April 28, 2013

Paleo bathing

Here is a brief post about the drying-out effect on your skin of taking long, frequent, or hot showers. Add to that the use of anti-bacterial soap, and it's no wonder why today's OCD population looks haggard beyond their actual years.

One thing that stands out so much about people's appearance in pictures or movies from the good old days is how shiny and glowing their skin is (no homo for the pics of dudes). Especially noticeable if the image was taken in warm or hot weather -- the skin looks glistening from the sweat that it never occurred to them to scrub off or prevent from forming.

For the past couple weeks, I've switched to a pretty minimal shower, and you can feel your skin being much less dry afterward. The only time I have the shower head on is to wash my hair and under my arms, maybe five minutes tops. Before that, it works well to just use water from the bathtub faucet to wash the face, feet, and groin. I don't bother using soap on my arms, legs, chest / stomach, or back since I don't roll around in mud on a typical day.

Aside from making your body feel better, you're in and out in much less time. You don't get that soporific effect of immersing your body in warm or hot water, like in a jacuzzi.

Going back to a more bathing rather than showering approach isn't even that paleo -- just 100 or however many years ago, people weren't treating their bodies like grease-caked pans that required 20 minutes of a high-pressure hosing off.


  1. I haven't used soap other than on my hands for over ten years. My skin is much healthier, and I've had girls say that I smell like milk or fresh water, but never anything negative.

  2. Take the next step into paleo and do cold showers. I do exclusively cold showers in warm weather months, Pears soap seems to work best with this. The benefits are enormous; you'll feel like you can take on anything when you step out into the day.


  3. I did the total cold water thing for two years. It's exhilarating and you do indeed come out feeling invincible. I stopped doing cold after a cardiologist friend of mine happened to mention that sudden immersion in cold water could stop the heart (something I later learned was extremely rare and unlikely). I slipped back into the hot habit -- but I'm definitely considering going cold again. (And I live in a cold place with cold winters.)

  4. Steve Johnson5/7/13, 2:34 AM

    I've been on cold showers for about 2 years now. It's great - super invigorating.

  5. Johnny Caustic3/19/14, 12:12 AM

    The low-fat craze took a lot of the glow from people's skin and hair. Another issue is that people eat mostly muscle meat, and not much organ meat or gelatin, so they get less of the amino acids (glycine in particular) that make collagen, which makes good skin.


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