Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I write about:

November 5, 2023: Life without hangers and with only two pairs of merino socks. Thought experiment on the skin microbiome.

November 5, 2023. I woke up several times during the night because either my arm or back hurt, as if I had been lying on a hard floor for a long time.

I slept in my T-shirt, and the first time I woke up at night, I noticed sweat odor under my armpits. I took off the T-shirt and tried to sleep again. When I woke up next with a sore hip, I didn't feel like exercising anymore and placed a blanket on the carpet, as I had been sleeping like this lately.

Oh my. When I lay down on it, I felt like I was lying in the softest bed in the world. I smelled my armpits and found that the armpit odor was almost completely gone. I've noticed this several times in the morning, but now it really struck me: the less clothing I wear, the less I smell. Apparently, bacteria multiply much faster or easier when I wear something.

Since I don't want to develop armpit odor overnight, I've decided to sleep only in my underwear from now on, unless I'm freezing cold. This way, my merino T-shirt can also ventilate during sleep.

I woke up at 9 AM and felt surprisingly refreshed. At 11 AM, I had brunch at Café Le Garcon in Hildesheim with Dascha, Tobi, and Lauri. I had a vegetarian breakfast with Lauri - I was craving cheese. I also had a decaf oat milk cappuccino. Dascha and Tobi had a vegan one.

Afterwards, we drove to Borsum. Mom was there, and we discussed our plans for Christmas. This time, we won't be celebrating New Year's Eve together, but Christmas. We will be doing Secret Santa and we drew lots for who gets what. I got Tobi. Then we drew the dishes we'll be cooking for Christmas.

After that, Dascha and Tobi drove me back to Hildesheim, where I took the train home. There, I realized I had forgotten my thermos flask... Oh well, I thought, I'll just buy a small bottle of water at Rossmann and use it until I'm back in Borsum.

At Rossmann, I got a plastic bottle of mineral water. It was somehow tempting to hold such a lightweight bottle compared to my thermos flask. I also finally remembered to buy a small, lightweight plastic bottle intended for DIY cosmetics. I wanted to replace my large glass salt shaker containing baking soda that I used as deodorant. Finally, I didn't forget to buy it. With the salt shaker, I was always afraid it would slip out of my wet hands and break.

Back home, my merino socks arrived. They felt really good. I immediately put on one pair and wore them the whole time. The other pair I washed with water and hung on the bathroom heater. Now I had two high-quality long socks that will replace my two short toe socks and colorful socks from now on.

Then I looked at my telescopic clothes rack, where three clothes hangers were still hanging. I didn't really need them, so I threw them away along with the salt shaker.

I wondered: If it's harmful to disrupt the skin microbiome by washing it constantly, isn't it also harmful to wash hands with soap constantly? Suppose I have a certain microbiome A on my skin. This microbiome A hasn't caused any health complications for me. Then I go outside, touch doorknobs and bus poles. Probably a few other strains of microbes come into contact, some are repelled by my existing microbiome because it's saturated. There can't be an unlimited number of microbes on the skin. Then I come home and wash almost the entire microbiome A and all the oils off my skin. And I kill all the viruses. After a short time, a new microbiome B builds up again, whether it's better than before is purely accidental, depending on what I come into contact with. Now it's possible that microbiome B causes health complications. I don't know.

But why should I destroy microbiome A or exchange it for B if it hasn't caused any complications? And since most viruses are killed by washing with soap, I can't train my immune system to fight these viruses.

  1. Replaced glass salt shakers used for baking soda with lightweight plastic bottles.
  2. Reduced sock pairs from 3 to 2 and replaced cotton socks with merino wool socks.
  3. I no longer own any clothes hangers.