Less is more The point – or pointlessness – of hygiene
Deodorants, shower gels, foam baths, oil baths, shampoos, conditioners, body lotions, face creams, talcum powder, foot creams, perfumes, eau de toilettes, body sprays, intimate wipes and lotions ... just a very short extract from the very long list of hygiene products sold by a not very large department store.
Why do we need all of this?
Is a shower really so inefficient that you have to take extra steps to improve your hygiene before, during and after the shower? Or should all these concoctions in expensive packaging replace water as a cleansing agent? The average person feels dirty if they are not enveloped in a cloud of artificial fragrance. Of course, “you are what you wear” is just as true for scent as for clothes – after all, a well-groomed person really smells good and a nicely composed perfume can make the blood surge through the veins of men and women.
Cleaning with a soft touch But be careful: our largest organ, the skin, is a sensitive landscape that should be treated with much finesse. The skin’s acid mantle is far from indestructible and does not cope well with all alcoholic or acidic cosmetic products containing chemical additives. We may not like talking about it, but even our bottoms prefer a soft touch. Unorthodox methods such as cleaning with chewed-up corn cobs like once upon a time in South America or with sand like the nomadic tribes of Asia do not quite meet our idea of gentle personal care. But thanks to water, we don’t need to avail ourselves of these exotic options.