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Could You Quit Using Soap and Shampoo for an Entire Year?

The writer Sean Bonner just went a year without using soap and shampoo in his showers. He feels healthier—and cleaner—than ever. Could you do it?

In a recent piece for Boing Boing, the writer, Metblogs co-creator, and punk rock enthusiast Sean Bonner details his year-long experiment to quit using soap and shampoo when bathing. But why go without soap and shampoo? Bonner explains:

Your body is designed to regulate itself. Smearing chemicals all over it wrecks its own built-in processes, and screws with naturally balanced pH levels. This made sense to me and I thought I'd give it a shot for a month.

At the beginning of February 2010, I blogged about the results I'd seen so far. I didn't stink at all (confirmed by friends, family and random people I ended up sitting next to on various forms of public transit), my skin felt better, oily and dry patches had all but disappeared and the light dandruff I'd had my entire life was almost gone. I was pleased with the results of my month experiment and decided I'd run with it for a while longer. As of January 1, 2011: it's been a year now, and I can't imagine ever going back.


Not only did he find he had healthier skin and hair, but he also saved a great deal of money—and just imagine all that unused plastic packaging in a year's worth of hygiene products. Although eschewing soap and shampoo for health reasons may seem counter-intuitive, it's not unprecedented. As our friends at No More Dirty Looks have taught us, even daily showering can be overkill for your body.

For the record, Bonner still uses (and encourages using) soap to wash his hands throughout the day.

Could you go without soap and shampoo for a year?

Photo (cc) by Flickr user eelke dekker

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