Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Friend or Foe?; Bathing

Ew! Why is this even a question?!

Crossed my mind.


I was thinking about how often I tend to wash even when I haven't been doing anything that necessitated it.


For the last few days I've been chained to my computer with no need to even put on shoes and I realized that I hadn't really done anything exertive that caused me to sweat or accumulate dirt. So I skipped a shower. And then another. Felt oddly liberating.

That's disgusting, didn't you feel dirty?

Well, it's not like I didn't make use of hand soap when preparing meals or other necessary sanitizing essentials. On top of that, I don't wear makeup or even sunscreen as I have stayed indoors so there is no accumaltion of buildup. Ironically, my skin feels great. Appropriately moist without looking dull or lifeless.

I would have thought that that came from proper cleaning.

Well, yes, washing your skin does induce circulation but the over-exertion of "scrubbing" can remove too many layers of skin cells and cause abrasion over time. Sometimes this will lead to an oversensitivity and even enlarges pores to recieve even more debris. Which means, pimples, blackheads and blotchiness. An uneven complexion can be symptomatic of over-cleansing. That's usually why you're recommended to use exfoliators and other harsh cleansing products pretty sporatically.

I guess that makes sense, but didn't your hair feel greasy?

Not really. Ironically, it feels really soft and manageable. I have really thick, coarse hair that is prone to split ends and it seems as though the sebum (natural oils) my scalp produces are easing all the frays. All I've been doing is running a comb through it a few times and it seems to stay in place without losing any bounce. On top of that the condition of my style seems to be improving and it looks like a lot of luster is returning to it. Like I was wearing a leave-in serum or something.

Uhhh,... didn't you smell?

I don't think so. Of course, that's a bit speculative. There's documented evidence that "scent" is known to be an aphrodisiac, the most potent of which is natural aroma. In a letter to his beloved Josephine, Napolean Bonaparte was quoted as saying, " I will return to Paris tomorrow evening. Don't wash." After being away for stretches of time, more than wanting to be with her, he wanted to smell her.

Of course, the French culture is known for cultivating the most popular fragrances in the world, mostly in answer to an aversion to daily bathing. Much like the ancient Romans and Greeks, Europeans relied on essential and fragrant oils as a means to mask or remove any offensive odours.

Aren't you going to have to clean even harder once you do FINALLY bathe?

Nope. Actually, sebacious glands are great at moderating any unnecessary dirt that my skin would come into contact with and any "grime" will just slide away. It's almost easier to clean as a matter of fact. There's an additional slip to my skin and hair leaving any residual natural oils to condition what may have been over-dried by over-cleansing.

Not that I'm going to make a habit of going without bathing, but it's an interesting experiment. The result of which has actually improved the look and feel of my skin and hair. If you're ever locked away in your apartment, I'd say give it a try.

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