Good morning RIP minions!
Today we’ll take a look at the minimalist body care of a FI seeker.
I told you about my last visit to Hooliland, didn’t I? Well, let’s take a look at my travel beauty case:
What a big bag! It will surely be full of products! Please RIP, open it! Open it! Let us know!!
Sure guys, as you wish 🙂
What?? Where are… items? Is that all you need? Really? You joking?
Yeah. Let me explain why I (and you) don’t need too much stuff to take care of your body:
I have a toothbrush (u-uh) and toothpaste (surprise!), that make 80% of my needs. I wash my teeth very frequently (3 times per day) and I spend no less than 2-3 minutes per wash, with peaks up to 5 minutes in the evenings. I do several passes and insist until I feel my mouth very clean. Thanks to my accuracy I never had to visit a dentist so far in my life.
If I could give you a single body care recommendation I’d go for “learn how to brush your teeth and enjoy the process. It will save you tons of problems“. And I actually like the process itself, it’s like meditation. It’s a moment of deep mindfulness and it’s not rare that ideas – and new blog posts – get their birth during a teeth brush!
I bring a razor if I’m traveling for at least a week and I didn’t shave on the day of my departure or the day before.
I bring earplugs, I hate nightly noise of every kind. Hotel rooms are usually noisy due to several factors. I usually unplug fridge and air conditioner.
I bring cotton swabs, you don’t always find them in hotels.
I bring few medicines (aspirin), you never know.
Ok, this is my travel beauty case. At home I use more products for my body care, of course. Like… a soap. Now that’s really all!
Wait, RIP, are you joking?
Absolutely no, I’m not joking this time. Let me explain:
- I don’t use perfumes. “Holy sheet, RIP, you smell a lot than! I hope I won’t meet you anytime soon!”. No, dear friend, it’s not true. I can safely claim that I don’t smell. Like I said for my teeth, I shower a lot. At least 2 times per day, very deeply. Showering is another activity that I love. Another meditation moment. I do shower mindfully and it’s just another opportunity for my idea muscle to work out. It’s not time lost. Let’s be honest: it’s a good 5-10 minutes of disconnection from the web, i.e. it’s when good things happen!
- I don’t use shaving foam. “Whaaat? RIP, you’re going to record a splatter movie every time you shave!”. No, that’s not true either. I do start shaving my beard while showering, with my skin hydrated and normal soap as softener. I complete the action at the bathroom sink in front of a mirror, after another dose of normal soap. Nothing happens. I do this since forever and I’m ok.
- I don’t use aftershave. What’s it for? Disinfecting? Perfuming? Both cases I don’t need it.
- I don’t use deodorant, but I may consider using it. I sweat a lot, specially during summer. I may reconsider this. It’s just that I hate the whole “poison industry”, I really think all these products are killing atmosphere and are harmful for life on earth. I’d rather use Potassium alum or other natural deodorants.
- I don’t use shampoo. I do use the soap, either liquid or solid, for everything. Skin, hairs, whatever. No need for 10 different products like balsam, shampoo, body soap, face soap, moisturizer,…
- I don’t do any hair removal practice, just shave my beard. I heard about people taking care of eyebrows or ear heirs or whatever else. I just don’t do it.
I listed body care items I don’t need. And, btw, let me explain how I handle those that I need:
- I use a very cheap soap. I buy them in bulk or get store brands. If I take the liquid one, I’d buy at least a liter of basic soap for close-to-zero CHF. Sadly in Switzerland I can’t find nice big bottles, so when I go to Italy I buy them there. I use the same soap to wash my hands, hairs, skin, face, whatever else.
- I use cheap 2 blades razors for beard shaving, bought by the dozen for close-to-zero CHF.
- I use a razor twice. I shave once per week or sometimes (driven by laziness) every 2 weeks. I like my beard but after 2 weeks it becomes hard to manage so I prefer to not let it grow to much. Once per year I give up on my laziness and I let me grow a Goatee. It’s cool, I enjoy it for a month then it makes me scratch so I cut it out.
