Voluntary simplicity, beginning with the end of my face wash (Day 100)…


In the ninth episode of Greentime, Amy speaks about the idea of voluntary simplicity: The idea that having the freedom to do whatever we want in the end actually makes us less happy, so we have to shift our thought processes from wanting to needing: Do I need multiple SUVs? Do I need to sleep in these pyjamas? Do I need this glass of wine from Australia? (Well, yes, actually I do need that last thing).

Now if there’s anyone who knows from happy, it’s a Buddhist — seriously, have you ever seen a statue of a disgruntled Buddha? I didn’t think so. To these guys, happiness is wearing only a robe and sandals, eating a bowl of rice, sitting on top of a mountain and thinking about nothing.

I’m not going to lie, no matter how aligned my chakras or what stage of enlightenment I’m at, my definition of happiness is going to go way beyond rice and sandals. But the further along I get in this green challenge, the greater appreciation I have for minimalism.

I look at Meghan, who doesn’t have a closet, TV, microwave, dishwasher, bath or air conditioning, and she’s perfectly happy. My friend Craig has been known to throw out cell phones and even couches on a whim — yes, he might also need a check-up from the neck-up, but he seems content.

But enough rambling: all this is just long-winded way of saying that I’m done with face wash; I’m using my bar soap instead.

My sister might think this is ironic, as I’ve always reprimanded her for doing exactly this.

“How can you use the same soap on your body that you use on your face?” I’d ask in disbelief. I think I’d heard this same question being posed just as derisively on a television commercial once, and it always seemed to make sense, until I stopped to think about it. In reality, it’s not as though confining oneself to a single soap is akin to washing your face with your armpit residue. Soap’s soap, and skin’s skin.

So when I bought this Kiss My Face pure olive oil bar soap, I thought I’d do as the label told me and kiss my face with it. After rinsing clean and looking up, part of me was shocked that it hadn’t left my pores in ruins and stripped half my freckles away — but no, it was the same as any other product I’ve been washing my face with until now. And it gets all my makeup off too, so no need for separate makeup remover.

One bar of soap, three purposes, two less products needed.

P.S. I can’t believe I’ve made it to 100 days! Woo-hoo!

14 Responses to Voluntary simplicity, beginning with the end of my face wash (Day 100)…

  1. Melissa_H says:

    Way to go Vanessa! 100 days is a true milestone!

  2. I also don’t have a wsher or dryer- but that does get annoying because that means I have to drive up to my parent’s house to use theirs when I really should be riding my bike there. Good to hear the bar soap is working out for you. I will worn however to stay far far away from the KIss My Face Deodorant. My biyfriend said it made me smell like vegetables. I think he was being nice. I think it made me smell like vegetables that had been in the green bin in a plastic bag in the hot sun for a week.

  3. Treecan says:

    Congrats on making it to 100 days – although I’m curious as to how one gets along without a closet – where do the clothes go? I’m guessing she’s not a nudist 🙂 I am curious as to how your skin would respond to the Bar Soap – be sure to update us if your skin remains clear or if it starts to break out.

    I am curious as to whether anyone who has found a natural deoderant that ACTUALLY WORKS! I can’t stand being stinky and I’ve tried Tom’s of Maine a few others too. If anyone has managed to find a sunscreen that is natural and actually absorbs into the skin without feeling like an oil slick – let me know too 🙂


  4. Chile says:

    Kudos on the 100 Day benchmark, Vanessa! Your bathroom cabinet must be looking kind of empty these days. 🙂

  5. Evan says:

    Who knew one bar of soap in a paper wrapper would be so wonderful? That little bar of soap chenged lots in our house, too. Someone asked about deodorant. I started using the Thai crystal about 2 years ago. The transition is difficult and a bit smelly, but once your body is used to it, there’s no smell. It does not keep you dry, though. If your wearing a suit and a silk blouse, you will have wet pits, so dress accordingly. If odor is an issue, you can add liquid cholorphyl to your water. It helps with odor and well, lots of other things.

    Happy 100 days!

  6. Shawn says:

    100! Keep on truckin’! =)

  7. Evan says:

    BTW: I’ve been using the Kiss My Face bar on my face for about 8 months now and it works great. My skin is clear and soft.

  8. Mido says:

    Congrats about 100 days! (I do same exact thing with my soap).

  9. magda says:

    natural deoderant that actually works= baking soda. no kidding. i read about this someplace- maybe noimpactman and never, ever, in a million years expected this to work, but it really really does. this is what you do- splash some water on your armpits, sprinkle some baking soda on your hands, slap it on your armpits, and go. it lasts all day. this even works for my man, who is far more inclined to stinkiness than i am.

  10. greenchick says:


    I know that you are a big proponent of eating local and organic. I thought you might want to read what they found in packaged dog food this time: acetaminophen. The story just broke this week. I really want to know when they are going to identify the brands found to contain acetaminophen. As soon as they do I will be posting them on my blog. Thanks for spreading the word. This should really be getting more air time. I have some vet recommended menu suggestions and am no longer buying packaged pet food.

  11. Lori V. says:

    Congrats on 100 days!

    As for deodorant, I use baking soda. I think I mentioned it in a comment on Colin’s blog, so it could be that you saw it there, magda.

    As for pet food, I’ve switched to a combination of a local company & Newman’s Own Organics.

  12. hateration says:

    Re: Deodorant

    I just switched from anti-persperant to all natural stuff and I actually really enjoy the Kiss My Face solid; I went on a jog yesterday in the 40 degree heat and did not stink at the end! Mind you, I wish I hadn’t bought the patchouli, but while at Noah’s I kind of a had a “go hippie big or go home” moment and can’t want to finish it so I can move on to the “summer” scent.

  13. Rhett says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for the blog love! Amy’s going to be really pleased, to be sure. It’s especially nice to get linked at a time when we’ve been trying to prep for and recover from our wedding.

    I’m going to have to look into that soap. As it is right now, I just don’t wash my face. Typical guy thing…it’s not dirty and I’m not breaking out, so it must be clean enough. Having one bar of soap to do it would go a long way.

  14. K. says:

    Congrats Vanessa! I’ve really enjoyed your blog. Also, let me know how you find the Kiss my Face soap to work for you – I’m looking for a good low-key facewash alternative.

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