Waterwise Beauties: Here's how I'm Surviving the Cape Town Drought | 9Lives
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The Cape Town water crisis has really forced us to re-evaluate the way we use water. At every turn we’ve had to count each drop, faced with the very real threat that our taps might run dry. We have been sitting with this drought for so long now that you might be tempted to relax a little but a short trip to the Theewaterskloof dam will prove that we’re nowhere near the clear. The big question then is how do we survive this natural disaster without looking like a, well, disaster?

Here are a few of my top tricks and the waterwise products that have come out top from the last few months of testing.

1. I use micellar water to cleanse

Micellar water works brilliantly to remove makeup, oil and daily dirt without the need to rinse. Micelles are clever molecules that act like dirt magnets, cleansing without drying out or irritating your skin. Use it with cotton pads instead of your cleanser (or use it to double cleanse if you’re not facing our serious water restrictions)

I recommend: Bioderma Sensibio Micelle Solution

R323 for 500ml, select retailers and cosmetiquesdefrance.co.za

This is still my favourite micellar water, formulated specifically for sensitive skin types. It works like magic to remove all traces of the day, leaving my skin soft, refreshed and soothed.

2. I switched to a cleansing conditioner

I am completely sold on cleansing conditioners. Instead of your standard shampoo-condition two-step routine, you only use a cleansing conditioner that gently removes oil while nourishing your hair. One step means less time under the tap. I also find it’s gentler on my scalp and hair.

I recommend Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner

R465 for 300ml, scarhair.co.za and select salons

Cleansing conditioners haven’t really taken off in South Africa yet but we do have Unwash, a really great salon product. I would recommend applying it in sections, working it as close to the scalp as possible. Comb through and then rinse. It works better if you rinse under cold water. Be warned, you’re not going to get that squeaky clean feel that you would with a normal shampoo-wash, but rather a kind-of second-day feel.

3. Dry shampoo is a life-saver between washes

My hair gets oily pretty quickly so I’ve long-since been a fan of dry shampoo, a brilliant way to keep hair looking fresh between washes. If you’re still not sure what it’s about, it’s basically a super fine powder that absorbs oil along your roots. These days most dry shampoos are also either translucent or tinted so you don’t have to worry about that powdery residue either.

I recommend: CoLab Dry Shampoo

R62 for 200ml, Clicks

My favourite dry shampoo at the moment is by CoLab, and they’ve just relaunched with brilliantly bright, fun variants that smell amazing and work like a charm. There’s no white residue or sticky feel, and it easily absorbs oil, extending the need to wash by a full day.

4. There are ways to stay fresh even when you skip a shower

Look, I know we South Africans like our daily showers, but when you spend an entire day under air-conditioning it’s possible to skip a day. And if that freaks you out, you can definitely skip showers on those lazy Sundays spent lounging on the couch. To avoid smelling like a old sock, though, it’s worth getting a good body spray. That way you can cheat the shower-fresh scent.

I recommend: Lush Rose Jam Body Spray

R395 for 200ml, za.lush.com

I am completely obsessed with the Lush Rose Jam body wash that pops up every festive season. So I was thrilled when I discovered this Body Spray, sporting that same decadent scent. Notes of fresh rose and geranium deliver a decadent, Turkish delight aroma that is completely addictive.

5. I always keep hand sanitiser in my bag

One of the easiest ways to save water is to use hand sanitiser instead of washing after a loo visit. Many malls and hotels in Cape Town have turned off their taps, supplying spritzers of sanitiser instead. That’s brilliant but personally I often find these really harsh or very sticky. That’s why I prefer to keep my own at hand.

I recommend Beaucience Hand Sanitiser

R20 for 60ml, pharmacies and beaucience.co.za

It smells really lovely and fresh, and leaves my hands feeling clean without that sticky residue. I also love the fact that it is biodegradable, with a whole bunch of nourishing natural ingredients that care for your skin.

What are your top waterwise tricks? Pop your recommendations in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you.


I am a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town trying to find the best ways to spend my time, take care of my body and express myself. I am slightly obsessed with fragrances, sneakers, Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Australia. Oh, and I probably drink way too much wine.

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