- I cut my own hairs with a machine. I do this since I was 18 years old. I’ve changed 2 haircutting machines in 20 years. The one I use today I bought for 20 Euros I don’t remember when. I usually cut my hairs 6mm height, once every month or two. The day I shorten my hairs I like myself more than usual 🙂
Total cost of my body care: negligible.
The good news is: you can do the same. These costs can be cut to the ground. If you, like me, don’t get any value from a better body care, why spend money for it? I get value from being clean, having my teeth in good shape, not smelling and not putting on my body artificial poisonous flavors.
Frugality means cutting costs on unimportant sectors to free resources for things that matter more.
I have a friend whose house is full of beauty products. He needs 5 blades razors, sold by 50 CHF a pack of 8!! Crazy! On his last birthday we were instructed by his wife that “he uses Aesop products, so you know how to make him happy with a gift”. Aesop is an Australian body care brand that makes shops like Lush appear cheap. I’ve been wondering who is really willing to spend money on those useless things, but I didn’t have to go far to discover. A lot of people do. I discovered the existence of hand soaps, hair soaps, face soaps, body soaps,… what? There’s no nose soap? Or left ear soap? What a shame! These items are insanely priced, there’s no way I’m going to even think about shopping there.
Ok, I lied. I do occasionally buy products from Lush (which in Switzerland, as I said, is the cheapest alternative). I do buy fizzy bath balls that make your bath experience more intense. Why I do that? For the experience, not for the quality of the product. I’d never buy those expensive single usage useless things for their quality.
I and Miss RIP like to take a long bath on weekends together, talking about projects, sharing thoughts or simply cuddling and listening relaxing music. We may spend an hour in the bathtub and our ritual begins with a fizzy ball being thrown at the hot water and watching it dissolve and liberate nice smells (claimed to be all organic) in the air.
Are we hedonically adapted to this? Would our baths be of inferior quality in case we wouldn’t use these relatively expensive things (5-7 CHF each ball depending on the flavor)? I’m sure it won’t change the experience too much. In the end, the moment is magic because of us. The music, the hot bath, birds singing are just very pleasant side dishes. I’m aware of this and I’m ready to cut off such a minor splurge as first in case we need to shrink our budget. But now we’re ok allowing ourselves this ritual moment once every 2-3 weeks on average.
Anyway, let’s take a look at my beauty case when back home, after the Hooliland trip:
Oops… it’s full of shit! RIP, you liar!! No guys, I simply believe and exercise my right to take consumable goods from hotel rooms. All the soaps will be used at home (and last for months) or on multiday hiking or biking trips, thanks to their reduced weight.
Be frugal, cut costs on items that don’t bring lasting value to your life to free resources for what really matters. In my case, I value natural body care: being clean and not smelly and having my teeth in order. I don’t give additional value by putting poisons on my skin or using useless product to ease shaving or paying a professional to cut my hairs. So I cut these costs (and hairs too!) as much as I physically can.
Have a nice day!
I used to have a lot of different products for body care and cosmetics and I reduced this a lot. I am still far away from your minimalistic approach, but hey, I’m a woman 😉 When reducing, I asked myself: “when was the last time I used this product? How often do I use it? What is the practical value of this product and do I really need it?”
Concerning deodorant, I can recommend you sodium bicarbonate (baking soda / NaHCO3). Here in Germany you can buy it in supermarkets for a few Euro cents, usually you find it where the baking ingredients are. It can be used for baking, but also for a lot of different purposes more, e.g. as a deodorant. You can rub the powder directly on your armpit. It doesn’t prevent sweating, but it prevents that bacteria make your sweat smell bad.
I found a deodorant cream that is based on sodium bicarbonate and coconut oil, it is produced in Switzerland, it is expensive but it really works and I love it! https://www.ponyhuetchen.com/deo-creme-pretty-und-pure-deos-ohne-aluminium-deocreme (this is the version without perfume, I use one with a grapefruit perfume)
This is my equivalent to your bath balls from Lush 🙂
Oh, and congrats for your good teeth!
Hi Julia, thanks for your amazing suggestion to use sodium bicarbonate, I do know what it is and we use it a lot to wash salad and a lot of other things – Miss RIP is addicted to it. I didn’t know it’s useful for that purpose too! I’ll give it a try 🙂