Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Body wash and plastics

Did I miss something? Do you or your man need a manwash?

I've been watching the Olympics and started noticing all the advertisments for men's body wash. I'm used to seeing the myriad products for women out there, body wash being a large part of the market and I generally just ignore them. But, the men now, too? Am I the only one that thinks this is a bit weird?

Now, before you get your panties in a knot and accuse me of being sexist, I just don't get the whole body wash fascination in general. I prefer bar soap, mostly because I can't stand the overly perfumed glop that comes as a body wash and I've never gone out of my way to find a "natural" version of one.

The thing that struck me most in the last week of watching these commercials is that there is so much extra plastic waste associated with using a body wash over a bar soap. I find this disturbing. Many would argue that the containers are recyclable, but if the trend is for every person to start using plastic encased body washes over bar soap, that's a lot of plastic that needs to be recycled and that kind of plastic can only be downcycled so many times before it's garbage.

In addition, most people use some sort of plastic scrubby object with their body wash. Oh, I'm sorry, for those manly men, it's not called a pouf, it's a "Deck Scrubber" (from Old Spice) or the "Detailer" (for Axe products). As described in the NY Times:
"An experienced seaman knows the gentler sex is unlikely to board a vessel whose deck has not been scrubbed as clean as the shiny inside part of an oyster shell,” states the package for the Deck Scrubber, which like Axe’s Detailer is a pouf ensconced in a rubber grip.

What about you? Do you use a body wash? If so, help me out - what's the appeal?

And, because I can't stop watching this commercial (because it's hilarious), here's a men's body wash commercial for your viewing pleasure. It was shot in one take:

46 comments:

Rachel B. said...

I use to use body wash. Mostly, for me, it was the fact that it seemed more sudsey and would clean me quicker and better. I used the poufs too. The reaslized that I went through one a month. So I switch to good old soap and washcloth. I'll swear I'm cleaner.

Adrienne said...

Regular commerical bar soap leaves a lot to be desired as far as scent and the way it leaves your skin feeling- that's why I used to use body wash.
Until I started reading this blog and other eco-friendly ones and someone pointed out the plastic waste. Now I use locally made bar soap. Which is frickin' expensive but smells good and feels good (most of them anyway) and creates less waste, so everyone wins except my wallet.

Katy said...

Yeah I'm with Adrienne. Commerical bar soap leaves your skin feeling really dry. That's why I whiched to body wash before I switched to locally handmade soap.

I will say that I have never gotten the plastic puff ball. To me it just feels like you are scraping all your skin off with a piece of plastic. I'll take a wash cloth over that any day.

Just trying to be green said...

I'm water only most of the time, so I don't use either. (And no, I don't smell, and yes, my skin is way better).

thesimplepoppy said...

I always use to use a natural bodywash. I found that my skin was a lot less dry and itchy than when I used soap. Lately though, I've also been thinking about the impact of using more plastic and I've just been using regular natural soap. But then I have to moisturize more and THAT comes in a plastic bottle. Aargh.

Celia said...

I've never been a bar soap kind of person - I admit it might be cleaner but I don't like the way it makes my skin feel. I switched to unscented body wash though (the whole foods brand is relatively cheap, I think) a few years ago and I'll never go back - I love the lack of perfume. I even noticed that my sense of smell improved a ton after I switched too. I do hate buying the bottles, but I generally buy one huge one and it lasts me forever - I just keep a smaller travel bottle I bought years ago of it in the shower.

Wonder-ful said...

I was a body wash person (but very selective as most cheap body washes looked and felt like science experiments).

When I tried a natural soap, I loved it. Didn't irritate my skin, leave it feeling icky, and didn't come in tons of plastic.

As a bonus, I found that the better hydrated I was, the less I needed any extra moisturizer (which was bought to cover up the dry skin from being dehydrated).

Malgrin said...

I'm a convert from body wash to local handmade soap as well. It's a huge savings for me because the bar soap lasts so much longer than a bottle of body wash did (I have teenagers, and I think there was a tendency for them to use a lot of body wash because it was just a squeeze away). Plus, it is very satisfying for me to put my cash directly into the hands that made my soap.

At the same time, I converted to bar soap from liquid hand soap (I had a sort of "green awakening" a few years ago). The reduction in plastic bottles in my recycling bin is incredible.

I've recently converted to bar shampoo as well - and the transition has gone really well. Ditto for switching to a lotion bar that comes in a re-fillable tin.

