“Bah humbug” to New Year’s resolutions

Yes, so much for the fancy-pants complication of my life by moving from ONE to TWO multi-purpose oils. It’s just way too complicated for me, my bathroom, my clumsiness first thing in the morning, and my myopia.

Back to basics, tried and trusted, that work: ONE OIL TO RULE THEM ALL and in the darkness bind them. In a good way, if you’ll permit the perversion of Our Holy Father The Great Tolkien and his Holy Writ. Not my favourite fantasist—I’m more of the Ursula K. Le Guin as Our Gynarchist Sister persuasion—but then again the best thing to do with patriarchy is subvert it. Which is all very feminine and evil. And this is maybe twisting a thing that’s originally evil to being good. Which is all getting awfully complicated, and this post was about avoiding (and abhorring) complication.

I may have the light on, my eyes may technically be just about open first thing in the morning and last thing at night, but dark it is: not just figuratively, but as eye-brain connections aren’t fully functional (and connected in turn to hand-eye coordination glitches), and as we are talking periods of gloaming penumbrality.

So: ARSE to two oils in the bathroom. The main one works fine. One bottle in the shower, another bottle of it next to the sink.

It was also a bit complicated trying to get everything to sit nicely next to the sink. Bottle-arranging just didn’t work out. I am a neat freak, and it needs to. I need to be able to stretch out a hand and have the hand hit the right bottle. Without it being balanced or arranged precariously, or even remotely likely to move. Otherwise I end up with disasters like deodorant or SO’s mouthwash in my eyes. Also, on that arranging thing? The feng shui didn’t work out. Something had to go, those extra bottles or the FS.

I’m making excuses. I am a klutz. That’s all there is to it.

On a happier note: positive results from some new purchases, more on them next week.


Madre Bees unscented lip balm

Cruelty-free, organic, etc. Think Badger balm-in-the-tin in stick form, and slightly more waxy. Great on lips, and portable for cuticles.
INGREDIENTS: extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, hemp seed oil, vitamin E.
$0.85 for a standard lip balm-size stick, 4.25g (0.15 oz) from iHerb.
(Yes, Badger do an unscented lip balm, but the formula, feel, and finish are different from the tin version.)


Desert Essence Coconut shampoo and conditioner

Testing period still, but this may be a winner. Moisturizing, smoothing, keeps frizz under control, concentrated, cheap, readily available, no irritation (yet: this is one of the things being monitored), cruelty-free and sustainably-sourced ingredients. And it smells fabulous. Coconutty, in the piña colada style rather than the milk or curry one; actually, very like the coconut scent of an old favourite, Phytojoba shampoo. I’m guessing it’s the same artificial enhanced pneumatic fragrance. But: so far so good. Definitely better than the other Desert Essence hair things I used, that were unusable: the jojoba ones (dried hair and scalp out, flaky scalp); the shea ones (didn’t get past the rank smell, sickly and sickening); and the fragrance-free (irritated my scalp and neck).


Not a new purchase, but a return to an old one. I was out of my deodorant, and had had some irritation on armpits. Used the potassium alum spray + baby butt paste. Armpits smelled. Not awful, just definitely there. I’m fond of my armpits and like hanging out with then, but it was a bit close and invasive. Returned (thank you fresh supplies) to the potassium alum + Chagrin Valley coconut silk cream deodorant combo. Armpits are happy again. No smell, and no irritation. A classic deodorant cream: coconut + starch + bicarbonate + a wax/oil base for texture and reducing the bicarbonate concentration.

It’s one of the very few in existence that have no added essential oils–they do make scented versions too, though, if that’s your and your pits’ cup of tea. All the others I’ve seen (and in some cases foolishly, optimistically tried anyway DESPITE BEING PRETTY SURE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NEXT) have exactly those essential oils which most irritate my skin; my armpits are delicate fragrant flowers, the skin is thin and sensitive.

Mint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, lemongrass, ylang ylang, palmarosa, patchouli, clove: not good ideas. Lovely to eat, or as teas; but proof positive that “things you can eat AND put on your skin” is a small intersection of two sets, “things you can eat” and “things you can put on your skin”; not, as some of the more fanatical followers of Lady Folly might believe, a union or such an exact overlap as to be one and the same thing. Add to them, of course, more obvious things like cinnamon and chili; and while I don’t think I use anything on my skin that, ingredient-wise, would do much or any damage were I to eat it, I do use stuff I’d not want to eat: such as the aforementioned deodorant and hair stuff.

The very hot and hip and much-touted Soapwalla, for example, take note: your concoction would be a delight without the essential oils you stick in it: with none at all, or with something pretty inoffensive and well-tolerated like calendula.

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