cleansing without soap

Has anyone had success cleaning your body without soap? If so I am curious to know what you use... oil? hot water by itself? a homemade recipe? something else?

I have had problems with dryness and acne and sensitive skin. even an all-natural, sulfate-free, coconut-based shower gel seems to give me dry itchy skin.

Right now I am experimenting with an oil cleansing method for acne-prone areas of my body (chest, upper back). so far it seems to be going really well. so I am curious about what other non-soap options are out there.
No. Have you considered a shower filter?
I use a combination of water, regular soap and OCM. I only use soap on areas sweaty/odor-prone areas. Water/oils for everything else, I don't have a shower, so it's baths for me, I just add some body oil to my bath water. My skin in some areas can get pretty dry even from water, so I don't use any unnecessary detergents. I'm not a sweaty person, and so I figured really how dirty could my legs or stomach or whatever get especially if they're covered up all day. If I wear make-up then I use OCM before and afterwards to remove, otherwise just water.
hmm...that is pretty much what I am doing right now too. I have noticed a significant decrease in acne and itchiness although I want to keep trying it for a few more weeks to make sure that wasn't caused by just a change in hormones or something.

the water filter idea is interesting, although I'm pretty sure it's not my water ... when I shower with water alone my skin feels good and non-itchy...
For my body, I only use soap on my pits and nethers, everything else just gets water. I have no issues with my skin on my body. Why do backs, fronts, arms, and legs need soap anyway? Unless you're rolling in dirt, those areas just don't need soap.
For my body, I only use soap on my pits and nethers, everything else just gets water. I have no issues with my skin on my body. Why do backs, fronts, arms, and legs need soap anyway? Unless you're rolling in dirt, those areas just don't need soap.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
I've recently started doing this too. My dry skin was just out of control and this has helped tremendously! I would also recommend a dry skin brush if your skin is super dry like mine. I only wash my whole body after a sweaty workout
For my body, I only use soap on my pits and nethers, everything else just gets water. I have no issues with my skin on my body. Why do backs, fronts, arms, and legs need soap anyway? Unless you're rolling in dirt, those areas just don't need soap.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Weeeeeell now, I don't know about that one...

If you bathe/shower twice daily or so, then using soap once is fine and plain water after, just to get rid of the fog of the day is okay fine if re-soaping isn't needed...

But in general, if you perspire from daily activities, working out or even nervousness, it does require a little cleansing (at least once daily with soap), as the bacteria that develops from certain kinds of sweat can cause odor. And if you work in a serious environment going au-naturale can cost you that big promotion (or maybe your job), so it's not an option for everyone, but, I definitely support something more gentle than what most commercial companies offer.

Natural cleansers can be found online at:
http.www.aubrey-organics.com
http.www.nasabb.com
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Last edited by Hairblogger; 03-18-2008 at 01:34 PM.
For my body, I only use soap on my pits and nethers, everything else just gets water. I have no issues with my skin on my body. Why do backs, fronts, arms, and legs need soap anyway? Unless you're rolling in dirt, those areas just don't need soap.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Weeeeeell now, I don't know about that one...

If you bathe/shower twice daily or so, then using soap once is fine and plain water after, just to get rid of the fog of the day is okay fine if re-soaping isn't needed...

But in general, if you perspire from daily activities, working out or even nervousness, it does require a little cleansing (at least once daily with soap), as the bacteria that develops from certain kinds of sweat can cause odor. And if you work in a serious environment going au-naturale can cost you that big promotion (or maybe your job), so it's not an option for everyone, but, I definitely support something more gentle than what most commercial companies offer.

Natural cleansers can be found online at:
http.www.aubrey-organics.com
http.www.nasabb.com
Originally Posted by Hairblogger


I have never experienced stinky arms or legs, or back or chest, from not using soap on them. Water is enough to rinse off sweat and bacteria on smooth surfaces. It's only the crevices where bacteria can grow that get stinky and my crevices get soap. Bacteria can only grow where it's warm, dark and moist.
I dont like to think about crevices on humans that can get nasty.
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For my body, I only use soap on my pits and nethers, everything else just gets water. I have no issues with my skin on my body. Why do backs, fronts, arms, and legs need soap anyway? Unless you're rolling in dirt, those areas just don't need soap.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Weeeeeell now, I don't know about that one...

If you bathe/shower twice daily or so, then using soap once is fine and plain water after, just to get rid of the fog of the day is okay fine if re-soaping isn't needed...

But in general, if you perspire from daily activities, working out or even nervousness, it does require a little cleansing (at least once daily with soap), as the bacteria that develops from certain kinds of sweat can cause odor. And if you work in a serious environment going au-naturale can cost you that big promotion (or maybe your job), so it's not an option for everyone, but, I definitely support something more gentle than what most commercial companies offer.

Natural cleansers can be found online at:
http.www.aubrey-organics.com
http.www.nasabb.com
Originally Posted by Hairblogger


I have never experienced stinky arms or legs, or back or chest, from not using soap on them. Water is enough to rinse off sweat and bacteria on smooth surfaces. It's only the crevices where bacteria can grow that get stinky and my crevices get soap. Bacteria can only grow where it's warm, dark and moist.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
I agree with RCW, and so does my dermatologist! Last time I was in, the nurse brought in an info sheet and went over it with me. It basically said everything I already do, and have done all my life: you don't need soap/cleanser for anything but the pits, crotch/bottom, feet, under the breasts if they get sweaty. Unless you get dripping-wet-sweaty or dirty, then you need to clean it all. I also wash my back or I get back-acne (oily back there between the shoulders). The rest just gets a rinse and rub down with my hand, puff or cloth and water.

