'm looking forward to this winter. I want to see if my usual winter time eczema gives me any trouble.

In addition to using no shampoo and no soap, I've stopped using towels.  After my water-only shower, I apply some coconut oil while I'm still wet. I wait a couple of minutes to let my body partially dry, then I get dressed.

It's hard to explain;  but for the past few days while I've been soapless/shampooless, I feel..."better".  More refreshed? Cleaner? Revitalized? Not sure; just ...better.

I've only went swimming in chlorine pools and salty oceans. But the feeling I get after a water-only shower - I wonder if it's akin to swimming in a clean creek.

I wonder if the reason I feel better is allergy related. I'm allergic to perfumes and most cosmetics are quite perfumy - even the "natural" stuff

Has anyone else experienced a reduction in sunburning when going water-only?
Did any other troublesome problems clear up?

Water-only articles

Showering Without Soap or Shampoo: My Three Month Experiment

Sunshine Can Decrease Your Vitamin D Levels
This article is about Vitamin D. But check out the comments. Lots of discussion on water-only showering and not using deodorants and other such products

Beyond No Poo