We’ve all had that, “aah!” moment when we’ve stepped into a warm shower after a long, stressful day and felt our worries wash away. And these days beauty influencers are turning that old stress-relieving practice into a new trend called an “everything shower.” The basic idea behind it is that you set aside some time and create a spa mood with music and nice lighting and then take your time as you go through a complete beauty routine. All it takes is a quick scroll through TikTok and you’ll be inundated with videos from influencers eager to share their detailed showering routines — and I wasn’t the only one curious about this trend as videos on the app tagged with #everythingshower have over 450 million views.
Judging by the videos I watched, like the one below from TikToker Cheyenne Schug Hertzig, an everything shower is a self-care practice involving doing a number of beauty treatments before, during and after showering.
To learn more about this trend and its benefits before testing it out myself, I turned to pros. Read on for all you need to know about an everything shower.
What is an everything shower?
“An everything shower consists of many different steps to cleansing and nourishing hair, face and body,” says Marisa Garshick, MD, a dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Cornell, New York Presbyterian Medical Center. “It also involves pre-shower steps as well as post-shower care.” Now, we’re not talking about the usual everyday routine of simply washing your hair and body — an everything shower can include literally everything from a scalp massage to a foot detox, head-to-toe body scrub session and more. “Plus it provides a holistic self-care experience, promoting relaxation and mindfulness while attending to multiple aspects of personal grooming,” adds Justine Kahn, esthetician and founder of Botnia Skincare.
The mental-health benefits of an everything shower
While it makes sense that an everything shower offers skin and hair benefits, I was intrigued by the mood-boosting perks. Devotees of this trend say it helps relieve stress and lift their spirits. For many fans, like TikToker Kaytlyn Briegge shared in the video below, an everything shower is a weekly or monthly self-care ritual, where they feel free to make themselves a priority.
“Self-care rituals, like an everything shower, are activities that are so empowering to women,” says Diana Raab, Ph. D., self-care expert, blogger at PsychologyToday.com and author of Writing for Bliss. “Self-care involves taking care of your mind, body and spirit so that you’re more alert and more self-aware, which leads to feeling good about yourself.” This is especially beneficial for those of us with lots of responsibilities, whether they be personal to professional or community-based, as Rabb says engaging in regular self-care rituals helps de-stress, decompress and minimizes the chance of fatigue and burnout.
Why it’s important to practice self-care
The beauty of an everything shower is that it allows you to take a break and treat yourself with kindness and self-compassion. And research shows that when we feel cared for, it boosts the production of feel-good hormones like oxytocin and endorphins. In turn, Raab says this can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body.
Ways to up the mood-boosting benefits of an everything shower
Additionally, you can further enhance the mental health benefits of an everything shower with a few more touches. “Adding music to your self-care rituals can be very calming and healing,” says Raab. “Certain music can lower the cortisol levels in our body which lowers the stress level, heart rate and blood pressure, and using a scented candle, such as lavender, can also be calming.”
Avoid taking everything showers too frequently
One caveat: If any positive activity becomes more of a habit than a ritual — especially if you feel obligated to do it — these mental health benefits wear off. So there’s no pressure to feel you have to do an everything shower too often. Once every other week or once a month is a good guideline for taking an everything shower.
And the frequency of an everything shower depends on individual preferences along with skin and hair types. “It’s generally recommended to avoid overly frequent everything showers, as over-exfoliation and overwashing can strip the skin and hair of natural oils,” says Kahn. “For most people, you might just want to do it once a month — and that’s perfectly fine.” She says it’s best to “adjust the frequency based on your skin and hair’s specific needs and any signs of sensitivity or dryness.”
How I tested out an everything shower
It seemed like an everything shower would be an awesome way to cap off a hectic weekend, and gear up for a busy upcoming week. So I was excited to get started and decided to try it on a Sunday — partially because it meant I could put off starting my most hated chore of the week: dealing with the laundry situation for my family of 5. To begin, I broke it down into different phases, pre-shower, showering and post-shower in order to easily keep track of all I wanted to accomplish and the products I’d need close at hand.
I also asked Dr. Garshick if there was a particular order it would be best to follow. “In general, it is best to do shampoo and conditioner first, prior to body wash and rinsing your body to ensure any remaining residue is washed off,” she said. “Then, exfoliating is best performed prior to shaving, and it is always important to finish up by moisturizing the skin right after getting out of the shower to keep it supple.” Her advice was similar to the suggestions offered in a viral video (see below) by TikToker and dermatologist Lindsey Zubritsky, MD.
So armed with all that knowledge, I headed to my bathroom and began my everything shower process.
Pre-everything shower routine
I started by lighting a vanilla-scented candle, turned on a calming music playlist and gathered my towel and robe. Then, as the water heated up, I dry brushed my body from shoulders to ankles, using circular motions for 2 minutes.
During my everything shower routine
After getting in the shower, I did my usual reverse hair washing routine, and while I let my conditioner set, I washed my face with an exfoliating cleanser. Once I rinsed out my shampoo, I followed up with a Korean washcloth and an exfoliating body wash. Then, I slathered on shaving cream and shaved my underarms and legs. I also rubbed ¼ tsp. of brown sugar on my lips to exfoliate them as well. And I gave my feet some TLC with a scrub, followed by a final rinse before turning the water off.
