Discover more from Hennessy's View
Why You Should Stop Using Soap
Shampoo, you're fired, too.
I stopped using soap and shampoo in the shower about six years ago. I still use deodorant, but I make it myself with coconut oil, corn starch, and baking soda. This weird practice (or lack of practice) came after I started taking cold showers and long fasting (3 to 7 days without calories).
People seem fascinated with these simple body hacks. If more people would follow this path, they’d save money, starve woke corporations, and look better. They’ll be able to go days without bathing while still smelling decent. They’ll eliminate or reduce acne, eczema, and dry skin. They’ll look younger and need less make-up.
So, let’s get into the details.
No Soap or Shampoo
If you don’t do hard, physical labor around dirty stuff (oil, sawdust, dirt, mud, concrete, etc.), you don’t need soap or shampoo. (Except on your hands. I’m not talking about hand hygiene, but body washing.) Water and friction are sufficient to clean and refresh skin and hair and knock back smelly bacteria. Water and friction (from your hand or a wash rag) is all you need 99.98% of the time.
If you introduce highly alkaline soap (or shampoo) to the equation, you kill a lot of bacteria that your body needs. You’ll also dissolve oils your body worked hard to produce. So, when you shower with soap and shampoo, you leave the shower with dry, scaly, injured skin vulnerable to bad bacterial infection. Your body will immediately start pumping oil to the surface. Chances are, your cells will overshoot their mark and leave your hair and body feeling greasy. This greasiness will prompt you to take another shower with more soap and shampoo, perpetuating the cycle.
Moreover, to counter the negative effects of soap and shampoo, the same woke corporations that sold you the problem will sell you solutions: moisturizer and conditioner. Moisturizers and conditioners are chemical baths that have barely been tested for safety or effectiveness. They mask, but do not heal, the damage soap and shampoo cause.
How do I know this?
For six years I was a consultant with a pharmaceutical company that makes a lot of dermatological treatments. I had to learn all about skin and how their products treat various conditions, mostly cosmetic conditions.
To begin my education, I had to learn all about the pH levels of various skin layers. Surprisingly, human skin is very acidic. The graphic below shows the pH scale. Below 7 is acidic. Above 7 is alkaline, or basic. Skin is between 4.5 and 5.9.
Soap has a pH of 9 to 10. When you wash your body with soap, your skin becomes more alkaline. Here’s what Pharma Line says about this situation:
If the pH values go up to basic values, the skin balance is altered, the skin loses water and it dehydrates since is unable to synthesize the essential epidermal lipids and barrier function is impaired. When the surface pH is more alkaline, dermatitis and pruritus of nonspecific character occurs. Any change in pH that it is not immediately compensated stimulates the skin to produce more acid to restore balance -buffer system- The neutralizing capacity will depend on the ability of the deeper layers to send acids to the surface.
When you wash your body or face with soap, you damage your skin and your body goes into overdrive to repair it. You get acne, eczema, and infections. You look dry, tired, and unhealthy. So you hide your unhealthy skin with chemicals from a corporation that hates your guts and loves your money.
Most importantly, you strip your skin of hyaluronic acid, the stuff that makes your skin look young and firm. People spend billions of dollars every year replacing natural hyaluronic acid through painful injections. But, if you don’t strip-mine your body’s natural filler, you won’t need to replace it with a needle.
Listen to Dr. Hamblin
James Hamblin, a dermatologist/research at Yale, described his transition to learned soaplessness in his book, Clean The New Science of Skin and the Beauty of Doing Less:
The more gradually a human body eases into these endeavors, the easier they are to do and even to enjoy. Changing daily cleaning habits could be thought of the same way. Over the course of months, and then years, as I gradually used less and less, I started to need less and less—or, at least, to believe I did. My skin slowly became less oily, and I got fewer patches of eczema. I didn’t smell like pine trees or lavender, but I also didn’t smell like the oniony body odor that I used to get when my armpits, used to being plastered with deodorant, suddenly went a day without it. As my girlfriend put it, I smelled “like a person.” Initial skepticism turned to enthusiasm.1
Hamblin has written a book about it:
In the introduction, Hamblin poses some questions worth pondering:
What if all those products in our bathrooms—shampoos to remove oils from our hair, and conditioners to replace them; soaps to remove oils from our skin, and moisturizers to replace them—were mostly effective in getting us to buy more products? How do you really know if you’ve never gone more than a couple days without them?2
Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, Loreal, Gillette—woke corporations—have convinced people they need to destroy their skin in order to save it. So, like Dr. Hamblin, I stopped listening to them.
