Guys, I don’t know about you but this #DayZero thing’s got me scared. Yes, I know that I’m a privileged asshole who’s enjoyed running water all her life while much our country’s poor has queued to get it for decades. I get that. But I’m still freaking out. And a lot of it has to do with the lack of information we’ve been given. We’re told that by the end of April it’s ‘likely’ our taps will be switched off and we’ll have to queue for 25L a day. But where are the collection points? How will it be controlled?
Anyway, all that aside, I’ve done a lot of thinking as to how I’ll manage to look mooi in the last few weeks before I flee to a water-rich country. Because obviously that’s the most important thing, right? Schools are shutting down. People are losing their livelihoods. But a girl’s still gotta look good in her Skype job interviews should she decide to flee to Dubai, ironically a giant desert where you can still take a bath. Also, as a single lady, I don’t want to look (and smell) vile should I find myself spending three hours next to a hottie (preferably with a foreign passport) while queueing for my daily water ration.
So! Let’s get stuck in!
First things first you’ll want to buy back up water starting now. Initially, any water collection points might be chaos and unless you want to sponge bath with Coke Zero during the ‘settling phase’ it’s best to have a stash. Don’t be that doos who fills up 5L bottles using what’s currently on tap. You’ll only bring Day Zero forward. Instead, hit up a Makro where you can get 20L of Aquelle (they sell them in bulk as 4 x 5L) for R63. I’m aware that 5L water bottles are sold out just about everywhere right now but I see Makro Ottery still has stock. Also, if your time is precious and you’ve got the cash, think about buying 15 days worth of water per month. This means you’ll only have to queue for your ration every second day as opposed to every day.
If you’re like me, and have baby fine hair that gets dirty and limp super fast then dry shampoo is your friend. I literally wash my hair every single day, but if I use dry shampoo on the roots I can get away with washing every second day, provided I tie my hair up. Being a beauty blogger I’ve tested loads of brands and consider Batiste the best of the bunch.
When you really do need to wash your hair one of the easiest ways to do it will be kneeling in the bath with a bucket and cup. (I say bath and not shower as the bath will allow you to save your dirty water and use it for other things.) Alternatively, you can get all fancy and order a camping shower for about R150. They were selling them on Takealot but I see they’ve just sold out. But just google camping shower and you’ll find them if you move fast.
You can make your water ration stretch further by using a 2-in-1 shampoo. This means you only have to rinse it once, not twice. If you’ve got a drier hair type that can’t really get away with the gentle conditioning served up by a 2-in-1 then apply your conditioner in spray format. This is what I’ll be doing – using my regular shampoo to wash and then reaching for a leave-in spray conditioner. My favourite is Gliss Total Repair which I can’t find online right now so here’s hoping it’s not discontinued.
As far as cleansing goes, wet wipes are your new bestie. BUT you need to be very, very careful. Many of the ‘beauty brand’ options made especially for your face contain alcohol as well fragrance. (Just read the ingredients list. You’ll be surprised.) If you’ve got sensitive skin or are relying on them heavily the the boozey, nice-smelling options are going to dry out your skin and possibly even disrupt its barrier function – the gateway to sexy shizz like rosacea and eczema. Thus, my recommendation is that you rather buy baby wipes, NOT fancy facial ones. They’re sold in larger packs so it’ll cost less per wipe. While most baby wipes are alcohol-free many are perfumed so be sure to pick the most cost-effective fragrance-free brand you can find and stock up. Even if we don’t end up in a Mad Max scenario you’ll still find them useful so they’ll never go to waste.
Also, ladies, DO NOT USE FRAGRANCED WIPES ON YOUR HOO HA! Be they made ‘especially for baby’ or listed as ‘for sensitive skin’, double check to ensure they don’t contain fragrance. If not, you will likely get thrush. It will not be fun. How are you going make babies with the aforementioned hot water queue boy if your vagina is broken? Listen to me, okay? I’m old and clever. I know things.
While you can use the right type of wet wipes on your body as well as your face there are other ways to cleanse the latter that don’t involve H20 and one of them is micellar water. Unlike ‘regular’ make-up remover or face wash, micellar water can be swiped all off your skin (using a cotton pad) to lift away dirt and oil and doesn’t require any rinsing. My favourite micellar water is Bioderma’s Hydrobio (mostly because I’ve used it for years and am nostalgic about it) but now that I may have to save my pennies to flee I’ll be switching to Garnier’s version which is about R30 for 125ml.
I’ve read online about people ‘dry bathing’, using things like bicarbonate of soda as well as slapping it under their arms or using rock crystal deodorant in place of regular antiperspirants and what not but this doesn’t make sense to me. We have wet wipes (for now) and we’re running out of water, not deodorant. My Sanex roll-on works just fine, thanks.
Germ-wise, we’re being advised to invest in lots of hand sanitizer and that’s great. A heightened awareness of germs is imperative in a world where we’re suddenly carrying Tupperwares of our own pooh to our friendly neighbourhood porta-loo. Still, these contain loads of alcohol and overuse will dry out your hands so be sure to invest in a good reparative hand cream.
Alternatively, you could use something like Thursday Plantation Tea Tree lotion (R126,95, Dis-Chem) which will hydrate and, thanks to naturally antibacterial tea tree, it’ll blitz germs too. But probably not as well as hand sanitiser and then you might die from cholera. And guess what your family will have to put on your coffin? Silk fucking flowers. Sies! For this reason alone I refuse to die during a drought.
Anyway, this has been rather terrifying to write so I’m off to down a beer. Possibly a stupid move because a) it’s 10am and b) I should probably stash it as I may have to wash my hair with it at some point.
If you’ve got any beauty related water saving tips to share please leave them in the comments section below. Also, are you as nervy as I am?