Why I Don’t Use Soap ??? (Much)

Showering. Are you doing it wrong?

Well, if you’re lathering your body up with soap from head to toe, you may be.

In this video, I’ll tell you why I don’t use soap…

Not much, that is.

Why don’t I use soap (much)?

Now, don’t get me wrong, cleanliness is next to godliness, right? It feels great to be CLEAN. And if you have little boys, oh please?! They can just look outside and they’re dirty.

However, I like to go easy on the soap. It’s really a more modern invention, particularly the ones you’ll find in your local drug store. Here are the four reasons I like to minimize my soap use.

Soap (at least most) contains bad ingredients

I remember using Camay soap when I was in high school. I loved the way it smelled! I also loved Vitabath (a bubble bath) because it smelled so fresh. Little did I know that these products are nasty. Most conventional soap products contain heavy fragrances, nasty parabens, dyes and other chemicals that don’t belong on our skin. These ingredients can cause endocrine disruption and even be carcinogenic. Also, our skin is our biggest detox organ so we don’t want to coat or clog it with artificial stuff.

While the soap may smell good, it’s not good for you. I always pack a travel soap as hotels have some of the stinkiest (and cheapest) soaps out there.

Soap can make your skin too dry or too oily

Soaps dry out our skins for two reasons. They have a different pH than our skin has (usually, it’s much higher) and soaping ourselves regularly stripes our skin of its natural and protective oil (called sebum).

Of course, body product companies love this. We use their soaps which dries out our skin and then we slather ourselves with their lotions to help restore the oil we washed off.

In fact, some skin irritations and even eczema can actually be caused from simply using too much soap! I learned this the hard way. I got into a nightly ritual of giving my newborn son a bath every night from 3-9 months old. I noticed he started to get a patch or two of dry skin and the doctor thought it might be eczema. I decided to stop bathing him so much and sure enough the patches healed.

If you have a child with sensitive or irritated skin, reduce the number of baths and soaps and see if it improves.

Interesting to note, some people’s skin reacts the opposite way and overproduces oil to compensate for all of the washing, cleaning and rinsing off of the natural oils.

Soaps can interfere with vitamin D absorption

We need the sun to create an absorbable form of vitamin D. The sun’s energy turns a chemical in your skin into vitamin D3, which is processed by your liver and kidneys to an active form of vitamin D.

Scientists found that the oil or sebum in your skin played a role in this vitamin D absorption. If we are soaping off this oil, we can potentially interfere with our vitamin D uptake. In fact, researchers found that it can take up to 48 hours for the skin to to convert the sun’s energy into vitamin D.

That’s why surfers, who were regularly in the water, had lower vitamin D levels (up to 20 points lower) than lifeguards at the same beach.

Now, I get it. I live in Florida. There are times you slather yourself in sunscreen and you need to wash it off. If that’s the case, be sure to get some natural sunlight at other times to boost your vitamin D levels.

Soaps can mess with a healthy microbiome

Believe it or not, our skin is part of our microbiome. It contains good bacteria that actually create natural antibiotics that fight off bad bacteria like MRSA. This is also why skin-to-skin contact is so important and beneficial with newborns who are inoculating their microbiome.

Just like we wouldn’t want to get colonics each day as this could wipe out our good gut flora, you also don’t want to scrub away all of the good bacteria on your skin.

Dr. Richard Gallo, chief of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego, says “It’s not just removing the lipids and oils on your skin that’s drying it out… It could be removing some of the good bacteria that help maintain a healthy balance of skin.”

And don’t even get me started on antibacterial soap! That stuff is so bad for you. First of all, it usually contains a nasty chemical called triclosan (0r another derivative called triclocarban). This chemical has been tied to allergies, dermatitis, thyroid impairment, reproductive and brain heath, and immune system issues. Yuck! In 2013, the FDA stated that it may need to ban this ingredient after looking at more data. They should make their decision in 2016.

It’s also better for the environment

Finally, using less soap (and bathing less) is better for the environment. Without all of the suds to lather on and wash off, your shower time is shorter and more efficient, which uses less water.

Additionally, all of these junky products out there can be hard on the planet. For example, triclosan, which is found in antibacterial products, is “highly toxic” to algae and affects some fish species reproduction.

Another harmful products are those “microbeads” found in body washes and toothpastes.

Those beads are made of tiny plastic bits (YUCK! Like we need more plastic in this universe!) that were winding up in lakes, rivers, and oceans. Because the beads are so small, they don’t get filtered out by drains and water treatment plants. These bits are made up of fat and so they are like sponges found in the water. Worse yet, little fish and marine life will often eat them because they look like fish eggs or small plankton.

And, those toothpaste beads? Some find their way into some people’s gums causing infection and irritation. No bueno!

Thankfully, Obama signed an act to ban these from the marketplace by 2017.

So what’s my solution, not bathing?


In fact, I bathe pretty frequently. And my husband showers every day.

But, we don’t go crazy with the soap.

Instead, I just use soap on my pits and my bits, if you know what I mean. The rest of my body I just rinse.

And, in terms of soap, I use a really simple one. It’s unscented and contains just 3 natural ingredients. (You can find it here.)

For little kids, I like these bubble baths (and limit them to once a week). In terms of soap for my kids, I just use the same soap that we use.

How about you?

How often do you shower? What kind of soap do you use? Do you notice a difference in your skin if shower more frequently? Share with us in the comments below!


  • http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/vitamin-d-and-your-health
  • http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/05/12/shocking-update-sunshine-can-actually-decrease-your-vitamin-d-levels.aspx
  • http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-showering-bad-for-your-health/
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21462230

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


Add a Comment
  1. I clinked the link for the soap you use and it room me directly to it on Amazon, however, with tho soap being so natural & only containing 3 ingredients (olive oil, salt, & water), I am confused as to why there is a warning on this product – Proposition 65 for California consumers, which basically warns consumers of products that contain chemicals which may cause cancer or birth defects? I mean tho soap sounds a hell of A lot Better than most conventional store bought soaps and washes but still, why does it have this warning attached to it?

