Open Backpack!,  Sage advice

A short story about a very light cosmetic bag

It is a well-known fact that every normal girl needs a cosmetic bag that can fit eye cream, day cream, night cream, scrub, firming mask, cleansing mask, nourishing serum, shampoo, hair conditioner, dry ends serum, hair straightener and hair wax followed by all sorts of make-up gear.

We’ve got a problem when the seams start to burst and your spine starts to crack – these are usually the first signs that the content of your cosmetic bag needs to be limited. First, you throw away the toothpaste and the safety razors – those you can always steal from your boyfriend. The seams and the spine keep protesting. What do we do now?

This is a story about how I managed to fit shower gel, soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, body lotion, cleansing and nourishing mask, washing powder and (partially) make up remover in one soapbox.

Aleppo is a Syrian city, which is currently a rather unpopular tourist destination. You hear about it in the context of fighters, air strikes and soap. We will concentrate on the latter.

The composition of the soap manufactured around Aleppo remains unchanged since hundreds of years: it contains nourishing and moisturizing olive oil combined with antibacterial and cleansing laurel oil mixed in various proportions[i]. The more difficult it is to treat your skin, the more content of laurel oil is better for you – it varies between 10 and 70%.

Why do we like it?

  • it’s efficient (a 210g bar lasts for 2-3 months)
  • it has a good price, especially, if you sum up every cosmetic that you don’t need to carry with you (from 8 to 12 $ per bar, depending on the content of laurel oil)
  • hair is nourished, thicker, healthier, doesn’t fall out as much. Really!
  • the scalp is healthy, no more dandruff
  • takes good care of your skin
  • hair is less greasy
  • anti-piple, anti-ugh and anti-yuck effect
  • it’s 100% natural, eco-friendly and hypoallergenic
  • super all-purpose, you can use it to wash both acne and a baby.

What could irritate you?

  • makes your eyes burn, not suitable for eye make-up removal
  • rinsing takes longer than with regular soap or shampoo
  • hair isn’t as soft
  • price – if you compare it to Johnson’s baby bar, then it’s expensive
  • you can actually only use the 70% laurel oil version to wash your hair, the more olive oil, the greasier and heavier the hair may get (the research group included two persons)
  • distinctive smell (but it never lingers on skin or hair)

You absolutely need to let me know about your skin care travelling discoveries. In the meantime, I’ll go enjoy my pimple-free forehead and my superlight cosmetic bag.

[i] My personal chemist makes me add that soap, as befits soap, is a sodium salt of fatty acids, so I may not omit lye and water.

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