The Frugal Woman’s Toilette, Part 1: Her Face

toilette: n. the process of grooming oneself.

How the media has complicated this simplest of acts.  Women used to rise in the morning, wash briefly at a basin, comb their hair, and get dressed.  Maybe she’s born with it…or maybe she’s squeaky clean… became Maybe she’s born with it…or maybe it’s Maybelline… (And maybe it costs a whole cow to buy “it” over and over again…)

Either way, there’s no ad in the world that can make me believe there’s anything better (for me) than my current face wash. 

It contains no preservatives.

It harbors no weird, un-pronouncable chemicals.

There are no dyes, perfumes, or animal byproducts.

Likewise, there’s nothing in it to make it foam, squirt, or tingle.

It’s so cheap, I might have to chop a penny into pieces to show you how much I spend on my face each day.


My face has never felt better…

Still curious?

It’s baking soda.


Yes, baking soda.

[I have to say THANK YOU to my Auntie Carol out West.  She gave me the idea through my cousin Veronica, who writes The Honey Pot at  Please check out her wonderful writing.  Her November 5th post particularly inspired me.]

You’d think baking soda would be too harsh for your face!  Not so.  Just because it can scrub scum off your shower walls doesn’t mean it can’t tiptoe across your skin.  It gently lifts away the filth we like to forget (the usual way being to cover it with gel blobs, floating beads of exploding “clean,” etc etc, whilst pulling fistfuls of cash out of our bank accounts).

There is some level of exfoliation, but it’s truly gentle.  No promise made that the stuff doesn’t keep: It really is pure and simple. 

Just once, I wish an ad would be honest: REACH FOR THE SKY!  GIVE US YOUR MONEY OR WE’LL SHOOT! 

Perhaps your face wash works perfectly for you.  If so, GOOD.  Be blessed as you cleanse.  🙂  Me, I never found one I really liked.

If I want my face wash to foam, I’ll pour vinegar on it.  (No thanks.)  If I want it to tingle, I’ll add lemon juice or hot sauce.  (heh heh…)  If squirting it on is important, I can just add the water ahead of time, and squirt myself in the face with a water gun.  Simple AND fun, right? 

If I want my face to smell like roses, well…  I’m still working on that one.  I’d kind of like it to smell like ME.

So I took a small Ball canning jar and hammered 9 holes in the lid.  You could do this with a clean, empty jelly jar, peanut butter jar, salsa jar, jar, jar, jar.  It will cost you NOTHING. 

Just fill ‘er up with some baking soda, which you probably already have on hand, and screw on the lid with its new holes.  Splash warm water over your face, and rub a few shakes of the baking soda gently across your skin.  Wash off with warm or cool water.  Done.

This routine, combined with my equally simple moisterizer (stay tuned for that post on an upcoming Monday!) has made my skin feel and look better than ever.  No breakouts, no dry patches, no greasy residue or anything.

Ladies, I hope this is helpful to you if you’re looking for ways to save money and energy.  I love a good, simple thing.  Men, if it takes some stress off your women, and it eases your wallet, hooray.

Have a wonderful day, and for cryin’ out loud, keep it simple!


27 thoughts on “The Frugal Woman’s Toilette, Part 1: Her Face

  1. This is such a great idea! I’ve heard of using baking soda as a green cleaning product because it is super gentle to use and non-toxic, but I’d never thought of applying it to my own face to stay clean! 🙂 I will have to try this out. 🙂

    • Good luck! Enjoyed your post today, by the way. Keep up the good work on your blog! I’ll be stopping by again to get more great tips. Please let me know how your foray into the world of baking soda face washing goes.

