I like things simple.
For the past year and a half or so, I’ve been trying to simplify in all sorts of areas in my life. One of those areas is cosmetics and toiletries. And there are several ways in which one can do this.
1 Have less. An easy way in which I did that was to get rid of everything I wasn’t using. If it was something that I thought still had value, I made the effort to use it until it was gone, and then never replaced it. If I no longer found any value in it, and was really only keeping it around because I had once spent money on it, I just threw it out.
2 Use fewer products. This is made easier if step 1 is already done. Get rid of stuff you don’t use, then get rid of stuff you don’t need to use. An example of this, for me, is hair conditioner. I always used hair conditioner for as long as I remember bathing myself. I used it because my mom did, because they sold shampoo and conditioner together in the store in matching scents, and because beauty magazines recommended it. But I have the type of hair that just doesn’t need conditioner so I stopped using the product. My bathroom is less cluttered and my wallet is plumper.
3 Choose only a few brands. Instead of having multiple brands of lotions for different occasions, buy one that satisfies all of your needs. I find this helps reduce mental clutter, as well. If you choose one brand of toothpaste, for example, decision-making in the toothpaste aisle at the store is simplified immensely. Fewer choices equals more brain power for other, more important, things.
4 Use active ingredients. Choose products with only the simplest ingredients. Cosmetics and toiletries are filled with, well, fillers, when only a few ingredients actually do the job of the product. You can simplify your medicine cabinet by stripping away products that have a lot of useless, and sometimes harmful, fillers.
Now, number 4 is where things got a little crazy for me, hence the “Simple vs. Simple” title. I wanted to use products with the simplest of simple ingredients so I made some products myself. I made deodorant out of baking soda and corn starch and oil, lotion out of coconut oil and essential oils, and used plain baking soda as toothpaste.
It seemed simple because there was so few things in what I was using, but it actually complicated things. I did a few trials, but nothing really worked as well as products I could buy in the store, save for the baking soda as toothpaste. The deodorant made my underarms break out. The coconut oil lotion was alternatively solid or liquid, instead of a nice thick cream, making it difficult to apply.
And since I was using different toiletries than the rest of my family, it actually increased the amount of products in my house. There was toothpaste in the medicine cabinet and on the counter. There was yet another container of lotion (we got a lot as gifts for the babes).
To streamline going forward, I am finding effective products made with natural ingredients that my entire family can use. I have found a lot of nice stuff — for men, women, adults, babies, and children — so if you’d like any recommendations you can just ask. I’m still looking for a good, natural shampoo to satisfy everyone in the house, so if you know of any that you’d like to share, I’d appreciate the info.