5 Pandemic Body Care Experiments :: Take Advantage of Quarantine to Get Kinda Funky

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I’ve never been one for beauty regimens or fancy clothes, so the leap to 24/7 athleisurewear and mom-buns caused by the quarantine orders has not been much of a challenge. No make-up? No problem. I don’t own any, anyway.

That said, the thought occurred to me that this is the perfect opportunity to really take this pandemic thing to the next level by testing out some of the more intense body care experiments out there. What do I mean? Well, there is a handful of personal hygiene and lifestyle choices that can have short-term, off-putting consequences for a few days (weeks?) if attempted any year B.P.E (Before the Pandemic Era). The good news is that there really is no time like the present to get a little funky. Side effects such as body odor, greasy hair, and other misfortunes are just not a factor if the only places you go are to your backyard or a different room in your house. My kids and husband have to love me, no matter how bad I smell, right?

As long as we are maintaining a six-foot distance, why not try out one (or all!) of these lifestyle changes:

No Poo - Pandemic Body Care Experiments

 

No ‘Poo

The No ‘Poo method has an unfortunate name, but the core concept behind it is significantly less disgusting: stop washing your hair with shampoo and your body eventually won’t need it. The theory goes that commercial shampoos strip your hair of natural oils, causing your head to over-produce extra oil in response, which then causes your extra-oily hair needing to be shampooed. And thus, the cycle is born.

Instead, the No ‘Poo method indicates that simply rinsing your hair with with apple cider vinegar or just plain ole water in lieu of shampoo does not disrupt oil production in the same way, allowing you to break the cycle and eventually freeing you from shampoo altogether.

The downside is that, as with many natural body processes, there is a big adjustment period when first starting out a ‘poo-free lifestyle. In all likelihood, your body will typically continue to overproduce oils for a stretch, resulting in greasy, kinda grody hair. According to nopoomethod.com, this can be anywhere from 2-6 weeks. But you’re not going anywhere anytime soon, right? So… perfect! Stop shampooing and let your greasy head do its thing. There’s bandanas for that.

Menstrual Cups

I’ve written about the beauty of menstrual cups here before, so you can read up on their greatness and why I love them so much over in that post. But, if you are anything like me, it might take a a full cycle or two to get used using a cup, which can prove problematic if you need to go out and about in the world. Fortunately (in this case), you really aren’t going anywhere, so unexpected public spillage is not a factor. Handy! There has never been a better time than the present to attempt the switch. So do some research, buy a cup, and get excited for the waste-free period-adventures ahead.

Natural Deodorant

Much like shampoo, most commercial deodorants – or, more specifically, antiperspirants – cause a disruption in what is otherwise a fairly well-regulated system. By futzing with your normal sweating cycle, you end up overgrowing some funkiness under your arms, and then boom! You need some deodorant/anti-perspirant to address the odor issue that you have unwillingly created.

Natural deodorants tend to handle the smell well, but they don’t contain the anti-perspirant component, which can be problematic at the outset while your body is still trapped in the above-mentioned cycle. Because your body has been churning out sweat, the switch to no deodorant or natural deodorant can take a few weeks to adjust to, and you might be pretty ripe as your body regulates. Yahoo! Stinky is the new pretty in 2020, so wave your arms in the air like you just don’t care (because you don’t!) and try to go au natural.

Natural Acne Treatment

My personal experience with acne treatment is fortunately limited to my teenage years, but my guess is some of you might be willing to give this a shot, or have teenagers who are game for the experiment. I recall putting all kinds of crazy chemicals on my face as a young teen, and the thought occurs to me now that I was probably putting my skin through the wringer unintentionally. Stopping those acne treatments at the time resulted in an explosion of acne, likely because I had disrupted my face’s oil production in much the same way as shampoo affects greasy hair. There are loads of natural acne treatments (honey? tea tree oil? zinc?) out there that require weathering a bit of a storm when you make the switch. But nobody will see your pimples for awhile, so there’s never been a better time to try to break the break-out cycle.

Family Cloth

We all know about the TP craze of 2020, and the real fear it instilled in many of us. Around the world, smart cultures have already embraced the bidet, and I argue it’s time to make it go mainstream in the U.S., too. A quick look at Amazon will let you know that many others have thought the same before me; bidets are flying off the shelves. Meanwhile, you can make your own mini-bidet and cut down on your TP relatively simply: cut up some old t-shirts, rags, sheets, flannels — whatever suits your fancy. If you know how to sew, great, serge them together or do some magic. If not, no worries, just make a stack of them in a basket in your bathroom.

When you go #1, give yourself a little rinse using any kind of squeeze bottle filled with water (remember those peri bottles from when you had a baby? Same concept here.) and then pat-dry the water with your cut-up cloth. This way, the rag is not so much for wiping pee, as for wiping the water you used to rinse yourself (I know some adventurous folks will use this for system for #2, but I will admit that goes a little beyond my comfort zone). Once you have patted dry, drop your rag in a designated bucket or water-proof bag somewhere in your restroom. Wash the used rags in the laundry, replenish when clean, and bam! You’ve got some earth-friendly, reusable TP on-hand. You’ll be amazed at how much disposable TP you save! Lovingly referred to as the family cloth, the name is deceiving, because it makes it sound like there is just one cloth for the whole family. Please know that is not the case, here. That would be… weird.

Did you give up on shaving, too? Might as well…
What other funky lifestyle changes have you made?

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Lee Ann
Lee Ann moved to Portland in 2008 following an eight-year stint in Paris, France, where her first son was born. Though she thought nowhere could compete with the City of Lights, the City of Roses immediately stole her heart. As a great place to raise kids, she loves getting out and exploring the city and region with her husband and four young children. While in France, Lee Ann earned a B.A. in Journalism and a Master's in Linguistics at the American University of Paris and L'Universite de Paris - La Sorbonne, respectively, before returning stateside to become a Speech-Language Pathologist through the Portland State University graduate program. Throughout her studies, she kept one foot in the digital world, writing content for publications and creating websites for clients. After many years as a medical Speech Pathologist, she left to the field to continue freelance writing, become the owner of Portland Mom Collective (!), and eventually to open Make + Take Studio, a community crafting space in North Portland. As a small business owner and mother, she strives to get some occasional "me" time in, which she likes to spend geocaching, jogging, sewing, and staring at the wall with no small humans talking to her. Get in touch by sending a note to leeann {at} portlandmomcollective {dot} com, or follow her on Instagram.