There are few things in life as relaxing and indulgent as a spa day, but finding the time and money for regular visits isn’t always possible. Luckily, you can bring a bit of that spa life into your daily shower routine.
If you find yourself sleepwalking through your shower routine when what you really want is a spa vacation, avoid these common shower mistakes and try these simple accessories to turn your shower into a relaxing spa.
Common Shower Mistakes
Check to see if you have any habits that are doing more harm than good.
Using high-temperature water
Although a blazing-hot shower can feel like the ultimate relaxation, overdoing it can leave your skin red, itchy, and irritated. Unfortunately, these are signs that your steamy shower is breaking down the skin’s natural barriers against pollution and infection. While many people prefer up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping it lukewarm (between 98 and 105 degrees) is ideal.
Over-washing your hair
If you’re washing your hair every day, you may be overdoing it. Washing your hair too often can result in more split ends; a dry, itchy scalp; and dandruff. How often you should wash your hair is tricky to figure out because it depends on your hair style, hair texture, age, ethnic background, and lifestyle. With all these factors, you could need to wash your hair every two to three days — or just a couple times a month.
Whatever your current habits, try cutting back on shampooing by one or two days a week and substituting in some dry shampoo as needed. Over time, your scalp may respond by producing less oil, all while looking and feeling better.
Over-using a razor
Using the same razor week after week is a shower faux pas. The more you use a blade, the duller it becomes, leading to more nicks and cuts. Not only is it a painful way to start your day, but it can also cause infections — especially since bacteria can grow among the dead skin and shaving cream that gets stuck in the blades.
How often should you replace your razor? That depends on how often you shave. How quickly your blade dulls depends on the quality of the blade and even the angle of the individual hairs it’s cutting. A good rule of thumb is to change your blade every five shaves. If you typically go a few days between shaves, consider rubbing a bit of alcohol on the blade to keep bacteria at bay.
Skipping the moisturizer and lotion
While being covered in water might seem like its own exercise in hydration, showering can actually dry out your skin, especially if you turn the heat up. While your body soaks up some water from your shower, your skin quickly releases it to evaporate away unless you lock it in.
Instead of toweling off at lightning speed and tossing your clothes on, spend a couple of minutes massaging in lotion on your body and moisturizer on your face to lock in that moisture. Your skin will feel hydrated all day long, and the right moisturizer can even help treat eczema.
Spa-Inspired Shower Products
It’s time to wash away the day — or start the day refreshed. Here are five ways to make your shower more enjoyable.
Play spa tunes on a waterproof speaker
If there’s one thing that can turn a ho-hum shower routine into an indulgence, it’s that relaxing music your favorite spa plays. Opt for a waterproof Bluetooth speaker paired with a spa day playlist, and you’ll find your tranquility. (Pro-tip: Set an alarm, too, so you aren’t late for work!)
Get a better showerhead
If you’re looking for a relaxing ritual but don’t want to overdo it on the water temperature, try switching your showerhead out for something that feels better — for under a hundred bucks. If there are multiple people in your household, multi-setting showerheads can help please everyone while giving you a little variety too. Use a massage setting to help relieve neck and shoulder tension, or relax in a soothing rain shower.
If you live in a drought-prone location or want to be environmentally conscious, don’t worry. Many of today’s low-flow heads have moved past merely pelting you with smaller drops to delivering a flow that actually feels good.
Up your haircare game
No matter how often you wash your hair, your routine could probably benefit from a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Although sulfates are common ingredients in shampoos and conditioners (they’re responsible for that foamy lather), these ingredients can strip your hair of its natural oils, fade color faster, and leave you with dry, damaged ends. So try going sulfate-free. And while you’re at it, consider adding a dry shampoo to help you cut back on shampooing altogether.
If you want hairless, baby-soft skin (and are grossed out about the fact that bacteria can grow in your razor), it may be time for a razor subscription. A subscription can save you money and help you remember to change out your blades without having to run to the store (all hairy!) for replacements.
If your new rainfall showerhead makes you never want to leave the shower, lure yourself out with the next step in your daily spa routine: Wrap yourself in a fluffy, luxurious bath towel. Consider buying a few of your favorites so you can launder them regularly. Towels that don’t fully dry out between uses can harbor mold and leave a musty smell in your bathroom and on your freshly washed skin.
Your daily shower doesn’t have to be a boring chore. With the right accessories, you can turn your routine into a chance to relax and indulge — all while avoiding the most common shower mistakes.