A long time ago I did an “in the news” post, and while there are many interesting things in the news all the time, I have been intrigued by the articles (and amused by the comments) on the con that is shower gels, in both the Times and the Mail (yes, I read that one as well, and about 10 more – it is a sign of stereotypical ageing, no?) From what I gather, gels have the same chemical function as soap (sticks to water and grease), but with added substances to make it feel and smell better, accord with the body’s pH, lather more easily, and so on. The crux is that the average bottle of shower gel costs more than average bar of soap, and very few are advertised to make you clean. (As opposed to make you smell like Japanese trees and whatnot.) (No offence to Japanese trees, I am certain they smell beguiling.)
In the end, I thought, like many others I’m sure, why not skip all additives? Some of the greener blogs I follow (they are in Swedish, let me know if you would like a link) are fans of the No ‘Poo philosophy. The gist is that you make all of your toiletries at home, which sounds rather nice.
From a science point of view, I would hope the reason that mass-manufactured toiletries are allowed for retail is that they have been proven safe for consumption. While the DIY method (and I love DIY things) sounds great, I think I will carry on shampooing until further notice. (Yes, because you wanted to know that.)
On a communication note, I am afraid that I have not been able to steer clear of Swedish material – purely because I think they do things so well – and would like to share the “15: It is My Life” project on SVT. These are eight short films about being 15, covering drinking, domestic/social/sexual violence, sexual health, bullying and friendship… basically all kinds of subjects that matter to mid-teenagers. The films are well made, and the audience is encouraged to comment anonymously and be a part of the discussion. There are also links to relevant organisations for people offering/seeking help or advice. I thought it was worth a mention.