  2. I love the pits and bits part 💖 and yes that’s my soaping style too. I’ve been doing it that way since being pregnant especially, and initially it was a time thing (I learned to take rushed showers before baby because I knew I’d prinever take a long luxurious shower for a while lol! I recently switch to bar soap to save on plastic and packaging. Always organic. It’s especially nice if you can find the soap stands at your natural market bc they are completely package free! I don’t need lotion either. Just use a nice body butter!

  3. Hi Genevieve,
    I recently started following your page and thank you so much for researching about each important topic for the mama’s (& to be).
    If you could suggest me a organic brand or a trustable brand which is chemical free for face wash that will be really great.
    Thanks in advance,

    • Kiss My Face Olive Oil bar is a favorite of Team Mama Natural!

      • Thank you for the reply. Can “Kiss My Face Olive Oil bar” be used on face as a face wash?

        • Absolutely!

  4. I have not used shampoo or soap for years. I soak in a warm tub every morning and shower occasionally. I use baking soda followed by vinegar on my hair about every three weeks or longer. My skin has gone from scabby to smooth and conditions my skin doctor said were pre-cancerous and needed treatment have disappeared without treatment.

  5. When my daughter was born she also started a case of exzema and about a month later I made my first batch of cold process soap! I was completely disturbed by any and all products that I was buying from the store and trusting to put all over my daughters fresh new skin. So I started to make my own soap! I use olive oil, shea butter, avocado oil to name a few.., all sorts of skin living ingredients! Now the whole family uses my soap 🙂

  6. No I don’t shower every day and when I do I use castile soaop with essential oils.

  7. I was having a terrible flare up and quit showering for about 2 weeks, despite a lot of sweating. When I finally did shower, no amount of soap and scrubbing could remove all the excess dead skin flaking from my body, especially as I tried to towel. Can you help me understand the difference? Was it because I used soap?

  8. thank you for sharing this article ..but isn’t it good to use atleast herbal soaps …but just to read the ingridents before buying thank you for this article.

  9. I personally like Tea Tree Soap. I purchase it from a local store, where the owner grows her own herbs ‘n such and hand makes all her products!

  10. I bathe my baby every couple of days. But I only use water and a few cups of breastmilk. Her skin is so soft!

  11. I haven’t used so so for a long time. I use Norwex body cloths and they work great! I use them on my boys as well. I have never washed either of their hair with shampoo, I’ve only used the Norwex cloth on their hair and my 2 year old has the most gorgeous thick hair and my 7 month old’s hair is coming in really nice as well. We have extremely sensitive skin so we were really grateful to find something that worked for us!

    • Same here! I use the Norwex body cloths for myself. For baby, I use their 4 in 1 kid wash in the bathtub and just use the baby body cloths in between baths like a sponge bath.

    • How can I get this norwex baby cloth for my baby. Yes I am tired of using baby bath gel. It dries my baby’s skin. I have never used soap. I just use sebamed baby wash for my baby and for mysrlf I use any shower gel. Now I want to use rhis norwex cloth.

  12. Is there any real science to requiring soap to remove harmful bacteria from skin? If not why was soap invented? Water removes harmful bacteria from the skin? Can doctors just wash with water after touching a dead body? Is exfoliation also necessary?

  13. Great video! That’s how people were raised in Europe- bath once a week. I also bath my baby only once or two a week and most people thing that I don’t create a good routine for the baby.

  14. Just to clear something up: Soap is actually traced back to both the Ancient Celts and the Babylonians, with many other areas inventing it at later points as well, so it is actually *far* from being “a more modern invention”. Normally I wouldn’t nitpick an article like this, but I feel it’s an extremely important clarification to make because you could be scaring people off of all-natural, old fashion- and traditionally-processed soaps that are absolutely *nothing like* contemporary soaps that are sold from a drug mart or supermarket, apart, of course, from appearing in a bar shape. (But even then old fashion and traditional soaps in general are bars cut from a loaf because they can be difficult to pop out of a mould without cracking or breaking, so they often look different in that respect anyway. Fancier moulds are when recipes really started changing, but even then there’s a large difference between old fashion moulded soaps and current moulded ones you, again, find in a drug mart or supermarket.)

    That’s not to say all handmade soaps are going to be better than store-bought — I’ve come across some unscrupulous farmer’s market vendors who do the “melt and re-pour” trick to make theirs look natural and charge a small fortune for them — but that’s where a buyer’s own intelligence and common sense to come into play when asking the vendor about their items instead of just placing blind faith in them that they’re doing good. But in general a handmade soap, especially using old processing techniques, will be *much*, much gentler* on the skin, and even be essential in transferring skin-soothing ingredients to the skin of people living in particular climates, especially when other body products (oils, lotions, creams, ointments, salves) are impractical or out of the question. A good soap can even replace the need for them. Every body is different, every region is different, every home is different, so every person is going to need something different.

    (*There are some exceptions, obviously, but again: individual intelligence and common sense comes into play here. Don’t use straight saponified lye on yourself, and don’t assume that every historical recipe is non-irritating. Know your ingredients and your allergies, &c.)

    That being said, washing only the essential bits with soap unless prohibitively dirty *is* accurate to many cultures throughout history. Even in many of the cultures where long soaks in baths played a role (Ancient Rome, Turkey, Japan, etc.), the use of soap was generally much less compared to now. (Post-bath treatments were also more common if you could afford it, like oil massages and stuff.) In some instances even hair removal was given as much weight as soaping to keeping clean, often due to bugs particular to the region, but also just due to climate causing sweat to accumulate and stale that much faster. Where long soaks weren’t of cultural importance, just washing the ‘pits over a basin was often enough to keep clean, with people with money doing so before their meals (often once morning, once late afternoon).

    What I really don’t get is how so many things are marketed today as soap when they’re not soap AT ALL. Soap needs to be made from saponified lye to actually be called soap. Like, “liquid soaps”? Most are detergents. That bar that doesn’t have saponified lye in it yet is still labelled “soap”? Not actually soap. Is something labelled “Kills X% of bacteria!”? Guess what, *actual soap* does that just by being soap, you don’t need it in your hand wash/etc. (This is actually why detergents were made, though — soap actually doesn’t work that well for some things, though usually the water used comes into play as much as soap’s qualities themselves, and omg I’m running a tangent, sorry.)