Michael R said...

Is this any different from using liquid hand soap instead of bar soap?

There's just a certain element of luxury, and a soggy bar of irish spring doesn't quite have it.

Julie said...

I use body wash because I shower at the gym most days, and it is easier to manage body wash than a bar of soap in a public shower. (You drop the body wash, no big deal. You drop the soap, you worry that the bar is now unfit for use.)

If someone has a suggestion for an inexpensive way to use soap, and it can go in my gym bag and not be disgusting if its dropped on the floor in a public shower, then I would love to know about it. Thanks!

(I really haven't thought about this much until reading this post, but I would *love* to drop the bodywash habit and switch to soap.)

Jackie Smith said...

Body Wash? read the labels. there's alot of junk in them. if you must use, think about refilling the container at the health food store, they often have large dispensers of good organic soaps.

Jennifer said...

bar soap in the shower but liquid soap at the sink because otherwise the hands don't get washed as often. I minimize the damage by owning several of those foaming soap bottles so I very rarely have to buy the actual soap. There's recipes everywhere on the web to make your own and maybe someday I'll give that a try.

I remember reading that body washes didn't take off in American until they started including the pouf.

And yes, the bottle is recyclable but the cap isn't.

Farmer's Daughter said...

We're bar soap users here. My husband has a little quirk in that he won't use the soap after it gets under a certain size, so we have endless little chunks of soap gathering in the bottom of the shower. I use the small peices, but for some reason he won't.

I honestly can't imagine him using a pouf! It seems WAY too metro for my manly man.

Chile said...

Soap? Should I admit I only use it twice a week (when I shower to wash my hair)? And then I only use it for the stinky bits. Bar soap only. Tried body wash ages ago and didn't get the appeal.

The rest of the time, I just do a sponge bath with a wash cloth and a few shakes of baking soda in hot water. Works great and my skin is less itchy than it's ever been.

Love the commercial. Thanks for including it, Pollo Crunchita!

'Course I do use soap to wash my hands throughout the day.

The Nurturing Pirate said...

We're mostly bar soap users here. I say "mostly" because, as I write, there is a bottle of body wash in the shower. I haven't bought any in a long time, so I think it's a relic!

Julie, for the gym issues, I can think of two choices: a plastic dish for your bar or... soap on a rope! ;-) I've never seen it, but I assume that's what it's main appeal would be. I've gone the dish route and never worry about contamination from dropping the soap. It's self-cleaning.

Anonymous said...

Um, are any of you currently parents of a male in the 12-17 year old range? Because it is ALL about the Axe for this group. My son (14) hadn't even take a voluntary shower in years - but after he discovered AXE - well, everything changed. We had a big fight over why I wouldn't let him get the aerosol spray anti-perspirant for his locker (we settled on the stick kind) - and the shower caddy is now lined with all kinds of macho-sounding body washes. But this is the thing. MY FOURTEEN YEAR OLD SON IS BATHING. REGULARLY. He even smells good, in a vaguely smarmy, chemical laden way that reminds me, creepily, of my first boyfriend. One day I'll switch him over to organic hand-milled fair trade bar soap - but for now, I'll take it.

Kate in NY

leslie said...

I mostly use just water. My skin is so darn sensitive, the commercial body wash just kills it. There is so much crap in that stuff. If I do use any soap it is either Melleleuca or Dove bar soap.

What I have had trouble with is finding a decent natural shampoo that will help my oily hair. I hate the chemicals in regular shampoo, but I can't stand how oily natural shampoos leave my hair. Any suggestions?

Rebekka said...

Julie, I'm wondering whether something like this might work at the gym? I have the same problem, showering at the swimming pool - I'm kind of freaked out about anything touching the shower. But this would be easier to keep hold of, and if you dropped it, the soap hasn't touched the floor, and the bag can be washed.

Robj98168 said...

Dammit. How do you keep getting pics of me in the shower????

I have said it before and I will say it again- I use Dr. Bonner's soap for everything- shampoo, body wash, buddy wash, dog shampoo. Love it and a 16 oz. bottle lasts me over three months!

koolchicken said...

I'll admit to using body wash and a poof, but I'm not an exclusive user. I do have some natural bar soaps and I'm big on exfoliation (I get a lot of ingrowns) so I have a wooden scrubbie with natural bristles. And living in Hawaii I don't really need as much lotion. So I buy far fewer bottles of that a year and that means less plastic. I also recycle a lot more, it's easier here and encouraged more.