Americans spent almost $3 billion on shampoo in 2019 (before Biden inflation). And that’s just shampoo. Add soap, conditioner, and moisturizer. Then add medication (OTC or Rx) for acne, eczema, and psoriasis and you begin to see how corporations can send all those hundreds of millions of dollars to BLM, Antifa, and CRT organizations.
A Trillion Dollars in Skin Care, But Skin Problems Are Getting Worse
If you want to fight skin conditions, fight inflammation, and start with the stuff you put into your face, not the stuff you put on on it.
Inflammation means your body is carrying extra water, and inflammation is the leading cause of heart disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, and neurological problems. Chronic systemic inflammation is almost exclusively the result of high-carbohydrate diets. If your skin is suffering from chronic inflammation (psoriasis, eczema, pimples, dryness, oiliness), your blood and liver look even worse. (Be grateful your skin hides them.) From Clean: The New Science of Skin and the Beauty of Doing Less:
a 2018 review of studies in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology suggested that one reason for the increase in acne in women is the hormonal imbalances associated with “metabolic syndrome”—the term for the constellation of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. High insulin levels can cause the body to convert estrogen to testosterone, which signals growth factors in the skin that lead to more oil being secreted, changing bacterial populations and fueling a cycle of inflammation whose culmination is a pimple.3
And despite all the serums, cleansers, and potions people slather on their faces, arms, and legs, the rates of chronic skin ailments are increasing.
Rates of the inflammatory skin condition known as atopic dermatitis, or eczema, are increasing rapidly. According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of psoriasis more than doubled between 1979 and 2008. Acne continues to afflict people during prime years of social development, and research suggests it is also increasing in adults, especially among women.4
Clearly, all that soap isn’t doing what the manufacturers and marketers promise. It isn’t making your skin healthier. The aesthetic effects of our skin care obsession provide temporary visual relief while damaging the skin even further. So women, and some men, resort to painting their faces to hide the accumulated damage from government-recommended diets and celebrity-endorsed soap.
Humans have been around for 250,000, and we’ve been wandering the continents for at least 40,000 years. The species managed to survive cold eras and hot eras with minimal skin cosmetic care and only occasional baths. If modern man cannot survive without daily showers of soap, shampoo, moisturizer and conditioner, we’ve taken a big step backward in survivability.
Smell Like a Human
People are shocked when I tell them I don’t use soap or shampoo in the shower and that I make my own deodorant. They’re shocked because I don’t stink.
You won’t, either, if you ween your body off expensive, harmful products. Here’s a simple plan:
Week One: Soap only problem areas. Shampoo no more than 3 times.
Week Two: Soap only problem areas no more than 3 times. Shampoo once.
Week Three: Soap problem areas once. Shampoo zero.
Week Four: No soap. No shampoo.
Week Five: No conditioner.
Use water and friction. Wash rags or sponges are okay (as long they’re soap-free). Try ending your shower with cold water to close off pores. (Hot showers make you sweat afterward).
At some point, you will need to skip your daily cold-water-only shower. And that’s when you realize something amazing. I can now go up three days without a shower and still smell fine.
Yes, the arm pits will get a little loud on day three, but a fresh coat of my homemade, hippie deodorant buys another 24 hours of smelling like a clean person. And I’m not the only one. Dr. Hamblin received hundreds of emails and letters after publishing an article about his conversion to soaplessness:
A woman from Germany named Patricia wrote, “I couldn’t agree with you more!” Hers was a compulsory detox. She went to the hospital with excruciating back pain on Easter Sunday in 2007 and was told she had had a stroke. “With 1.5 hands, showering is work,” she wrote. “I did ask friends and neighbors to ‘pls tell me if it smells here!!’” But otherwise, “All was and is fine. Apart from the odd ‘cat wash,’ showering is reduced to once a month or so.” Her feet stopped smelling, and she noticed that her skin and hair seemed to produce less oil over time, allowing her to go longer and longer between washes.5
If you decide to give soaplessness a try, keep these two points in mind. First, do wash your hands. Our hands carry bacteria that we don’t want near our bodies. Second, and most importantly, TELL NO ONE you’ve stopped using soap and shampoo until you’re at least two months in. If you tell people in advance that you’re going to stop using soap, they will imagine you smell. Contrarily, if you tell them, “I haven’t used soap or shampoo in two months,” they’ll try to remember a time when you stunk, and they’ll come up empty.
You’ll save about $200 a year, look better, feel better, and smell a person. And you’ll deny a $1 trillion woke industry the income it needs to promote leftist ideologies.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Hamblin, James. Clean (p. 4). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Ibid., (p. 5)
Ibid., (pp. 14-15)
Ibid., (p. 14)
Ibid., (p. 20)