    …Sorry. I think my university major is showing…

  15. In Florida, a humid state, you can get away without showering/bathing/wetting yourself daily. Here in Massachusetts, also when I was in upstate NY, I get extremely dry skin when I skip showering (which has happened a lot since I had my baby) because the moisture in the air is so very low. My baby also gets noticeably dry skin when I don’t bathe her at least every couple days.

    An allergist once told us of the “soak and slather” method and agreed that, while soaps can dry out skin, bathing can help reverse eczema if you follow with a liberal slathering of either a special body lotion for eczema or a good oil. I use avocado oil year round, and I add shea butter in the winter for extra protection. My skin drinks it up. I also use shea butter or coconut oil in my crevices to prevent chafing. My boyfriend says I have the “softest skin in the world.” I told him it’s only because of my oils, otherwise I would blow away in the wind.

    As for soap, I stick with simple soaps like Dr. Bronner’s, goat milk soaps, etc. No “fragrance” but I occasionally splash out for one with essential oils. I only wash my “pits and bits” as well, but for me bits include my belly button & inner thigh/groin area & underboob, because I am a big curvy woman. I use soap on my face maybe once a month, if that. On my baby, I was her underarms, feet, inner thigh (cause they smell like cheese otherwise) & buttcrack with soap, plus I used to do her neck before she stopped having the fat neck. I use very little soap on her, even there. I wash her about once every week or two.

    • Geez, grimy keyboard. I *wash her underarms… and I was her hair every week or two, bathe her as needed.

  16. I loved this article! I stopped using soap completely about a month and a half ago, and I love it. I still do wash my hair every few days, but I am trying to wash it less and less. I have a question though….
    I read an article written by a gynecologist, and she stated that using soap “down there” isn’t necessary and can actually do more harm than good, since the vagina has its own PH. I have never had bad odor problems, but rinsing with water (even after a sweaty workout) always removes any odor I may have. So my question is: Can I just stop using soap all together? Even down there? Thanks! 🙂

  17. So happy to see so many people agree with you! I have never used anything but a wet washcloth, if I do I develop acne. Way back when I was a teen I had acne and was sent to a dermatologist who told me 3 things I still adhere too (I’m 50 now) . 1 Use only warm water to shower with and a warm washcloth on your face. 2. Do not touch your face with your dirty fingers especially resting your head on your hand and get all hair away from your face, hair oils and skin oils are different. 3.Take it easy on the showering, it dries out your skin and your skin is your first line of defence. For shampoo I also use Avalon Organics and I love it. I am the worst at taking showers though. I experienced a bad fall in my shower about 3 yrs ago and I now have problems mentally with getting in there, but I have a routine. I shower once every couple of weeks. I live in Phoenix and summer can be brutal but I’m an a/c kind of gal. Next time I am able I will get the Kiss My Face Olive Oil soap from Amazon. I can’t wait to try it!

    • Great tips! I think you’ll love how gentle the olive oil soap is.

  18. Interesting article. I enjoyed reading it

  19. Just wondering, would you suggest using soap at the same low frequency even when using all natural ingredients? (by all natural, I mean Really natural, plant-based ingredients – brands such as Nubian or Shea Moisture).

  20. I love this! People look at me like I have three heads when I mention I mostly rinse in the shower but humans weren’t meant to constantly rub chemicals all over themselves. If I was meant to smell like a flower then I would’ve grown out of the grown.

  21. Not all soaps were created equal. We’ve got a truly all-natural line for kids bath and body products. No sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrances, propylene glycol, phthalates or gluten and 18 botanicals like jojoba and sunflowers do the job. We use organic soapberries for cleansing. it has a slight foaming quality to it. I’m 30 and use it every day in the shower 🙂 but it’s made for kids.

    We’ve got a shampoo, conditioner, detangler and body lotion but what i’m talking about is the Regal Body Wash which is, in my opinion, the best smelling of all of them but that’s just my own preference.

    • What is the name of your soap line ?

  22. I do this without even realizing! I’ve never really washed my body with soap unless I know I’m super dirty or sweated so much through the day. I do have issues with my hair though… try to use natural shampoos but my hair is so oily still. Yours looks great, what do you use?

  23. My husband for many years has struggled with what the dermatologist calls “sun so it’s” I was wondering if you have any suggestions or thoughts on how to help them more naturally. Sun exposure helps but he works an inside office job so doesn’t always get out in the sun.. I’m wondering if what he uses for washing could also be preventing the spots from completely leaving. Really want to solve this puzzle once and for all! Thanks

    • Sorry “sun spots”

  24. I have a very sensitive skin.. I change my face soap and facial wash and try to find the best that suits my skin.. But it just makes my skin worse, dry, inflamed and acne pop up everywhere.. Now i just wash my face with water and it just get better.. No more red face.. And my acne reduced.. You are right Genevieve.. There are too many harsh chemical in soap..

  25. I shower usually everyday. I actually don’t move much… Then I don’t need to wash. I stopped soap a year ago or so… I have something in my skin that I am sure is not because I stopped soap… I have hormonal acne condition which seems to have worsen.

    I prefer my skin to be imperfect and not to pollute water for children that are to be born in the planet, in all case. I don’t use toothpaste. I don’t use champoo either.

    My hair has been falling for about 4 or 5 years. I don’t know if this will make it heal for in all case it may be out of the hormonal condition that it happens.

    And I have some teeth condition. But my dentist said her son does all she says and also get cavities.

  26. I use Norwex body cloths without soap to wash in the shower and they work great! If you’ve never used Norwex, definitely look into it! They make cloths and other products to clean your home and body with just water!

    • I also love Norwex body cloths. I quit using soap completely when I started using them. I live in Texas and sweat a lot and just water and a Norwex cloth keeps my armpits stink free. I only shower a couple of times a week as well but if I feel I need a touch up just wiping my pits with a warm wet Norwex cloth does the trick!!

    • I owe you

  27. What do you think of “Honest Co.” soap?

    • I won’t talk poorly about a company but if you’re looking for a truly all-natural bath and body care line for your kids try Klee Naturals. It smells amazing and is completely natural, no parabens, sulfates, gluten etc.