  2. Yay! =) I had been meaning to ask you if you’d been trying this yet… I knew you’d love it. We keep some in the shower and even the hubby uses it. Pretty cool when you and your husband use the same thing to wash your faces with, eh? Bet that’s not a common occurrence! Anyway, I couldn’t agree more. I am so anxious to see what you are moisturizing with. Hurry up and tell us would ya? I still have a tube of my Mary Kay moisturizer left, but I am weaning away from it… funny, though, when I wash with the baking soda I don’t feel as much of a need to follow up with a moisturizer.

    • Oooh interesting. Maybe the baking soda naturally balances your skin, and leaves you needing less moisturizing assistance? 🙂 My skin gets very dry in the New England cold, so I may be stuck using something. However, now that I’m enjoying a very very common, simple moisturizer (getting more curious?) I really don’t mind.

      • Yes, very curious now. Thank you very much! lol By the way, it’s my mom who got me started on it, not mom-in-law. I don’t think Carol does this, but she might. Oh and the whole No Poo thing above has caught my attention… wow, not sure I could do that, but I do know that I love my hair after it hasn’t been washed in a few days. Ha!

  3. Darling have you ever considered going No Poo? 🙂 The baking soda reminded me of it. No Poo means no shampoo. 🙂 You stop washing your hair. Completely. There’s stuff online about using baking soda and cider vinegar or lemons, etc. to keep smell and funk out. But for the most part, you don’t do much of anything to it. They SAY you’ll love your hair. You just have to get past the initial hump of a few weeks of weaning your hair off of whatever it’s used to. (and by weaning I mean going cold turkey.) I’ve been seriously considering this for a couple weeks now. Thoughts….? 🙂

    • I actually started trying it recently, for a few days. But I didn’t know you were supposed to do anything besides baking soda. It was a little like the time I was Albert Einstein for Halloween. My hair was a little…uh…thick. I’m going to look up the No Poo thing, and perhaps give it another whirl, now that I know the rest of the story. 🙂 Thanks!

  4. Oh and @ Kimberly… a Parmesan cheese shaker works well, too! Just an FYI. It’s a little bigger than a spice bottle, unless you buy huge spice bottles! =)

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  6. Thanks, Veronica!! I just didn’t know if it needed to be in a glass jar or something for a certain reason 🙂 And I just posted this on the Part 2 blog, but the baking soda and vinegar instead of shampoo really does work…just give it time for your hair to detox from what it’s been used to 🙂 I use it on all the kiddos, too!

  7. That is cool… do you use white vinegar? And do you use the vinegar and baking soda at the same time or alternate, er what? I’ll have to look this up. It’s just nice to hear from someone who already does it and hear what exactly they do. Thanks!

  8. It’s apple cider vinegar, not white vinegar 🙂 What works for me is to put 1 T. baking soda in a measuring cup and add enough warm water to make 1 cup. Then I do the same in another measuring cup with the ACV and add enough warm water to make 1 cup. I just line them up on the edge of the tub. When I’m ready to wash my hair, I just make sure the baking soda is dissolved and slowly pour it over my head, working it in as I go. Don’t worry about the ends of your hair because they’ll get whatever runs down. Scrub or massage your head and then rinse. Follow with the ACV. This can stay on your hair for a bit, like a conditioner. I pour it on and then shave my legs (sorry if that’s TMI). Then I rinse it out. There’s no lasting vinegar smell, either, so everyone isn’t going to get a blast of vinegar when you walk by 🙂 It makes my hair soft, easy to comb, and I like knowing it’s cheap and I know what’s in it and that I can pronounce the ingredients!!

    • I’m glad you specified. I totally would have dumped white vinegar on my head. Sounds like an easy routine. Thanks for sharing what your hair feels like afterward. I was wondering about that. Go you! You’re so adventurous. And really, I don’t think it’s too much information that you shave your legs while your hair is soaking. It’s a good time estimate helper. However, if you’re feeling vulnerable now, I will share something equally t.m.i.-ish to keep you company. Hm. What to share? …I’m 30 and I get little chin hairs sometimes. I’m afraid I’ll be a billy goat when I’m old. The End.

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