Drought-Friendly Beauty Tips

It’s no secret that California is in a permanent state of not-enough-waterness, but now, it has reached serious bad times.  Shit, as the kids say, just got very real.

“California Imposes First Mandatory Water Restrictions”

The basics, from not watering your lawn and flower garden to wearing your clothes more than once before laundering and, to put it delicately, letting things mellow, are no longer sufficient to keep California running.

(And before you say “well I don’t live there, so it doesn’t matter to me” allow me to point out that yes, it very much does matter to you.  The California Central Valley, on less than 1% of the nation’s farmland, produces 8% of the nation’s agricultural output.  And 90% of the nation’s avocados.  So if you ever want to see your guacamole again, you’ll help us out.)

So today I’m going a bit beyond the basics of water conservation, with a focus on tips to keep you looking and feeling pretty while saving every precious drop of water possible.


– There are a lot of really good cleansing wipes available that can cut a huge amount of water out of your daily face-washing routine.  I personally use DHC Care Make Off Sheets, and recommend them without reservation.  But there are a lot of good ones out there.  Find one that works for you, and use it.

– Good old-fashioned cold cream may just become your new best friend.  Massage it into your face, and wipe it off with a tissue.  Done.  Ponds is a classic that has been around forever because it’s pretty amazing, but if you would prefer to avoid mineral oil, or just feel like being crafty, you can make your own.

– Use sheet masks or peel-off masks in place of cream and clay types that have to be rinsed off.  For sheet masks, I have four different kinds from Epielle, they’re wonderful, and DHC also makes some really good ones.  For a peel-off, Queen Helene Grape Seed Extract Masque is fantastic.

– Rather than powder to deal with midday face shininess, which will just put more stuff on your skin to be washed off later, try blotting sheets.  I use E.L.F.  They’re cheap and effective, and leave my face feeling super soft and non-greasy.


– If you’re fortunate enough to have the kind of hair that can be brushed, you have the drought-friendliest hair possible, because dry shampoos were made for you.  And before you think you have to spend a crapstack of cash and load your head up with chemicals, allow me to let you in on a little secret; the two best dry shampoos on the planet do not come from the drugstore, they come from your kitchen.  Cornmeal or finely ground oatmeal are all you need.  Take a handful, massage it into your scalp to pick up excess oils and break up styling products, and brush it out.  If you have a backyard, do your brushing out there, since these are completely compostable/biodegradable, and you won’t have to sweep up afterward.

– If you, like me, have the kind of hair that simply doesn’t tolerate being brushed, try a few spritzes of rosewater and some good scrunching in place of regular shampooing.  It smells nice, it’s antibacterial, and the moisture should refresh your curls and tame your frizz sufficiently to allow you to be seen in public.  It’s pretty cheap, but if you have access to a lot of rose petals, it’s also pretty easy to just make your own.

– Buns, ponytails, braids, generally any hairstyle other than “standing proud on a hilltop flowing in the breeze” locks will cut down on how often you need to shampoo.  Try some.  You might be surprised how much you like them.


– Swap your shower razor for an electric and shave whatever you need to shave before you even turn the water on.  You can get one for $20 or less.  It will be worth it.

– On the subject of showers, the time for delicacy is past so I’m just going to be blunt here: yes, pits & bits needs to be washed regularly, but is the rest of that epidermal acreage really as high-maintenance as you’re making it?  Do you really need to be showering every single day?  Obviously, if you have a sweaty/dusty/grimy job, then yes, you probably do.  But if you’re working in an air-conditioned shop or office, how dirty are you really getting?  Would a good sponge bath with a couple of body wipes not work just as well every other day?  And don’t even worry about wasting your money on specialty adult washcloths, I’ve tried them and most really aren’t worth it.  Use baby wipes.  They’re gentle, they’re effective, and they are MUCH less expensive.  You can get a huge box at Costco for around $24.

If you have any other beauty-related water saving tips, I would love to hear them.  Sharing is caring.  We’re all in this together, for the avocados.
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