  28. I’d never heard the point about vitamin d, but it makes so much sense. Yet another way to explain why we’re all deficient. I read a study that India, where there isn’t the problem of being too far North to receive vitamin d, is still teaming with vitamin d deficiency. Even people who work shirtless in the sun. This is the only explanation that makes sense for their deficiency. Most Indians I’ve witnessed wash like crazy! Not just frequently (often 2x a day), but also vigorously over every inch of their body.

    I’ve been wary of soaps for several years as they kill the good balance of your skin. During my pregnancy I switched completely to coconut oil sugar scrub. Super quick to make, two ingredients, though I usually add a few drops of lavender. It makes every shower a spa experience, I always feel so good during and after. It’s like giving yourself a massage and beauty treatment all in one. I turn off the water while I scrub and try to really take my time (though not too much time with a 3 month old). When I don’t have time I just use water.

    Soap has not touched my 3 month old’s skin. Water only so far. I’ll introduce the sugar scrub at some point. She also ec’s so poop is hardly ever touching her butt 🙂 I do believe in handwashing to prevent the spread of diseases, I use hand soap. Not sure when/how I’m introduce handwashing to my lo.

    • Thank you for sharing. I like your routine. What brand hand soap do you use for your child?

  29. I shower have not used soap in 2 years. I use baking soda scrub as body wash and shampoo and condition skin n hair with apple cider vinegar water mix. All skin issues have stopped. Also i only use warm water abiut room tempature. I alternate warm cold n hot to help lymph flow and an energy boost i always end cold.

  30. Shampoo sucks too! I used to have to wash my hair every other day because it would get oily so quickly. Recently I switched to a no-poo product (also called “cleansing conditioners”) and now my hair doesn’t get oily for over a week and I don’t have to use conditioner. Shampoo is such a scam! You dry out your hair so much that you need a ton of styling products to make it look good, and hair product companies cash in. (The product I’m using is called New Wash by HairStory, I don’t work for them but I really love this stuff and as a new mom, I appreciate that it cuts down on hair styling time/expenses/medicine cabinet space!)

  31. I’ve been using the ‘kiss my face’ olive oil soap to brush my teeth for years. My teeth have never been healthier. I never told the dentist and he has no idea I don’t use tooth paste! He just knows I have clean healthy teeth and gums. Did you know that most toothpastes contain plastic? It coats your teeth to block plaque, but after the first couple hours the plastic breaks down and plaque and other bad bacteria actually stick to it! I tried toothpaste once because I forgot my soap at home. My teeth felt so disgusting I couldn’t stand it. I actually rinsed and then rebrushed my teeth with the handsoap.

  32. The clouds parted and the sun started shining on me the day I discovered EO children’s soap for my daughter who had Eczema that wouldn’t stop. I decided I was going to change everyone’s regimine. My 19 year old daughter and my significant other continued having facial breakouts and ingrown hair (after his shaving), I found that having them wash their face (and make a shaving lather) with Alaffia Purely Cocounut Everyday Body Wash and a drop of 18 in 1 Hemp Peppermint Pure Castille Soap(Dr Bronner’s) clears blackheads and keeps hair from coiling. I have swotched my body wash to EO or Kiss My face. I’ve been shopping on Thrive.com and found these products relatively inexpensive, being that they come in pretty large bottles. Dr. BRONNER’S has an awesome peppermint hair cream that detangles as well. I have been using the peppermint castille soap 2 x’s a week as a shampoo, with an all natural cocoa butter conditioner. My hair was oily at first, but has become used to it and is in the best shape Ever! I stayed with my sister after she had surgery and used some of her shampoo, it left bumps all over my head. My body just is not used to all the chemicals anymore!

  33. Yes, the fact is true on one part but there are some antibacterial soaps with positive and friendly results too and in my eyes there is one best antibacterial soap with amazing natural and healing properties, plus with no triclosan content added to it. Cannot deny, but this had proved as a blessing for all types of bodily and skin related disorders.

  34. After searching long and hard for a body cleanser that I could feel good about using, I finally found something that I think is incredible. It’s by a company called Ora’s Amazing Herbal. They have a dry powder body and face scrub/cleanser. It only contains about 4 ingredients, all natural and organic. Since it is a dry product, there is also no need for any preservative, and it makes your skin feel clean and soft, without the ingredients in traditional soaps and cleansers. Here is the link:

  35. Good evening, I was not able to read through all the feedback, but I love using Brommer’s Castile Soap; in Lavender, Tea Tree or other essential oils they carry. It’s pricey, but if you don’t bathe/shower everyday, then you can stretch the soap for months. It comes in a large bottle about 24 ounces, I did not check the actual size, but Google it. It’s found at Target, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Natural Food Stores and a few other places. I also like Natural Mama’s recommendation of the Olive soap by KissMyFace with 3 ingredients- keep it simple.

  36. i love this post! i was waiting for you to tell us how you use some EO blend and castile soap or whatever (which i am not opposed to) but instead you said just go easy on the soap! heck yes! we try to go easy on all products and we are all still clean and super healthy!

  37. I’m a soapmaker, it’s started making soap because I wanted to use natural product knowing what’s in it, using real ingredients. So I totally agree with you that’s most of soap are made with nasty ingredients.
    And it may seems that I strange but I also agree that using to much soap is not good for your skin and your health.
    I do shower everyday by I’m using castile soap (basically it’s a soap made with Olive oil) and once a week I use one of my other soap. The reason for that is that olive oil (100%olive) soap tend to have a small cleaning index compare to other oils that means it’s better for the skin.

  38. My husband has bad psoriasis. He baths every 2nd day in Baking Soda + Epson Salts. We have a excellent water softener that filters out heavy metals + shower filter that filters out chlorine. Our Dr. said to only use Aveeno(Oatmeal) soap on necessary areas. We are looking for a good Natural shampoo available in Canada. Some one asked about a shower filter. Amazon.ca/.com carries them. If you don’t have a water softener I would suggest you buy a better filter to take out heavy metals, with a top quality Water Softener, you can downgrade to eliminate chlorine. We fill the bath from the shower head.

