I Stopped Using Body Soap Too
If minimal skin care is better for face, the same applies to your body and hair. I stopped using body soap and shampoo shortly after I started the facial skin fasting. That means I no longer need body lotion, hair conditioner, hair oil, or any other product that used to be my daily must use items. It feels good to see the empty shelf and experience relief from the endless spending cycle of self-care products.
In this post, I will only talk about body care. Hair care will be a long story so that I will save it for the next time.
Washing your body with water only
According to Dr. Utsugi, water does enough job to remove oil, sweat, grease, and bacteria from the skin. Generally, body soap is so harsh that it removes all good microbes that would protect against the harmful bacteria. The loss of good bacteria is the cause of dry skin, itchy rash, eczema, or other problems. So unless you have had close contact with a person with a contagious disease, technically there is no need to use soap to maintain hygiene.
Body Skin Fasting Tips
The basic rules for body skin fasting are the same as facial care, but it’s less complicated.
- Avoid using body soap and rinse the body with a warm shower.
- Water temperature should be from 34°C to 35°C (93.2°F to 95°F), but if you feel cold, it is ok to make it a little warmer up to 38°C (100.4°F).
- Avoid long showers, which will also make your skin dry.
- Use soft towels and gently pat the skin when you dry.
- Avoid using body lotions. You may use a little bit of petroleum jelly for the very dry parts such as feet or knees.
My skin became smoother
Before I started this body skin fasting method, it was my essential routine to put body lotion all over the body right after a shower. I even felt uncomfortable if I didn’t. But this habit was troublesome especially when I take a bath with my small child.
Now I don’t use body lotion, but my skin feels smoother and more moisturized than before. I sometimes use a little bit of vaseline on my heels or knees, and that’s it. How easy it is! The after shower time became a lot more relaxing.
Don’t you smell bad?
If plain water can replace the body soap, that means you shouldn’t notice any difference in your body odor after you stop using body soap. As a matter of fact, some people even say that they experienced a reduction in body odor.
In my case, I have never smelled my body odor in the past two months since I started this method. But it may not be a good example for everyone because it seems like I am one of the few who don’t have a high body odor because I am Japanese. ( I must mention that my scalp smells bad after I stopped using shampoo. I will discuss it in another post.)
Research shows that East Asians are less prone to body odor compared to people of other descent. In the below chart, it shows, the ethnic groups with a high percentage of the genotype AA has less prone to body odor, while high GA or GG are more prone to body odor.
“Research has indicated a strong association between people with axillary osmidrosis and the ABCC11-genotypes GG or GA at the SNP site (rs17822931) in comparison to the genotype AA.”
My husband belongs to the African Americans group which genotype has 100% GG and 0% of AA. I would love him to participate in my experiment with the body skin fasting, but he is a big believer in using chemical stuff, so I will wait until he is ready to change his beliefs.
How to Prevent Foot Odor
Good news is that, to prevent foot odor, there are a few things we can do without using any chemical products.
- Take off shoes when you are at home and stay barefoot.
- Wear open-toed slippers or sandals at the office if it is appropriate.
- Choose breathable shoes rather than leather shoes or pumps.
- Always wear socks inside the shoes unless they are sandals or slippers.
- Change your socks at least once a day. If the socks get wet with water or become sweaty, change them as soon as you can.
- Change shoes at least every other day. That allows each pair to thoroughly dry out from sweat or moisture before being worn again.
- Avoid wearing boots for long hours, especially rain boots.
- Clip your toenails often, so they don’t build up bacteria.
- Clean your shoes regularly.
Still worried about the body odor?
If you are worried about body odor, I’d say it is ok to use soap for only armpits, groin area, or feet where you sweat a lot.
While Dr. Utsugi recommends washing every part of the body with water only, other articles on the internet that discuss the negative side of body soap still suggest using a mild soap for your armpits and groin.
But remember, when you wash your skin with soap, your skin gets dry and produce more oils. That will be one of the causes of skin odor.
So my suggestion is to gradually reduce the use of body soap and rinse with water when you can. Try a “No-Soap-Day” for once a week and see how it goes.