I would love to reduce the amount of plastic packaging I buy, and one area where this can be tricky is the bathroom. Having sensitive skin, washing with soap doesn’t suit me, and the unpackaged ‘bath bomb’ type products on sale often contain synthetic colours and fragrances. I recently used something slightly different, a sort of moisturising bar packed with oats, in a muslin bag. In bathwater, the whole thing melts and the oats release a nice milk into the water. After using it, my skin felt amazing, and I could have composted the whole product afterwards, great! However, these are expensive to buy and I suspected that the most effective part of the product is the oats…which are cheap.
Once the muslin was dried out, I put some oats in the middle and tied it up again. I ran a small, warmish bath. Inspired by other blog posts about how to fragrance your oat bags, I added a few drops of cinnamon essential oil into the bag, popped it into the bath and happily got in there with it. The oaty milk flowed out just like with the original product, it smelled amazing and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself and already composing this blog post.
Then my neck and face started burning.
Turns out my skin is way too sensitive for me to be messing around with essential oils!
I jumped out, put a cold flannel on my face followed by several applications of aloe vera cream and then had a sit down because I felt so foolish (and slightly worried that my face would looked badly sunburnt forever).
As it cleared up, I realised that this was a good outcome, because it enables me to simplify things even more:
– Instead of using essential oils, I’ll just use oats. I can burn an oil in the room if I need fragrance.
– Instead of having to regularly get new muslin bags, I can just keep using the same one, because it won’t start to smell funny from different fragrance combinations
– I don’t even have to go and find out where to buy muslin, because if I’m re-using a bag, I can use the jelly bag I already own! This may not be a natural material, but as it won’t be thrown away, it doesn’t matter!
The end result is the same: I’ll be using a 100% natural substance to bathe in that really suits my skin, and buying no more plastic bottles of bubble bath. I’m just getting there by an even simpler route than I originally thought. Sometimes silly setbacks are useful messages telling you to make things simpler, simpler, and then simpler again.
(P.S. – As you can see from the photo, we have a pink bathroom suite. This is the original suite from the 1960s when our bungalow was built. We’ll say more about this soon!)