I wonder if the mainland started running out of places to put trash they would make recycling easier too.

Boy Wonder has become quite difficult since he saw that commercial. I still think it's funny.

Joules said...

@ Kate in NY - Seriously! Axe has some *fantastic* marketing because the 14 year old male in our household is all about it. But then, yeah, I remember guys in my high school who smelled like they bathed in Obsession for Men, so, maybe it's a teenage boy thing. I'm guessing they think chicks dig it...

It is interesting to think that if this particular 14 year old didn't watch t.v., he probably wouldn't have thought of needing such a product.

I think back now about how in jr. high/high school advertising made me seriously worried about things like antiperspirant and menstrual products and... well, whether people would find out I was human, I guess.

Laura said...

Bar soap all the way! Well almost. Bar in the kitchen for some of the dishes, (different) ;) bar in the bath for hair and body. Refillable, local liquid soap in a foaming pump for hands. (it's a compromise.) :D

I second the soap-on-a-rope for Julie!

Oldnovice said...

I use bar soap in the shower, but sometimes it's also anti-bacterial soap and the Mission Sustainable pilot led me to believe that those were bad. I didn't use anti-bacterial soap in the shower until I went to a doctor one time with a little bump in my crotch area. She asked me if I used anti-bacterial soap, I said, "No", and she suggested that I should.

My husband uses body wash in a plastic bottle. I bought them on sale with coupons (for free or $.15) to donate to the local shelter and he confiscated some of them for his personal use. Packaging is a big problem when it comes to charitable donations.

Anne said...

Amen Sista! I can't stand all the packaging...or the smell. Natural bar soap is just plain better (in my humble, soapmaking opinion).
I do love that commercial though. Thanks for sharing!

kidk4m said...

Like Rob98168, we use just one soap for "everything" in our household-Vermont Soapworks Organic Liquid Sunshine (castile type soap). Every yr or so I drive down to the Factory and purchase a 5gallon pail...and then dilute it to various strengths depending on the use. Certainly has simplified things around our home.

Sara said...

We use locally made bar soaps, but we also use liquid soap. Here's what I do.

I have reusable foam pumps. I add a tiny bit of Bronners liquid soap and lots of water. For the AXE kids (like my son) I add a funny mix of essential oils and voila - our version of AXE. My son calls it "Man Soap". I put lime, orange, bergamot, pine, and patchouli. It's not anything I would want to use, but it does smell AXE-like.

I just find the liquid nicer to use for shaving my legs and for my girl-parts. Bar soap for the rest. :)

Elisabeth said...

First of all...I LOVE these commercials and am still not tired of them.

No, I don't use body wash and neither does my husband. I'm allergic to synthetic fragrance so these non-natural soaps are like poison to me. I prefer bar soap anyway and use very basic, natural soaps (usually unpackaged). Occasionally, my husband uses Dr. Bronner's, but I try to refill the plastic bottle at my health food store.

I agree...the waste is obscene.

Kim from Milwaukee said...

I'm another convert to the shampoo bar, and I use bar soap for washing hands/body and soap nuts for laundry. No pouf for me! They feel way too soft since I've been using a body brush, for about 15 years now. They work great for exfoliation.

Once my dishsoap is gone I'm going to Dr Bronners. That stuff lasts forever! Or I might try the lemon Dr Bronners bar soap, I don't think that comes in liquid form, but I could liquify it, I'm sure. Gotta have the lemon scent for dishes...damn those marketing geniuses!

DaFoz said...

Hi, you do not get the soap scum as they are usually a detergent based liquid. With bad back and shoulders the less scrubbing on my knees the better!!!

Leigh said...

I used to use body wash, but I quickly realized that I am really sensitive to fragrance! Now I have my own plastic squirt bottle that I use a mixture of baking soda and water. I get my exfoliation and deodorizing all in one! No pouf required.

Anonymous said...

I do prefer handmade soaps, but if body wash is present in our shower it's because a.) we travel a lot and bars aren't quite as convenient and b.) our soap holder in the shower is positioned so it can't help but get hit by the shower stream - bars dissolve way too fast. Note to self: pick up a suction cup soap holder and go back to bars!

Susanna said...