    • Aveeno is not even a real soap have you try to found a soapmaker. Look in your area you can usually you can find them at your local market. You can ask your soapmaker to make a castile soap (100%olive). Regarding the softener you are totally right that’s help a lot 🙂 If you tell me in what province you are I can help you found a soapmaker near you since I’m a member of the Canadiant soapmaker guild.

      • This women’s Dr told her to 7se aveno soap so don’t tell her to use something else her doctor told her to use this soap

  39. I soak in an Epsom salt bath twice a week and add essential oils such as lavender. I find my skin softer than I can remember at just over 50. Have read not to use soaps etc with the Epsom salt and to rinse off at the end of the bath. Then use a faith in nature shampoo, vinegar rinse & salt of the earth deo when needed.

  40. I was just explaining to a shocked audience that my son, Gideon only gets one bath a week. This practice was definitely based more on logic (he doesn’t really get dirty) than anything else, but this video was super validating for me!

    I’m a beach bum, so it’s every other to every two days for me when it comes to showering!

  41. I don’t use deodorant and I only sometimes shower, just occasional washing when needed. I’m thinking of transitioning to a strip wash over a bucket to save water. I don’t use soap. No one has ever noticed (or if they have they haven’t said anything.

    • Hm,…I love water saving but wouldn’t go that far. I start by brushing my skin for 10 minutes(natural bristles brush), and have very short shower applying only simple unscented soap to arm pits and private bits(different soap for front and different for back bits) and then rinse everything. It probably takes a minute.

      I haven’t used shampoo on my hair for whole year & it never looked better. sometimes I wash it with some bicarbonate soda & rinse with apple cider vinegar or water Kefir. Most of the time I just wash it in water and twice a week rinse in water Kefir. I always rinse it with very cold water & use some coconut oil when it is almost dry. I have a slightly wavy hair so it works for me. It has never being so healthy.

      I apply apple cider vinegar mixed with lavender oil under arms & only coconut oil on days when they are freshly shaven.

  42. I do the same thing, I do not bathe every day and I wash my hair every several days and my skin feels great. I am not using lots of harsh soaps anymore I started using organic eco-friendly handmade soaps. Loved this video!

  43. I haven’t used soap on my body in 4 years. I don’t use it on my kids either. Im glad I can share that info here but I wouldn’t dare share that with anyone I didn’t know intimately! It will surely get interesting when my kids are older and they realize that most people do use it.

  44. I used to just wash my “pits and bits” with soap, but recently went back to doing everything. If I don’t, I stink lol. Just washing my underarms isn’t enough, I need to soap all the surrounding areas too 🙁

    • You may need to look into your diet- there may be some detoxing going on that needs your support! Your skin is the biggest organ in your body and a strong smell could be telling you that you have an imbalance in your system. Hormones may be having influence here too. Good luck! And see about finding some very gentle soap to help minimize the negative effect soap can have on the skin.

  45. I have been using the Norwex body cloths and they are amazing! You use them for your whole body, head to toe. No soap required! They are high quality microfiber and they naturally exfoliate and leave your skin baby soft, without stripping you of your natural oils. For anyone interested in effectively washing their body with no soap they are DEF worth looking into!

  46. My forearms have been itchy for about a month… went to a dermatologist and she prescribed an antibiotic lotion!!! The package insert side effects.. besides the normal itch, redness, burning… was antibiotic induced colitis and DEATH! I am NOT going to use it.. oh my gosh. I think I’ll lay off the soap and see how it goes! (I use the Kiss my face). Thanks for your post… reinforces my decision to steer clear of the lotion!!

  47. Just a tip! I would refrain from saying “pits and bits” because it implies using soap in ALL the bits. haha Soap should not be used on, or in, your vaginal area…just rinsing with lots of water! 🙂

    • Gross.

  48. Question – I run Cross Country and Distance Track at school. During Cross Country, we average 8 miles a day, 6 days a week! Obviously, I come home pretty nasty. I’ve heard all over the place that you have to wash up after sweating a lot to avoid yeast infections and other nastiness. So how can I stay healthy on the inside and out during the season? And also maybe not alienate myself by smelling like my gym locker all the time? 🙂

    • You have a good point! Washing when smelly certainly won’t hurt- I think this is more for people that don’t exert themselves and don’t have much b.o. …..

  49. Thanks for the video! My family thinks I’m so STRANGE for my wash routine. I am biracial and I have that thick curly hair that a lot of black/white people have, it can be a struggle for a lot of families so my routine sort of evolved around my hair. As a kid I showered every night and washed my hair almost every night, I also needed to use TONS of product (lots of harmful chemicals) on my hair and skin to keep everything from drying out. Over the years I’ve experimented but once i started on my natural living journey I discovered the no-poo method of hair care and as luck would have it my crazy curly afro took to it like a dream and my hair became more manageable (less tangles, more moisture). Since i didn’t need to wash/comb my hair as often I found that I didn’t really need to even get in the shower that often either!
    Now I’m down to a shower whenever I feel I need one or when my hair needs to be combed (every 3-4 days usually). I’ve found that my skin doesn’t feel nearly as dry as i remember it being growing up, I don’t break out around my hairline anymore, and I honestly smell better! I no longer smell like “product” and my friends and family find it amazing that someone who doesn’t use shampoo, deodorant, and only uses unscented soaps could smell like nothing but I think it’s because my body has found a good balance so I’m not going to smell like body odor all the time. It’s not for everyone but my body responds well to the less is more way of life.

  50. I’m now thinking of not washing my hair standing in the shower…obviously that shampoo is washing across my back mainly ….but it also gets across a greater proportion of the body than is intended. I guess I’ll need to bend over the basin or bath using a shower attachment (did this in childhood) and then once my body has it’s natural oils built back up, get out in the sun and get some Vitamin D going!

  51. Interesting and intriguing post. Thank you! I remember my gyn a million years ago saying, after I was going through yet another round of irritation/infection to use only water and not soap. I don’t always adhere to that but at the now rare times I do have something going on I follow that advice.

