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Elemental Aesthetics

Cleansing Reduction

If you want soft, smooth skin and you want to live sustainably, you will love Cleansing Reduction. Britain’s Daily Mail reported this growing trend of bathing as a weekly ritual.  

I modified Cleansing Reduction so that it would suit self-conscious professionals. I was inspired by women of bygone days who used oil cleansers to maintain the beauty of their skin.  Oil maintained skin moisture levels so that it was healthier and more beautiful.

Oils do cleanse the skin but unlike soap, they leave the skin’s moisture barrier intact.  Good microbes left behind can train our skin cells to produce antibiotics to kill off bad bacteria.  Daily bathing is more about cultural norms than health and cleanliness.

Daily soap and water remove natural oils resulting in dry, itchy skin.  Aging skin, naturally producing less oil, has more to gain from this practice.  Showering daily washes away good bacteria that supports skin’s immunity, resulting in undesirable skin conditions and allergies.  It also washes away naturally occurring cholesterol, reducing Vitamin D absorption.

Alternating showering with Oil Cleansing gives you more time as well as less stress to your morning routine!  And it saves on the cost of water and soap while lowering your environmental footprint by lessening the water with soap going into the system.

It is fast and easy to begin Oil Cleansing.  Start with applying your favourite oil over your body.  Mine is Pure + Simple’s “ShowerLESS Body Oil”.  This light cleansing oil is formulated with purifying organic essential oils of Lemon, Cedarwood, Frankincense and Cinnamon with sweet ones from Neroli, Sweet Orange and Vanilla.  Cleanse your face with a gentler oil formula.

Then wipe the excess oil from the skin with a clean cotton face cloth.  Cleanse delicate, private areas with a natural baby wipe like Water Wipes from Simply Green Baby.

Treat the delicate skin of your odour producing underarms to Kaia Takesumi Detox Deodorant with activated charcoal to gently fight odour-causing bacteria.

Those used to daily shampooing resist Shampoo Reduction.  The goal of the less frequent shampoos is improvement in the health and appearance of our hair and scalp not merely to save water and our environment.

For “oily hair”, massage scalp with a leave-in conditioner. “Leave-In Conditioner” from Intelligent Nutrients is organic and a great performing one from the founder of Aveda.  Keeping the scalp moisturized reduces oil production as your scalp’s tone will affect the age appearance of your face.  In a pinch, use your body lotion.  

For dry hair, Shampoo Reduction allows your own oils to protect hair shafts, reducing split ends.   For coloured hair, shampooing less extends the colour richness and shine.  Alternative day shampooing, like oil cleansing, saves you money and time while getting better results.

So look healthy and beautiful by grooming sustainably.


Jean Eng is an Ayurvedic skincare specialist and the co-founder of Pure+Simple, a Canadian spa chain and retailer of natural beauty products.