I hate body wash. I can't believe that a new essential "product" has suddenly been discovered. I won't buy any and my teenaged son thinks he is suffering. He wouldn't use a homemade alternative to things like axe. He has an old spice body wash (it was a gift, I did not buy it) but I had a terribly reaction to it, residue was on my bathtub, so he doesn't use it very often. We use liquid soap in the bathtub/shower and also at the sink, it is easier to use and it lasts longer than bar soap too. As well, I have very sensitive skin and the liquid glycerin is the only soap i have found that doesn't make me itch and break out. I only use it occasionally and as another person wrote only on the "smelly bits". My college student son and his gf were visiting and they went out and bought their own soap, body wash and shampoo, wouldn't use any of the less toxic stuff that we have even tough he grew up using the same.
I also love Dr. Bronner's I use the peppermint liquid soap for cleaning the tub and for my daughter when she wants something stronger than the liquid glycerin.

The Nurturing Pirate said...

I also had to mention: my dh and I love that Old Spice Body Wash commercial! In fact dh said it almost made him want to buy it! It ranks right up there with the Dos Equis commercials with The Most Interesting Man in the World: "He once had an awkward moment just to see how it feels. He lives vicariously through himself. He is the most interesting man in the world."

Walter Jeffries said...

I thought that was what the bar of soap was for...
Please no scents.

Ivy said...

I use body wash--I can't stand the way soap feels and dries out my skin. I'm looking into making my own, with more natural ingredients. And I'm hoping to knit my own poufs, soon as I free up a pair of needles....hmmm...probably ought to finish a project one of these days.

Sharlene said...

Bar soap all the way here. I never could be bothered with body wash when bar soap worked just as good. I am using a goats milk soap right now that is awesome! Problem is, I have no idea who made it. I got it as swag at a conference. I need to track the source down because its feels so much nicer than that chemical filled crap.

eatclosetohome said...

The Onion has a great article on the purported "manliness" of bath poufs: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29693

Samantha said...

since we live on a boat and don't have a shower on board, we shower at the Sheraton locker rooms. they supply soap (body wash), shampoo and conditioner. my man HATES, Hates, hates body wash... he believes it doesn't rinse clean. so he brings his own bar of soap with him. (and i know my father always felt the same way but my mother has since forced him to use the body wash she buys... since he won't buy his own bar soap!)

Nina said...

I love that commercial so much, it's so mesmerizing.

cynthia in denver said...

This is hysterical!!!!! I've watched it three times in a row! Thanks for sharing some humor today!

(ps: new hubby's bathroom filled w/LOTS of plastic bottles. Slowly getting him off liquids and converting him to solids ;) Moving him over to LUSH brand and local arisan made soaps

Allie said...

I mostly use bar soap, as it's what my mother makes and mails me. I do own body washes because apparently people feel I need more girly stuff in my life, and they buy it for me. But I just leave it in a drawer and use it for travel or guests.

For the record, the guy in those commercials totally creeps me out.

Jen said...

Is men's body wash a new thing in the US? It has been up here for years.

Right now I am just using up all the products we have and then we will be switching to new one's. Haven't decided what yet, but I am excited to check out the organic options.

monkeyjen said...

i understand why they are targeting men now...men have $$ that they want! I like body wash - b.c i hate that hair sometimes sticks to a bar of soap - that's gross, but i no longer use it b/c of the plastic. simple.

monkeyjen said...

JULIE - ever hear of Soap on a Rope!!?? they still make it! no dropping the soap at the gym :-)

Condo Blues said...

I used bar soap until I got the tip from a bath remodeler that the bathtub ring that was giving me cleaning fits would be easier to clean if I switched to liquid soap. I did and it did. I can buy a giant bottle of liquid castile soap that lasts much longer than bar soap and refill all of the dispensers in the house. The liquid soap is more gentile on our dry winter skin. I can recycle the liquid soap bottle and the cap. I can't always do with bar soap wrappers - they are either waxy paper or plastic = landfill fodder. I do try to buy unwrapped bar soap from crafters at summer events when I can.

We don't use a plastic poufs. We use a standard washcloth or a loufa. Sometimes even homegrown loufa!

Condo Blues said...

Jennifer - if you have an Aveda store nearby they will recycle hard plastic caps. It doesn't have to be from an Aveda product. It doesn't even have to be from a health and beauty product as long as the cap is hard plastic and not flimsy like a yogurt tub lid. If they aren't busy at the store, they've offered me a free hand massage as a thank you for dropping off caps for recycling. I think all recycling programs should offer free massages :)

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