    I wonder, Genevieve, if you’d be willing to take on the task of researching and presenting natural remedies for hair loss, specifically in women (not to leave out the men but b/c I’m a woman who has that going on it’s what interests me). I don’t know if there’s actually anything that could truly help. I have heard that apple cider vinegar seems to be helpful but how, why, in what ways, is it true…I cannot seem to get the right information to help me. I think this would be a great topic for our community. I am pretty sure I’m not alone. I like reading your concise, approachable research and would welcome your findings. Thanks for considering this and for all that you do for us.

  52. What about just rinsing off in the shower and not using soap?

  53. I don’t use soap at all unless you count the occasional shampoo. I just rinse and use baking soda and vinegar in my hair. I’ve never been told I smell and can’t smell myself. I do shower daily so I don’t get a huge build up of dirt but no soap. This is because every soap I’ve ever tried including the natural soaps have caused me to immediately develop eczema. It freaks my husband out that I don’t lather at all (he is a head to toe latherer) and yet don’t have much of a scent ever.

  54. I shower daily using our homemade goat milk soap. We make it using raw milk from our dairy goats and add awesome skin loving oils (olive oil, coconut oil, sustainable palm and Shea butter). Homemade soap (especially goat milk) is amazing for your skin. It not only cleans it, but it contains natural occurring glycerin that moisturizes your skin. So much so that I do not even need to apply a moisturizer after showering. I slather my whole body in it, as well as my kids. My husband and I both use it to shave with as well, works great and no razer burn ever. If you haven’t tried homemade goat milk soap before, I encourage you to. You won’t be sorry, especially if you have dry or problematic skin! Make sure to check the ingredients list and buy from someone reputable though because all homemade soap is not created equally. Or try making your own, it’s not as hard as you may think!

    • Are you able to share your recipe? Or an all natural recipe for me to try to make my own soap? We have a local farm in my town that sells raw goats milk. Thanks!

  55. Hi Genevieve!
    I definitely noticed when I used a lot of soap that my skin felt drier and I developed eczema on my hands after my son was born which soap makes 100x worse! I’ve been using goat soap for my hands and body but my question is, what do you use to shave your legs? Soap? I am 14 weeks pregnant and my legs get extremely itchy if I use soap on them (I usually have to rub coconut oil on them every day to relief the itching!) Thanks for the post, I love following you on pinterest! 🙂

    • You can shave your legs using coconut oil as shaving cream! I love how you can use it for about everything 🙂

    • I agree! Coconut oil (make sure there’s NO hexanne or other chemical solvents…cold pressed, unrefined is probably best) is what I use. I rub a little bit onto my legs, let sit for a minute or so, then use a dry wash cloth to wipe any excess off…also serves to exfoliate. (This ensures that my razor doesn’t get clogged up to quickly so that I don’t have to keep rinsing it in warm/hot water. Coconut oil can clog pipes! Remember, it gets solid below 76 degrees farenheight and above that temp still coats pipes or whatever it touches.) After I’ve wiped away the excess oil with a wash cloth, I then proceed to shave as normal. Soft skin and never have razor burn anymore.

  56. I haven’t used soap (except for occasional shaving) in years. I shampoo once a week and shower once or twice. No deodorant. No lotion… I do take frequent Epsom salt baths. I don’t smell at all. I’ve asked many people and actually I’ve gotten random comments that I smell nice. Your body gets used to things like soap, deodorant etc. I weaned off it all and save so much time money and water it’s great! Note: I live in a cool climate and have a desk job. I don’t exercise often at least not enough to sweat.

  57. Gotta say, I thought this was going to be one of your April Fools videos! (A la “how to drink your own urine” or “the lost art of leeching…” Classic!) Like a play on “dirty hippy” ?

  58. I don’t use soap and just use raw apple cider vinegar to wash my “pits and bits” and water in the shower ?

  59. I use Norwex body cloths for the most part. You don’t use them with soap, just the cloth. Other than that I sometimes use Bronners. Depends on my mood. Ha!

  60. I don’t use soap now at all. I used to do the same as you , pits and bits with soap but now I use a good quality sorborlene cream. It’s been really good and I don’t miss the soap 🙂

  61. I’ve been following Mama Natural for almost 2 years now. I am 24.. I am not pregnant, nor do I have children of my own. I do wish to have some of my own one day. I follow Mama Natural because of all the advice you give from skin care, to nutritional health, to child care and natural births. Your blog inspires me. I love watching your videos and hearing your honest stories and advice. I love that you’ve told your stories of nicotine use and Diet Coke days.. But you have come so far and are living much more healthfully, with a healthy partner and healthy children. It all gives me hope to grow from the poor choices I’ve made, and grow to become a natural mama myself, one day (: I also love that you bring some spirituality into your videos. In this day and age, it’s refreshing to hear. Thank you Mama Natural (:

    • Aw, Kali, this was such a sweet message. Thank you for being here! And what a gift you are giving your future children to take care of YOU now. Xoxo

  62. I have the same concern as Rachel. My two -year-olds get a bath once a week or so with no soaps or shampoo (natural soap if they are actually dirty from BM). There hair isnt greasy at all; however, they both have bits of cradle cap. Also, do you have any recommendations for tangles in kids hair.

  63. So I try to not use product on my kids. Their hair doesn’t get greasy, so I didn’t want to shampoo it. Lately they’ve been getting spots that look like cradle cap. It gets better if we shampoo and then comb it off while damp. My son is 5 and my daughter is 2. It’s so weird bc their hair doesn’t get greasy. But they get these oily scabby patches on their scalp. Do you think a natural shampoo or maybe an apple cider vinegar rinse would help?

  64. Apple cider vinegar is great for hair. I’ve also heard it works wonders on eczema from several different sources. Don’t waste your money on those natural brands of shampoos. They still contain toxic ingredients (although naturally derived ) still not good for the body. If you want a good scrub for the scalp just use a little baking soda and then rinse with ACV. It will take the scalp a while to realize you are no longer stripping the oils out so you will be a little extra oily for maybe a week or two until the body gets back in balance. Add some essential oils to avocado or coconut oil every once in a while for extra conditioning.

