For all intents and purposes, showers are meant to serve as a beacon of calm tranquility amid the chaos that comes along with life and all of its follies. So much so in fact that shower routines, or even rituals, have become increasingly commonplace in the public consciousness, with candles, loofahs, and even lavender sprigs, all adding to the experience of washing away one’s tensions in a literal and metaphoric sense.
TikTok on the other hand appears to have taken this premise and ran to the high hills with it, with the debut of what is now known as the ‘everything shower’ making the rounds online. In fact, the tag #everythingshower has racked up a total of 32 million views and counting on the platform. But what exactly does the ‘everything shower’ entail?
To put things simply, the ‘everything shower’ represents the culmination of a myriad of tried and tested self-care practices into a single, indulgent, extended wellness routine. This isn’t just about scrubbing yourself clean (although that still is a fundamental part of stepping into a shower to start with), but rather an exercise in relaxation that could potentially help keep dreaded stress at bay and usher in a calmer, more composed sense of personal wellbeing.
In pre-TikTok terms, it’s an at-home spa day, broken down into three phases: the pre-shower, the shower itself, and the post-shower.
These showers can have anywhere between 10 steps to a whopping 25 steps, as is the case for TikTok user @summerrrlily. But of course, there’s no hard and fast rule on how long your ‘everything shower’ should take.
How to: everything shower
Setting the mood, pre-shower
As is the case with any spa session, it is crucial to ensure that the vibes are just right. Which is why this is where we will chart the beginning of our ‘everything shower’, by setting the scene and ensuring that the space we inhabit — the bathroom, will be transformed into a haven at home where both mind and body can reach a place of serene relaxation.
A great way to transform the ambiance of a room is with mood lighting, especially by way of scented candles. Not only do they add a suitably diffused glow that puts eyes at ease, their aromatherapy benefits are not to be underestimated. Or for a safer substitute sans open flame, consider reed diffusers or incense sticks.
Want to add a botanical touch? Simply tie a sprig of lavender, rosemary, or eucalyptus, to your shower head and let the warm water suffuse the air you breathe in nature’s goodness.
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After mood lighting and scent, comes mood music. Whether if you enjoy your ‘everything shower’ experience set to the sound of waves lapping along the shoreline or the slow chords of adult alternative hits, Spotify and Apple Music both offer an exhaustive selection of specialty playlists for your atmosphere of choice.
For maximum spa points, look into performing a pre-shower massage to encourage improved blood circulation in your skin by using a stiff-bristled brush. But take care not to exert too much force, which could risk causing micro-tears on the dermis.
Naturally, make a point of stripping your face clean of makeup and other detritus before your shower too. First using makeup remover, followed by micellar water after.
The shower proper
Now onwards to the main event. Depending on what regimens you’d like to incorporate into your ‘everything shower’, how you should start your shower will vary. But a good rule to keep in mind is to always start with washing your hair ahead of everything else.
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This ensures that any runoff of shower water containing buildup of product and dirt from your hair and scalp doesn’t wind up clogging the pores on your face. As for products, give in to a little indulgence and nourish your hair with a nutrient-rich hair mask first, followed by a thorough shampooing. If you’re the type to frequent hair styling gels, waxes, or sprays, clarifying shampoos or scrubs are your best bet for a proper cleanse.
Then pick a conditioner of choice to seal in all that goodness to properly enhance your hair texture. But don’t leave your conditioner in for too long, as it could clog pores and lead to a breakout of backne.
As for facial care, we recommend using any facial washes containing a small dose of alpha hydroxy acids to peel away layers of dead skin cells for a more even-looking complexion. Next on the agenda? The rest of your body.
An exfoliating scrub takes precedence at this point, to help level out your skin tone and texture. Avoid physical exfoliants such as loofahs or pumice stones that can potentially lead to microscopic abrasions, and opt for more gentle chemical exfoliants such as salicylic acid instead.
Once done, this makes your skin the perfect canvas for shaving if you need to. Follow through with a body wash; depending on the condition of your skin, you may want to pick between a more nourishing formulation to rehydrate it. Rinse clean after.
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As you step out of your shower feeling damp and (hopefully) at complete ease, this is the most opportune time to reach for your body lotion. Always apply lotion on damp skin to lock in the maximum amount of moisture into the skin layers, before patting yourself dry with a fluffy towel.
i have a mask on
The same rule applies to your facial skincare routine, with toner and any serums from your arsenal, before sealing it all with a moisturiser of your choice. Bonus points if you’re using a moisturiser enriched with hyaluronic acid, as its humectant properties will draw in moisture from the damp air generated during your shower for extra juicy skin.
If you’d like, feel free to go the extra mile with a facial massage using a roller or gua sha tool. Otherwise, just bundle yourself up in your favourite bathrobe, take a seat, and let languid relaxation put you at ease.
Feature and hero image credits: Ron Lach/Pexels, Jill Burrow/Pexels
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur