Leveling up your self-care routine can be as simple as re-evaluating your strategy. What if we told you there’s a more effective way to wash up in the shower and some slight adjustments to your basic routine can impart some significant changes? Well, there is, and you can.
From gentle exfoliating sponges to the order in which you wash, what you do and when you do it matters.
We’ll be honest, when Taylor Swift admitted to Ellen Degeneres on live TV that she doesn’t wash her legs in the shower, we felt seen. Keep reading to learn why this isn’t the worst thing and that it’s a solid example of why you’re taught to wash from top to bottom.
Hot Tips To Add To Your Routine
You probably already have a step-by-step shower routine that is now simply second nature. And it probably goes something like this:
- Wet hair and body
- Shampoo hair, rinse
- Condition hair, let sit
- Wash face, pits, groin, butt, feet
- Contemplate your life choices
- Rinse conditioner
This routine is pretty typical. But, there are a couple of things you may be doing wrong, and no - it’s not washing your legs.
Rinse conditioner, THEN wash your body.
When you suds up and get all the day’s oils, dirt, and grime off your skin, then rinse out your conditioner, that oily substance is rinsing all over your body, potentially leading to clogged pores and build up. So instead, we recommend letting your conditioner sit in your hair for three to five minutes, using that time to generously wash your face, shave, or plan what you’re going to say when you ask your boss for a raise. Then after rinsing out your conditioner, whip out the body wash to cleanse and exfoliate. Again, ensuring no lingering oils are left on your back, chest, or butt.
While you may think that Maui pineapple vacation shower gel is doing your body a favor, scented body washes are irritating, drying, and flat-out chemically driven. We like to call it chemical-infused. Not hot. Also, that soft, silky skin you think is smooth-to-the-touch post-shower may just be residual leftovers from your chemically infused shower gel.
So do yourself a favor, ditch that stuff, and level up with an all-natural option free of toxins and chemicals. The Bawdy Wash has clean, key ingredients like seaweed and kaolin, providing hydrating, toning, nourishing, and smoothing effects into your shower routine.
Hot Tricks To Add To Your Routine
Raise your hand if you pee in the shower. If you deny it, you’re either with the 20% of people who don’t (and also who we don’t trust), or you just don’t want to admit it. Yup - you heard that right. 80% of people pee in the shower. But guess what? It’s not that bad. Pee is at least 70% water anyway, and you’re saving toilet paper. So - no shame, #savethetrees.
Save soap, skip the legs.
Experts say unless you’ve had a long hard day shoveling dirt or working on the railroad, wait for it...your arms and legs don’t necessarily need soap every day. The fact of the matter is, bacteria don’t reside all over your body equally, and it sticks to the moist areas, like your armpits, your groin, and your feet.
Unless your legs have literal dirt and grime on them - the cleanser that drips down your body is enough to remove most of the dirt and sweat from the day. Keep in mind that sweat is simply salt and water and doesn’t need to be scrubbed off to be cleaned.
Show the booty some extra lovin’
Butt acne is not “acne.” It is a thing we know and despise called “folliculitis” - irritation turned infection of the hair follicles. It’s caused by tight clothes creating friction: a difficult consequence of public indecency being frowned upon and outlawed. *sigh.*
If you deal with this, first of all, we’re sorry, and second of all, it’s so freakin’ typical. Get yourself some benzoyl peroxide and mom jeans, since we know skinny jeans are so 2015 anyway. Once irritation has calmed down, do regular maintenance. This natural clay butt mask detoxifies blemish-prone skin and purifies, exfoliates, tightens, and plumps. The butt mask contains clean ingredients like Kaolin + montmorillonite, willow bark, and sodium hyaluronate.
Not to be confused with shower toys, which come in various waterproof options to spice up your solo or partner shower time. Instead, shower tools and accessories are what you can use to have the “a little goes a long way” body wash effect and do a better job to help scrub you clean and get rid of those lingering dead skin cells.
Exfoliation is key in giving yourself a good shower. Dead skin cells clump on your skin, making your skin appear duller and less youthful -- and exfoliating gently rubs this lingering layer off without irritating the fresh skin cells beneath.
Before we get into this - it is of the utmost importance to take note of when you start using any tool that can retain water - since it is a breeding ground for bacteria. The lifespan of these tools is only a couple of months. Don’t get lazy on this, or you could put yourself at risk for bacterial infections or E.Coli. Here are some great tools to consider and how to properly keep them in tip-top shape.
Loofahs are a widely-used fan favorite for their ability to lather up, exfoliate, cleanse the skin, and stimulate blood circulation, not to mention rubbing them over your skin in circular motions instead of simply using your hand, feels truly *divine*. Something to look out for, though, is any redness or irritation after use - if you experience this, it is likely the loofah is too abrasive, and you should opt for something softer.
Disclaimer: When we say “loofah,” we’re talking about the O.G. - either made of sea sponge, dried coral, or a gourd in the cucumber family. Not the synthetic bath poufs of dense mesh layers of nylon can harbor even more ick stuff.
Maintaining your loofah and when to say goodbye.
As nice as they may seem, loofahs can come up with some not-so-pretty risks. When you hang your loofah up to dry in the shower after use, it still collects moisture and steam, and those dead skin cells happily fraternize in that moist place -- growing and multiplying.
To avoid this, instead of simply hanging it in the shower or on the bath hook (no judgment, we’re guilty of this too), use a towel to thoroughly wring out moisture and do your best to dry it. Then, hang it in a cool, dry place outside your bathroom (shocker, right?) It is also suggested to clean your loofah once a week. You can do this by dipping it in a mixture of 10% bleach and water for five minutes, then rinsing thoroughly with cold water before wringing out. This kills bacteria and reduces your risk of being subject to any contamination of accumulated growth.
Lastly, toss your loofah every three to four weeks to stay away from unwanted bacteria.
A perfect alternative if you know you're just seriously not that committed to maintaining the health of a loofah, a washcloth is an efficient standby option that has a gentle exfoliating effect. In addition, it can be simply *tossed* in the laundry hamper after use. Not to mention a washcloth is more cost-effective, lasting years to come, or until you redo your bathroom aesthetic color scheme.
Remember, although it’s nice to feel the scrub, you don’t need it for it to be an effective exfoliation.
The Silicone Scrubber
This approach could be more sanitary, but silicone is an excellent option for sensitive skin. It is much less abrasive, and because the scrubber is made of silicon, as opposed to a porous material like a loofah, it doesn’t hold on to those leftover skin cells. Wash the scrubber with soap and water, pat dry, and leave it in a cool, dry place.
The moral of the story here is, you’re never too old to rethink your shower routine. If you’ve felt at all enlightened or you can’t get your shower buddy to stop grimacing every time you sneak a tinkle down the shower drain, let them in on these tricks and trips, don’t just keep it your dirty little secret.