  65. Hello!

    Thanks for the reassuring information and reminders! I wanted to add that my naturopath once told me that we really don’t need to do more than rinse our “bits”. I was asking her about it because I had some strong post-partum odors down there and she suggested to just rinse and let things “balance themselves out”. That being said, I do use natural soaps on the pits, bits and feet and also some natural face soap if I feel I need it. As for my 4 year old son, I used to go crazy trying to make sure we had unscented gentle soaps until I eventually just stopped using it at all at bath time! He uses a natural soap to wash his hands (when I’m lucky) and we both shampoo with natural stuff about once a week. (All my references to “natural” = basically health-food or eco-friendly products… I doubt they’re perfect, but they’re a couple steps up from the pharmacy stuff!)

  66. We only shower our four kids once a week, usually on Saturday night. Since they are active kids on a farm, we have to wash dirty feet and legs daily, however! Our family’s favorite soap is actually made by one of my friends and her family- Dirty Hippie Soap. They have really simple, all plant-based ingredients, and are scented in some amazing combinations with essential oils. I am now inspired to transition to natural deodorant and will be giving Arborstead a try! Thanks!

  67. Love it! I definitely shower every other day and my children get about one bath a week as well! We use Norwex cloths and water so it’s simple and no toxins for sure. 🙂
    I would love to hear what you use as shampoo. I hunt for short ingredient lists but find my hair is almost waxy most of the time I get a “healthy” shampoo. It’s a frustration! Help! (Am going to try Honest Co. But that’s on my to do list).

    • I use Avalon Organics. I know that there are much purer ones out there but this is the only one that works like the shampoo I was used too. Lol. It’s pretty clean too.

  68. What a relief! We give our twin toddlers bubble baths about once a week – twice if I’m “lucky” and I have been feeling so guilty about it for basically their entire lives. I just couldn’t figure out how to work more frequent baths in to our days. So wonderful to have reassurance that not only do I not need to, but our current practice is actually good for them!

  69. How funny! I just started trying this the past few weeks. I had been slowly transitioning away from shampoo (even the low or no poo variety) as I have a very dry scalp that may be related to psoriasis.
    For the past two weeks I have been “shampooing” with tea tree oil conditioner and only soaping parts of my body that seem to need it. I had also switched to Dr. Bronner’s soaps in my home when my daughter was born (3 years ago already!). I also stopped using soap on my shins a while back as I have patches of plaque psoriasis there that I am working on healing through an autoimmune elimination diet. Now it’s only soap on the “as needed” places, otherwise just a good rinse!
    I figure my body can use all of the support it can get with having a healthy microbiome while it attempts to heal from the inside out!
    I’m currently searching for a shower filter that can be trusted to remove at least chlorine and chlorine by-products from my shower/bath water to further detox my routine. Any suggestions? Thank you for all that you do for natural mamas and families! Love the blog!

  70. We use ozone olive oil soap for our body and hair. It smells nice and it doesn’t kill the good bacteria on our skin. And olive oil is beneflcial for the skin.

  71. My step-kids usually shower every other day, unless they’re totally filthy (most of the time that’s my step-son, lol). He does have eczema, but it’s been mainly concentrated on his feet. It’s really rough in the winter and in the summer. We’ve really had to work with him on keeping his feet dry and school and working out a plan with his teacher. He keeps an extra pair of socks and shoes in his back pack just in case.
    When both kiddos start to have dry skin (winter/summer), we use a little more coconut oil and that helps.

  72. Oh how I wish I’d had this information three years ago! We were totally bathing my son too much and his pediatrician just kept upping the concentration of hydrocortisone for him to deal with the eczema. Even with the very KMF soap you mentioned he was at prescription strength hydrocortisone at 2.5 years old! A friend finally told me to stop washing him (except for the areas you mentioned) and it has made such a huge difference. No more creams! Preach it, Mama Natural!

  73. I haven’t used much soap in a LONG time. For every reason mentioned plus I never really get dirty. If I do sweat a lot or play in the sand or walk through grass barefoot, etc, etc, I will use soap on those places, and usually always underarms, underchest (pregnant here and everything is touching), and the other necessities. That’s it. I don’t smell when I sweat unless it’s from stress/nervousness. Hardly need to wear deoderant. I love it! Way cheaper too for people who want to be frugal. I use the soap we buy for the baby/toddler (Earth Mama Angel Baby foaming soap) and I love that since it’s super quick to use when I don’t have much time for showers now a days anyways. I would love to make my own soap one day though.

  74. I started using our Trader Joe bar soap on only pits and bits and feet when I was pregnant a few years ago after reading in a pregnancy book that soap wasn’t necessary on your chest and stomach and can make the skin, already stretching, itchier. It was a great switch and I am sorry not to have started earlier! I have had great results with mineral salt rocks for deodorant (currently using a liquid version that comes in a roller as I dropped and broke my original Thai stone). My husband started distributing a shower filter that uses 100% Vitamin C to neutralize the chloromine (chlorine bonded with ammonia!) that our city puts in the water after we saw how well it worked. Our son gets a bath tablet version that does the same thing.

  75. That was great information. I think I’ll look into the soap you suggested. My current soap is a grapefruit soap by Griffin Remedy. I’ve also thought about making my own soap but haven’t gotten that far yet. Have you tried? Suggestions?

  76. Thanks Genevieve, I am using Kiss my face, luckily iherb.com delivery to Australia and are so much cheaper than local in postage and products. I also use Kirks soap as they list what they leave out, e.g. EDTA. I use organic natural shampoo (plant based) and rinse with white vinegar. The vinegar adds a shine, my hair feels less tangled as well with the vinegar after the conditioner.

  77. Do you have a bubble bath recommendation for the kiddos? Also – off topic – any chance you will do a little blip on what to pack in the school lunch? My oldest will be in kindergarten next year. I love all your posts and you are my go to for all things mama and natural 😀

    • I should do a post on this! I pack Griff’s lunches 3 days a week. Thanks for idea!!!

  78. I was so glad to see this video. I actually stopped using soap on my pits a year or two ago, and they smell so much better now! I used to have that kind of sweat that killed shirts. Not a problem anymore. So, with that in mind… I stopped soaping my bits, too. Yikes, that felt wrong at first, but no detectable problems so far 🙂

    I like bathing my toddlers in clear water as well, including their hair, but my mother is not on board with that, so they do get soaped up when grammy’s in charge.

