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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Soap saves lives. But did you know that excessive use of soap and skin-care products are harming our health and the environment? Apart from in hand-washing there is no need to use soap on our bodies at all?

Doctor and preventative medicine expert James Hamblin gave up showering five years ago and only ever uses soap on his hands. In Clean he introduces a new way to think about cleanliness - one that is cheaper, simpler and better for our skin, our immunity and the world in which we live.

Hygiene prevents the spread of disease and saves countless lives. But in recent decades, rather than safeguarding us from illness, an obsession with ‘cleanliness’ seems to have been having the opposite effect. As we are now starting to realise, our overuse of soap, sanitisers and untested, misleading skin-care products is doing untold damage to our skin’s vital microbial layer, which influences everything from acne, eczema and dry skin to how we smell. Not only might our obsession with soap-based cleanliness be exacerbating or even causing many of the skin conditions we seek to remedy or avoid, it may even be weakening our immune defences and increasing our vulnerability to allergies. 

Lucid, accessible and deeply researched, Clean explains how we got here - thanks to the concerted efforts of the multi-billion-dollar cosmetics industry - and introduces us to the emerging science that will be at the forefront of health and wellness conversations in coming years. It shows that the new goal of skin care will be to cultivate a healthy biome and to embrace a natural approach to being clean.

©2020 James Hamblin (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Clean

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  • stephen medhurst
  • 08-01-21

Helping Lifelong Eczema

After Trying what seems like everything on my eczema , i did not like the thought of cutting down on soap / soap products , but with 50 years of nothing working i thought lets give it a try ,
i am from Port sunlight on the wirral so knew the history of lever bros , so skipped the stories then took all the nitty gritty advice although having to go through the whole book with tons of story but little advice , i implemented this advice . and am now eczema free .
it started clearing up on my arms first slowly all over , the last to heal was my back this week. 2 months in total .
now i also sleep better too .
I had to force myself not to bathe or put on my moisturizing cream ( on prescription Epimax ) .
now i dont need it anymore , but the thought of only a sink wash in the morning was rather daunting to me at first but after a month ok . i now shower only when necessary .
my morning bathroom routine went from 40 mins each day to 10 .mins
this worked for me and am extremely grateful for this book .

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-10-20

Rarely informative

I almost never review books or other items I spend time on, but this book was so informative and eye opening, while being interesting, that I felt the need to help proliferate it...
I can of course only recommend reading it

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  • Sian wales
  • 11-12-21

an eyeopening read

I have to say this is one of the best books I've listened to, eye opening, thought provoking and for me answers and clarifies so many of my prior thoughts and beliefs . definetly recommended

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  • magdalena
  • 10-28-21

A life changing and mind blowing read.

Iv not used soap for over 4 months now since I first finished reading this book. My micobiome is as happy as ever. I have no smell and my skin is feeling softer then ever. This works! I'm mind blown - the less u do, the better.
The personal hygiene companies are a big fraud and I'm so glad over the health and environmental benefits I reap whiles also saving money and time by not falling for their scam. This book is life changing. Definitely worth reading!

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  • Wildchuck
  • 07-18-21

eye-opening!

Certainly confirms some things. And helps us take another step in the right direction. Thank you to bringing this to us, by doing it yourself and trialing newfangled ideas.

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  • Daniel Reed
  • 06-04-21

Mixed message

I enjoyed the book but I'm not really sure I got the message. While trying to push for doing less with regards to cleanliness, the book also focused on the danger of not having proper sanitation. I may need to listen to it again.
The book is worth getting though. Some very interesting parts in it.

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  • Sean Loo
  • 08-28-20

Interesting and relevant health ideas

Good to hear a different perspective regarding skin care and health. The ideas feel relevant and timely as our understanding of the role bacteria play on health develops. Would have liked more depth in certain areas. An easy listen overall.

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  • Clyde
  • 02-08-21

Expansive, important writing.

James touches so many topics through the lens of hygiene and skin it boggles the mind. Well worth the weeks of fascination and enjoyment I got from it!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-13-20

Suprisingly Awesome

I purchased this book because I thought it would be interesting. It did cross my mind that 7 hours was a long time to talk about cleaning ones' skin, I suspected this book may not hold my attention for the full 7 hours but I was wrong. This book is not just about skin and skin products it covers much, much more , It was really informative and entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am now equipped to make smarter choices in regards to what is effective and what is money wasting hype when it comes to choosing skin care products for myself and my family.

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  • Braydon Davies
  • 09-30-20

Everyone should read

So many important messages. Very eye opening and well worth reading. Definitely took away a lot of valuable insights

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-20

A great inciteful read!

Enjoyed this book immensley. The narration was great & easy to listen to. Very Informative