As recommended by my dermatologist, I have now been washing my face only at night to remove makeup, and only rinsing in the morning. Even though I have an oily face, he says not to wash twice a day, and don't use moisturizer (unless I'm really dry) on my face. But I'm supposed to slather the rest of my body with lotion daily.

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Cetaphil - Gental skin cleanser - is a soap free alternitive. It's for face,hands and body. Bottle says helps skin retain needed moisture. The directions say you can use with or without water.

I use this for my face per my dermatologist advice.
Cetaphil has a detergent: SLS. No wonder I didn't find it so gentle when I used it years and years and years ago.

Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben.

Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), is a detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpaste etc.). It is an inexpensive and very effective foamer.

I don't use SLS on my hair, so I am definitely not using it on my skin.
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I didn't think Cetaphil was great either. It was better than anything else I was using at the time, which isn't saying a lot at all.

Some parts of me I don't think need much soap, but need a lot of exfoliation as they seem to shed faster. It doesn't have to involve a grainy detergent-filled scrub, it can be as simple as rubbing them after a long hot shower with the towel. Like ankles and elbows.
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I agree with RCW, no soap except underarms and other areas that we shall not name.
My skin looks better and isn't as dry. I cleaned my face with an olive oil based soap.( I also use a progesterone cream on my face. I am not recommending the cream for anyone because I have to use it for reason most people don't.) My skin looks better and the fine lines and wrinkles are plumping out.

Speckla

Last edited by Speckla; 03-23-2008 at 07:33 PM.
I have been dragging my feet about this no soap for the body thing. NO SOAP, I'LL BE A FUNKY MESS!!!

All across these forums and all these organic sites, all you hear is "petrolatum is baaad!!" So, I looked over all my suave, st. ives, olay, vaseline intensive care lotions, and what is ingredient number 1,2, or 3... PETROLATUM.

So, I said I'll be organic, I'll use olive oil. I'll be so natural and good to my body. But my skin was scaling like a snake. (I was still sudzing up my limbs). So I pulled out all my lotions again from my give away pile and started using them again.

When I showered, my skin and the lotion would just be rubbing off! So gross!!! Yesterday, I said, man, I need to use my strongest exfoliating soap to get rid of this skin that is peeling...

But then, I said WAIT!!! THIS MADNESS MUST STOP!!

So, I took the time and went over my skin and rubbed off all the dead skin with my wet washcloth. Then I moisturized with just my olive oil.

IT WORKED My arms and legs aren't stinky as I feared they would be, and my skin is not scaly, and today when I showered I was not rubbing off petrolatum lotion that sat on my skin all day. I think taking the time to scrub, scrub, scrub with out the soap, I might be cleaner.

Does anyone throw an "essential oil" in with their aftershower moisturizer??
3c still searching for my HG...
Does anyone throw an "essential oil" in with their aftershower moisturizer??
Originally Posted by nina514

Seriously, I am beginning to feel a little insecure. Day three of wet washcloth body scrubbing followed by olive oil moisturizer, and I am smelling like... olive oil.

Duh! I must admit I wasn't prepared. My shoulders smell like olive oil too, and they get the royal psf/ facial brush treatment

Any experts who would say which is better: put an essential oil in the olive oil for scent; or spray myself with eu de toilette all over?

In the summer when you sweat? Does just rinsing arms and legs still work? I'm guessing I'll hear nay about the body splash cause I'll attract bugs in the summer.

I just sprayed myself with cheap vicki's body splash all over. We'll see how I smell when I dry
3c still searching for my HG...
I have dry skin too, but I still use soap on my body. Afterwards I use a good quality natural moisturizing body lotion or body butter (no mineral oils etc..).

Why soap with such dry skin? Backs do sweat. Where there's pores, there's sweat. You sweat unnoticeably. You sweat during the night as well and you will often not notice that in the morning either. So I don't think water alone will do. Not for me at least. Using a good quality body lotion/butter is key for me though.
aren't we supposed to not really use SOAP in our nether regions? messing up the natural pH balance?
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barack the vote!
I have dry skin, too, and I do use soap. When I was young, I either used Cetaphil or the other is Basis bar soap (you can find it by the face washes). It's great because it doesn't have harsh products, but still gets you clean.

I have also discovered the new body washes that have oils in them (I know, they all do). They are by far one of the most moisturizing things I've ever used. I use the SoftSoap NutraOil.

I've used oil as a moisturizer after I shower (the skin still has to be quite wet), I put it in a spritzer and spray it on. If the scent bugs, just take some tea like chamomile or something you like the smell of and gently heat the oil in a pan while allowing the tea to steep in the oil, do not boil! Allow it to cool and it should smell better. Apply as before, just with a better scent!

Another thing you could try is using up some of your conditioner product bombs and use them to wash. If you can use it to cleanse your hair, why not your body?

And I use my conditioner product bombs as lotion sometimes. It really works! In a pinch, if you forgot your lotion, chapstick, vaseline or if your feet are dry and chapped, you can apply a conditioner as a lotion, or healing balm for chapped, cracked lips. It healed my peeling, cracked bleeding feet in a couple days.

On the flip side (totally off subject, but I have to pop this in), if you are in a pinch, lotion can act as a conditioner and/or leave-in and/or frizz buster!
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This area is under construction as my hair type changed and nothing works well for me. I shampoo, I condition and pretty much have done nothing but chuck my hair in a messy bun for the past oh...year? Yeah, I'm that lazy.

No...going no-poo or CG does not work for me. It leaves me overconditioned and oily in a second no matter what I use, so that's not what's not working.
aren't we supposed to not really use SOAP in our nether regions? messing up the natural pH balance?
Originally Posted by stefathena
This is what I've heard too, although I still do it.
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