Can I use shower gel on the face?

Experiment // Wash without soap I learned that from six weeks of abstinence from cosmetics


Six weeks of no shower gel, no deodorant, no shampoo, no make-up: an absolute horror performance for PULS author Vanessa Schneider. Then she tried it.

From: Vanessa Schneider

Status: 03/21/2017 | archive

There is a community online that swears by not using shampoo. They claim that cosmetic products make our skin and hair almost addicted to artificial care. They supposedly overclean our scalp and ensure that it produces more and more sebum so that we can continue to wash our hair diligently.

Without shampoo - according to the theory - sebum production levels off again after a very unpleasant transition phase, problems such as oily hair, dandruff and itching should disappear and the hair should become more beautiful, shiny and full. There is no scientific evidence for this and I was more than skeptical - but I gave it a chance. And when I was about to forego one thing, I left out everything: shower gel, deodorant, body lotion, shampoo, face cream, wash gel, eye cream and make-up. For a full six weeks. I learned that:

1. I don't even know my skin

Since my studies I have been creaming my face like a stupid. In my early twenties I still had pretty bad acne. Acne = oily skin, I thought, so since then I have only used care products that do not re-oil and even remove fat from the skin. Of course, my skin has changed a lot since then. Due to my incorrect care, I didn't notice it at all. Only by doing without all products, by observing my skin over the long term and doing a weekly skin analysis do I now know what my (rather dry) skin really needs. And without all the expensive creams, lotions and washing gels, not only my wallet is better, but also my skin: The fat content has increased and I have the feeling that my skin was much rougher and more uneven due to the wrong care before the experiment.

2. I don't need shower gel

If someone had told me before trying that shower gel was actually superfluous, I would probably have laughed at them. But hey, I don't work in a coal plant and I very rarely get really dirty. That little bit of sweat and dust can wash away water alone quite well. In fact, normal shower gels remove even more moisture from dry skin because they not only loosen dirt and dust, but also the body's own fat barrier. Water can't do that. When I was showering, I could see that very well by the fact that small water pearls had formed on my skin. And after just a few days without shower gel, my skin became softer and the blemishes on my back fewer. Now and then I will use a shower oil, the Munich dermatologist Dr. Christoph Liebich recommended. Otherwise I can do without shower gel and don't even need a body lotion anymore.

3. I miss the little beauty rituals

Sure, I had to get used to leaving the house without make-up. But I was never finished as quickly in the morning as during the experiment. As a couch queen, nothing beats comfort for me, so that was a big plus. Then something happened that I hadn't expected: After about two weeks I felt as if my nail polish shelf wanted to seduce me with siren chants. All the colors! The glitter! Again and again I caught myself thinking of just painting a little fingernail for a very short time - and then removing the paint very quickly. Nobody notices! I left it, but then I realized how much I miss these little rituals in my everyday life that belong only to me. The seven minutes in the morning when I put on make-up (under time pressure). The two minutes in the evening when I (reluctantly) remove my make-up and apply lotion. These moments, in which I perceived myself very consciously - and often overly critically, that annoyed me and robbed me of time, are more missing than my deodorant. Because during this time I only concentrate on myself.

4. #Only water fails on my hair

It may be that some people with hair (and water of good quality) are blessed to be able to wash their hair with nothing but water. I definitely can't. Only water causes my hair to get a gray haze after three water washes at the latest and feel really greasy. This is partly due to the chalky Munich water, but it is also due to my scalp and my straight, straight hair, which simply looks straggly faster than the already drier, slightly wavy hair of many of my colleagues. My colleagues and my boyfriend insisted that my hair always looked okay - and didn't smell bad either. Looking back, I can only say: sorry guys, that was really gross. Halfway through the experiment, I noticed how important my hair is for my feeling of cleanliness. After 19 days of washing with water only, I felt so grubby that I begged to be allowed to use lava earth at least once.

5. Natural cosmetic products do it too!

I wanted to do without chemicals, so I resorted to lava earth (“lava” from Latin lavare-wash) when my hair was extremely greasy, dull and disgusting after two and a half weeks of water washing. And lava earth - a mineral-rich clay from the Moroccan Atlas Mountains - is really great: The application is as fun as a mud fight and the hair is wonderfully clean, shiny and soft after washing and rinsing with vinegar water. Top shampoo alternative - especially for people with dandruff, oily hair and sensitive skin; the mud is ultra mild. And without the experiment, I would never have tried that. From now on I first resort to natural products before expensive cosmetic products end up in my bag again that I don't even know what's inside.