I am having an issue with determining at what point behavior becomes sinful in regards to personal appearance/hygiene. My husband accuses me on scrupulousity on this point, but my pastor is not a good source of help either as he declares that practically nothing is sinful, or at least mortally so, except sexual sins and the habitual missing of Mass.
The issue is, when is an action vanity (pride) and when is it sloth? Excessive care of one’s appearance is vanity and lack of care is sloth, each sinful (and some claim gravely so). I understand that brushing teeth is proper care, but what about hair? I choose to have long hair because it takes me five to ten minutes each day to care for it in opposition to many people I know spending 45-60 minutes caring for their short hair (and my husband adores long hair, so I also like to have it long for him - vanity?) However people, my MIL especially, tell me how vain long hair is because to have it look nice, you have to get more shampoo and conditioner than for short hair, as well as a special oil for the ends. However, getting those things avoids the need to go to the hairdresser more than once or twice a year, as opposed to many women’s practice of going every six weeks like clockwork. I feel guilty of spending too much money on my hair, which ends up being $100-150 a year (US currency and economy). I fear that I am too vain, but fear dropping into sloth if I cut much more out.
Then there is the skincare issue. I absolutely do not use make-up (my wedding was an exception to that rule). I don’t spend 45-60 minutes putting on my makeup each morning like friends do and I don’t care when people show up or who they are, because I have no concerns with makeup. However, I buy a fancier face wash and use toner and a special face lotion (5-10 minutes a day, $100/year for skin care) to avoid teen-level acne breakouts, which causes them to accuse me of vanity. I feel like I am being far more prudent by avoiding unnecessary make-up, but they claim that not to wear it is sloth, which makes me feel like I’m caught between two sins with no middle ground.
The lives of the saints seem to inspire one to throw hygiene out the window, and the pope has spoken out about the wastefulness of our culture by spending money on skin and hair care, but the Bible speaks about proper care of our body, which seems to me to include our appearance (not previously invited wedding guests not in finery being thrown out, for instance). So with that in mind, where are the lines drawn between proper care of self, vanity, and sloth?