Yes! Okay, this isn’t scientifically proven, but decluttering cleared my skin.
In my teens, my skin was relatively clear, but when I turned twenty-one, I started to get hormonal acne. You know, those under-the-skin Mount Vesuvius-when-is-it-gonna-erupt cystic pimples that never really erupted? So, then you pick at it and it’s Pompeii all over again? Yeah. Well, I went on multiple forms of medication to clear my skin of those sorts of pimples. By the time I was twenty-six, I had been on acne medication for five years and didn’t want to actively pump my body with chemicals anymore. So, I took the leap and stopped taking medication. But how would I control my acne?
At first, I still got small pimples and a cystic pimple every once and awhile. But my husband gave me a tip: don’t touch them. Ever. Don’t pick, don’t prod, don’t even acknowledge they exist, and they will go away on their own, quicker than if you touch them. He was right. But another thing happened at that time:
I completely decluttered my bathroom cabinets.
I got rid of the countless face cleansers, face moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, and body cleansers that I owned. Have you ever stopped to count just how many products you use on your face, hair, and body? Take count. You’ll be surprised.
I was tired of having so many bottles of half used moisturizers and cleansers crammed into the cabinet—moisturizers and cleansers I’d bought and then realized I didn’t like their smell or feel or thought they were causing me to break out. So why was I keeping them? I’d spent a pretty penny on many of them, and I hate waste, so I just left them in my cabinet. But they weren’t doing me any good. Plus, I had this inkling that the more products I used and the less consistent I was using the same product, the worse my acne.
Before I decluttered, I chose the one face cleanser and face moisturizer that I felt reacted well to my skin (I have sensitive skin). Over the years, I’ve stopped buying any products with parabens, salicylic acid, and other harmful chemicals. After choosing the one cleanser and one moisturizer I would consistently use, I threw out the rest.
I took a look at my hair products: how many different products did I need to use on my hair? In the summer, when it’s too hot to blow dry my hair, I let it dry naturally. But my hair is naturally wavy and I need something to tame the frizz. So, I kept one product to use for that reason.
I looked at my shampoos, and kept two shampoos and one conditioner.
I threw out all the tiny samples of body moisturizers I’ve collected from hotels over the years, and let only one body moisturizer remain. I even decided to get rid of my stash of brushes and clips, keeping one comb, and one round brush.
Hair styling products? I have a hairdryer, straightener, and curling iron. I got rid of the other two curling irons because they were near death anyway, and I could either use a round brush or my one curling iron to create the same results.
How did decluttering contribute to my clearer skin?
I can’t say there’s any medical or scientific reason behind it, but I do believe that by using only one face cleanser and one face moisturizer, my skin became clearer. Whether that’s because as years passed my hormones changed and stopped disrupting my skin, or because my skin got used to the consistent use of two products; either way, my sensitive skin stopped freaking out, and cleared up. Personally, I think the more products I use on my skin, the more my skin tries to defend itself against the ever-changing foreign products, which is why it gets irritated and red, clogging pores and leading to pimples. When my skin was only treated with two products, it calmed down, and stopped reacting.
I truly believe that owning fewer things, keeping your spaces clear and uncluttered, and choosing simple routines leads to a less stressful, more joyful life. When you’re less stressed, it shows. Using fewer products on your hair, skin, and body causes less stress, I believe, and stops your body from reacting to those stressors through bouts of acne or hair loss or inflammation.
Using a couple of organic, natural products on my skin on a consistent basis allowed my skin to stop attacking itself and gave way to clearer, healthier skin. Decluttering your things and keeping your few things organized contributes to a healthier, happier lifestyle in just about every way.
Wrinkles, on the other hand? If you find an organic solution to that, let me know.