How to Take the Most Luxurious Shower Ever
A complete guide to making your basic morning routine feel like a spa retreat
For many of us a good bath is the epitome of luxurious body care: a tub full of the warmest water, a space to read or watch movies while your muscles relax in an epsom salt soak, a sheet mask gently pushing hydrating serums into your face and a big scoop of coconut oil nourishing your skin. Aren’t you relaxed just thinking about it?
But what if your home is sorely lacking a space to soak and float? Or what if you need a luxury bathing experience to get you out of bed in the morning but don’t have time for a soak? Perhaps you’re one of those people who finds baths revolting, but you know there’s got to be a bathing experience beyond your washcloth and sad bar soap.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you — here’s everything you need to make a shower feel every bit as indulgent as the world’s best bath.
Whether you have the world’s most beautiful glass-walled shower, a questionable dorm shower stall, or something in between; atmosphere is everything. If you’ve got a private washroom situation going on then dimmed lights, a nice vegan candle, and a soothing shower playlist is a good start. If you’re showering in a dorm or other shared washroom and can’t just surprise everyone with a candlelit shower setup or your favorite Enya tunes bouncing off of the tile, you can still set the mood for yourself with some waterproof Bluetooth earbuds. Drown out your roommates’ arguing and let the joy of a hilarious podcast in.
Okay, you’ve created your own little shower bubble where the lighting is tranquil and you’ve got listening material. Now is the perfect time for a face mask. More specifically, it’s the perfect time for a clay mask. Clay masks can be amazing for oily, congested skin but letting them dry all the way can be too drying for your skin — which actually causes more oil production. Throwing a clay mask on while you get ready for your shower means you’ll reap the benefits while the steam will help keep it from drying completely. I love Klei Beauty’s Coconut Milk and Chamomile moisturizing vegan clay mask that uses two types of clay to cleanse the skin and draw out pore-clogging oil.
Hop in that shower and run the water! If you’re not a big candle person or dimming the lights isn’t possible, you can still give yourself a little boost or a gentle come-down with some aromatherapy. Lush’s Shower Bombs give you all of the fun of a bath bomb but, as the name suggests, in a shower! I like the gently scented vanilla/lavender Koyaanisqatsi to help ease me into bedtime or for help shaking off a rough day. The (very aptly) named Not Sleepy bomb brings citrus-y brightness to your morning routine and pairs nicely with literally any caffeine source. Shower coffees are the shower beers of the morning. You heard it here first!
Getting clean is the first order of body care business and it’s also the most straightforward. Choose your fighter: bar or bottle. If you’re a soap fan, you can’t do better than Meow Meow Tweet’s gorgeous vegan soaps. Besides gently cleansing your skin and smelling incredible, they come in a compostable and recyclable box decked out with some very adorable animal illustrations. So adorable, in fact, I have one of them tattooed on my leg! May I suggest Lavender Lemon for bedtime and Grapefruit Mint for an invigorating start to your day? If you’re a body wash person, Indie Lee’s Energize Body wash is bursting with the freshness of eucalyptus and citrus. Just The Goods’ Cedarwood Body Wash feels much more lush than its $10 price tag and they also offer an unscented version if you’re sensitive to fragrance.
Making a shower into a true spa-like experience means elevating every aspect —and that includes washing your hair! That’s right, we’re not shampooing, we’re giving ourselves a scalp treatment. Scalp care has been a trending beauty category for a little while now and it’s one that shows no signs of slowing down. Anything that facilitates me giving myself a relaxing scalp massage is something I’m totally down for. Amika’s Reset Exfoliating Jelly Shampoo is filled with ingredients like sea salt and pink clay that help to keep your scalp free of flaky skin and feeling fresh. It also helps get rid of product buildup that weighs your hair down, and that can prevent conditioner and other hydrating products from reaching it. On a budget or don’t have the shelf space for a new product? Dip into your fridge and do an apple cider vinegar rinse after shampooing to gently exfoliate and clarify.
It’s time to do a hair mask! I’m not sure there’s a better feeling than emerging from a hot shower with a clean face and what feels like the world’s softest hair. Now that our strands are de-gunked and ready to receive nourishment, slather the mask of your choice on your hair from the nape of your neck down. If your hair is bleached or otherwise damaged/dry, feel free to use wherever it could use a little extra TLC. My curly bleach blonde hair needs to be coddled and Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask is what it craves when it’s hurting the most. It vegan keratin and rosehip oil-loaded formula help smooth damaged and dehydrated strands, making it look and feel silky smooth without using silicones. Got an avocado on hand? I’d be hard-pressed to find a vegan who doesn’t! Mash up half of an avocado and add a little sesame oil for a quickie DIY hair mask that softens and adds shine.
Now that your body’s clean and a hair mask is doing its thing, let’s say goodbye to your dead skin and say hello to your circulation with a little in-shower exfoliation. In order to conserve water, but still hop out of the shower feeling silky smooth and pampered, turn off the water while exfoliating. Herbivore Botanicals’ Coco Rose Body Polish is my holy grail vegan body scrub. It gently buffs away skin while leaving behind moisturizing coconut oil and shea butter and a subtle sweet, floral scent. Need a scrub, like, now and want something that you can pick up at Target but still feels decadent? Shea Moisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus Hand & Body Scrub is like a dreamy tropical vacation that you can rub on your body.
If you’re oil-averse or just not a big product person, a dry brush or an exfoliating mitt is the move here. Just make sure you are disinfecting or throwing your exfoliating implements in the washing machine regularly. And please never ever ever use any harsh physical exfoliants on your face, capisce?
The end is near — it’s time to rinse off. Make sure you get all of the product out of your hair, your face is mask-free, and there’s not bit of sugar scrub sticking around where you don’t want it. If you chose to dry brush or you skipped the exfoliation step altogether, now’s the time to give your body a last little bit of moisture before your shower is over and you have to re-enter the real world. Finish off your luxe shower experience by locking in moisture with a little self-massage with Lush’s brand-new Naked Shower Oils. The heat from the shower will help it glide over your skin and sink in, offering all-day hydration and a true head-to-toe glow.
For extra credit, you can slip into a dryer-warmed towel or robe. Real keeners can have a cup of warm tea waiting before you either slip into bed or your clothes for the day.
Whether you’re using it to cap off your day or get it started in the right foot, whether you’re going the full monty or just adding a luxe tweak or two to your usual routine, you should never settle for a mediocre shower.