    Now I’m wondering about toothpaste. My boys do not use it yet, and their breath is always nice and sweet. How is that?

  79. My Grandmama taught me (many, many moons ago) to only use soap on necessary (her code word for pits and bits) only when needed……if it wasn’t smelly, it wasn’t dirty and didn’t need soap. Grandmama bathed us about twice a week as kids and our hair got washed once a week (bathed and shampooed on Saturday night so we’d be fresh and clean for sunday school and church the next morning). Before bed every night, Grandmama would give me a warm, wet washrag (no soap) and I’d wipe my face, behind my ears, the back of my neck, my pits, bits and soles of my feet. Still follow pretty much the same routine to this day…..after all, grandmamas knew best, right? We use a plain, unscented bar of castille soap when we need soap. None of us bath every day. And you know what? We don’t smell and we’re not dirty. Gasp! The hubs and I use a lightly scented organic deodorant…… no antiperspirants, we have sweat glands for a reason.

    I would love some ideas for a good organic something to wash my hair with. I’ve tried nopoo and variations on that theme for close to a year with less than stellar results. I’m a 56 year old caucasian woman, my menos have paused (lol!), still have hot flashes, dark, wavy hair about a third of it silver, have a lot of hair but it’s super, baby fine. Suggestions anyone?

    • I’ve tried lots of different kinds but my favorite is Avalon Organics. It’s not uber pure but it isn’t toxic and it works great.

    • Miessence out of Australia (ONE Group). Truly awesome products.

  80. We use the same soap…… But then I follow with Jason’s body wash on my entire body. My skin is always itchy even after moisturizing. Maybe I’ll try the pits and bits idea ?.

  81. Thank you for this video. I shower everyday with dove soap but I wash my hair every 3 or 4 days. Deva Curl and Wen are the two shampoos or no poos I recommend. I haven’t found a natural or no chemical antiperspirant/ deodorant that works really well. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks again!

  82. Great post! I shower daily AND use the same soap bar you do. I sometimes change it up with their “fragrances”. I bathe my kids once a week unless they have swimming lessons then I will follow up with an additional shower. Just a little tidbit….if you lather with virgin coconut oil prior to entering a chlorine-filled pool then you are better protected from the chemicals that would normally leach into your skin (our largest organ). Just don’t advertise that you are doing that to the instructors as they just might have an issue with it considering you’re supposed to rinse prior to entering the pool….tee hee hee.

    Just wanted to know what kind of bubble bath soap and sunscreen you use for you and the kiddos. Thanks! 🙂

    • Sabrina, while I understand your concern about chlorine (and those concerns are why we switched our pool to a saltwater system) one of the reasons you’re asked to rinse off before entering a pool is because oils…..body oils, tanning oils, coconut oil…… will wreck havoc on the filtration system.

  83. I don’t use soap at all! Just a washcloth. Now, my toddler and twins have never seen a foamy, SLS-filled bath in their lifetime, and nobody stinks or has skin issues 🙂

  84. I haven’t been using soap for over a year now and love it. I use an Asian exfoliating glove and water. My skin is so soft and I have oily skin which seems much more balanced now. I’m suspicious that oily skin is dry skin at least that has been my experience.
    Okay, I guess I’ll admit that I’m quite “hippy” and rarely even use anything that “suds” for my hair and have been experimenting with various “no poo” methods. My favorite has been using egg yolks and then doing an apple cider vinegar rinse after. I use essential oils for perfume and deodorant and my husband frequently mentions how wonderful I smell. 🙂 I shower every day or every other day.
    I’m of the understanding that we women shouldn’t use soap on our lady bits as it’s very harsh and creates and imbalance in our “sacred” environment. 🙂

    • I hear you! I also no poo. What oils/concoctions do you like to use for deodorant?

      • Sarah, not sure if you were addressing me or not? My absolute favorite essential oil deodorant is Poetic Pits. It’s expensive, but it smells so nice! When I workout and start sweating I have this amazing aroma coming from my pits. 🙂 http://www.livinglibations.com/default/products/body-care/poetic-pits

        I also make a homemade one that works really well for me too, that has magnesium oil, witch hazel, and essential oils. I think I found the recipe from Wellness Mama.

    • Yes, you can just do the butt bits 😉

  85. Thank you for taking a “brave stand” and sharing this post. Most people will consider it gross and I’m afraid to share with friends that I wash my hair with shampoo only every few weeks and my hair looks and feels great. But it is not gross at all! That what people had been doing a century ago or so. With synthetic chemicals for some reason (commercial I’m sure) it changed. I don’t use soap every day and for my two year-old almost ever. Except when I wash her every time after a BM. Every evening I just bath her in a tub with a few drops of essential oils or a 1/3 cup of white or apple cider vinegar. I’ve been doing it almost since she was born and it’s been great. Except for the vinegar part. I just started that and actually a doctor recommended I tried that.

    • My pleasure. Why did the doctor want you to do the vinegar?

      • My girl had somewhat irritation in her special area, but not an infection, so the vinegar was supposed to take care of that. I still do it as precautionary thing. I use it about once a week with white or apple cider vinegar (that is also great for skin and hair).

  86. Thank you for this! It is tempting to give my daughter a soapy bath every time she plays out in the dirt but maybe just a quick rinse will do. 🙂 We recently just switched to Kiss My Face bar soap and love it!! I have even been washing my face at night with it and notice a big difference. By the way, I love your butterfly blouse you are wearing in this video! Mind sharing wear you got it from? Thanks!

    • Awesome! It’s an old school, Old Navy cardigan from maybe 2005? 🙂

  87. Ha-ha! Awesome! I haven’t switched to natural soap/shampoos, but my mom always encouraged us to shower every other day to preserve natural oils! We all have pretty healthy skin and hair.
    Also, in dealing with my oldest son’s eczema, we would only rarely use soap, and mostly just add some vinegar to his baths. Once every week or two weeks is plenty for my brood of boys. I just have to clean their feet in between! 😉

    • Oh yes! Those feet can get nasty 😉

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