Monday 20 July 2009

Tight Fist Tip #16: Cut Down On Bathroom Supplies

Bathroom or Chemistry Lab?

(This is part 2 in the 'Stop Buying Crap You Don't Need' series.)

A great strategy by marketers is to somehow convince the general population that some crap they invented should now be considered a necessity of modern life, as opposed to some sort of vain luxury. And there is possibly no sphere where this strategy has been more successful than in your bathroom, which is routinely stocked with tons of basically useless (or at least unnecessary) products that you simply buy out of habit.

As far as I'm concerned, you need three items in your bathroom: toothpaste, toothbrush, and a bar of soap. (If you're the shaving type I guess you can have a razor, but being hairy is cheaper.) Here is a list of other things you may find in a bathroom that are are serving no other purpose than enabling a Proctor and Gamble executive to buy a second yacht:

1. Shampoo. Newsflash: It's just liquid soap, in a different bottle. Try washing your hair with normal soap- it will still be clean.

2. Conditioner. According to various commercials conditioner is supposed to suddenly make you look like a supermodel and make everyone around you want to make out with you. I've tried this stuff before, and no hot chicks have ever tried to make out with me as a result. As far as I can tell, it does nothing.

3. Face Wash. Have you ever seen one of those commercials where some ditzy chick looks into the camera and says something like "Would you use the same soap on your face as blah blah blah?" Well ditzy chick, yes, as last I checked my face is made of skin, just like my whole body. True story: once when I was a teenager I asked a dermatologist about acne and told him I was using a Clearasil Facewash. He just laughed at me and told me to wash my face with soap.

Save the Shaving Cream for
More Important Tasks

4. Lotion. Last time I checked, our skin produces oils that keep it at the proper level of moisturization. I'm convinced that lotion users are kind of like crack addicts. If you had never used lotion, you wouldn't think that normal skin was bad at all. But once you started using lotion, you start thinking that your skin is all dry and just need more and more and MORE! (A note to my fellow burn survivors: If you got skin grafts, which kills your pores, you get an exemption.)

And just in case you think I'm picking on the ladies,

5. Shaving Cream. Go ahead, try shaving with just soap and water. Miraculously, it still works.

6. After Shave. This is the supreme leader of useless bathroom crap. While supposedly a disinfectant, you can just wash your face instead. Or just do nothing. Note that, similar to conditioner, aftershave will not cause hot chicks to start making out with you.

Ok, he gets an exemption

7. Deodorant. Do you stink? Well, if so maybe this is ok. But a lot of people just use deodorant unscrupulously- you may as well try cutting it out and see if you start losing friends.

8. Hair Gel. Newsflash: Dudes, hair gel just makes you look like a douchebag.

And finally, can I remind everyone in the audience that you should never buy bathroom products that are advertised as containing food products. Since when is it suddenly cool to spread food all over your body? For instance, while writing this post I saw an advertisement for some hair crap with 'apricot and avocado micro-oils'. Apricot and Avodaco? Isn't that going to attract a pack of locusts or something? I'm pretty sure that apricot and avodcado are the type of thing you want to keep out of your hair, as oppposed to lather into it! And what the hell is a micro-oil? A small oil?

By the way, you can get three bars of soap for like a dollar.


  1. I don't think you should use soap at all unless you have dirt on you. Unless you are really nasty, just rinse off every morning, and you will still smell like roses. Using soap when you are clean will dry out your skin, give you BO and necessitate the use of deodorant and lotion. It's a vicious cylce.

    Your hair is too short and thick to need conditioner.

  2. Stein,

    Have you been in Europe too long and stopped using deodorant?


  3. I'm not at all convinced that soap lubricates enough. For shaving.

  4. Thank you, Tight Fist, for validating my shaving practices. I'm tired of my kids mocking me whilst removing my whiskers. Barbasol should be reserved for Three Stooges type pie fights.

    Enjoying your words of wisdom as always,
    A soap & water guy.

  5. bathing is a waste of water.

    unless u are in a shared household where utility bills are split.

    then the net marginal private cost could potentially be lower that the private benefit.

  6. Come to think of it, why buy soap at all when you get the same thing with water and baking soda?

  7. I'd still like to point out the value of having a clean guest towel. Loaning your friends the floor towel that cleaned up the freezer is not acceptable!


  8. Your dermatologist should be shot.

  9. I read this post last year and believed our friend the tight fist was using poetic license here and exaggerating slightly. But I've recently had a chance to visit the author and realized: this man isn't exaggerating at all! There is seriously one bar of soap, a toothbrush, and toothpaste in his bathroom. Unreal!

    PS I have actually stopped using deodorant and I've asked several people if they notice anything, they've all said no.