Post-everything shower routine
As soon as I stepped out of the shower, I lightly dried off with a patting motion using a fluffy towel and quickly applied body lotion. I followed that with eye cream, face lotion and a dab of Aquaphor on my eyelashes, lips and cuticles. Lastly, I massaged foot cream into my tootsies. All in all, I spent just over an hour in the bathroom — and while that seems like a lot of time, it was worth all of the effort.
Afterward, I ran my routine by Kahn and asked how I did. “The combination of dry brushing, exfoliation and moisturizing can promote smoother, softer skin and improve circulation,” says Kahn. “All this together can potentially reduce the appearance of cellulite, and promote a healthy head-to-toe glow.” She also said doing a foot scrub toward the end of the shower ensures that thicker skin on heels is softer, and therefore more easily exfoliated.
Tips for customizing an everything shower
Kahn also provided some insight for how to personalize an everything shower based on specific skin and hair concerns. Her advice:
To repair dry, brittle hair
Pre-shower steps like a scalp massage with natural oils such as argan oil, or using a deep-conditioning hair mask can improve hair health, says Kahn.
To nix blemishes and age spots
Including facial cleansing, scrubs and masks help clear up and brighten skin. That’s because ingredients in these products help unclog pores and shed dead, discolored skin cells.
To alleviate dry skin
Applying various moisturizers and creams post-shower lock in moisture, preventing dryness and maintaining skin’s elasticity. In fact, studies show that applying moisturizer immediately after showering offers the best hydrating benefits for skin as it increases skin’s moisture levels.
To reverse dull skin
Kahn advises massaging skin with a sugar scrub for exfoliation, then follow up with body wash and shaving, if necessary. This will whisk away an accumulation of dead, dry skin cells to reveal glowing skin.
The products I used for my everything shower
Sonoma Goods For Life® Holiday Cookies Single Pour 14-oz. Candle Jar (Buy from Kohl’s, $14.99)
To enhance the relaxing benefits of an everything shower, lighting a vanilla-scented candle infuses the bathroom with a soothing aroma. In fact, research shows that the fragrance of vanilla reduces stress and anxiety.
EcoTools Dry Brush (Buy from Walmart, $5.98)
As Kahn mentioned above, dry brushing skin improves circulation, which can help flush bloat-causing trapped toxins and excess fluids.
OGX Damage Remedy + Coconut Miracle Oil Conditioner (Buy from Ulta, $10.69)
Coconut oil in this conditioner is packed with fatty acids that restore moisture to dry, brittle hair. Plus, protein in the oil strengthens strands to prevent breakage and shedding.
It’s A 10 Miracle Shampoo Plus Keratin With 10 Benefits (Buy from Ulta, $25)
Rinsing hair with a keratin-infused shampoo mends damage and fortifies hair at the root to thwart fallout. And using it in a reverse hair washing routine removes and heavy residue from conditioner so hair looks voluminous.
GOLDSANGSA Songwol Washcloth (Buy from Amazon, $4.70)
Used in Korean spas, these exfoliating washcloths whisk away dead skin on the face and body. They can be used alone or with body wash to leave skin feeling baby-soft.
A Thousand Wishes Exfoliating Glow Body Scrub (Buy from Bath & Body Works, $17.95)
Following up with this warm floral scented scrub removes any lingering dry patches. What’s more, it also contains vitamin E that moisturizes skin to further alleviate dryness.
eos Shea Better 24H Moisture Shave Cream (Buy from Ulta, $5.99)
Unlike traditional shaving creams, which can dry out skin, this one is made with shea butter that deeply hydrates skin. Plus, the butter “swells” hairs and props them up to help you get a closer shave.
Billie Razor Starter Kit (Buy from Walmart, $9.97)
This five-blade razor was designed with sensitive skin in mind as the blades are surrounded by an aloe-infused shave soap bar. The bar creates a barrier between skin and the blades to prevent razor burn.
Heel to Toe Natural Lava Rock Pumice Stone (Buy from Sally Beauty, $7.99)
At the end of a shower (once warm water and steam have softened skin) is an ideal time to use a pumice stone on feet. The exfoliating natural stone gently removes a buildup of rough skin on the feet and heels.
Olay Regenerist Hand and Body Lotion with Niacinamide (Buy from Walmart, $9.97)
Slathering this lotion onto skin post-showering allows its niacinamide (aka vitamin B3) content to penetrate skin more deeply. And the vitamin hydrates, brightens and tightens skin to help it appear youthful fast.
e.l.f. Cosmetics Holy Hydration! Illuminating Eye Cream (Buy from Ulta, $10)
Applying facial skin care shortly after taking a shower also allows it to sink into skin better, especially more delicate skin around the eyes. And this eye cream that contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and skin-firming peptides plumps skin is a great remedy for reducing crow’s feet.
Burt’s Bees Coconut Oil Softening Foot Cream (Buy from Burt’s Bees, $9.99)
Not just great for hair, coconut oil can also help soften rough skin on the feet. That’s because its fatty acids deeply penetrate skin to restore moisture, while its antioxidants mend any damage or cracks.
My takeaways after doing an everything shower
I thoroughly enjoyed the planning stages of my everything shower, and came out of the bathroom feeling lighter and brighter. But most importantly, I felt I could easily tackle my mile-long to-do list for the week. I even found myself humming as I began to sort the dreaded mountain of laundry later that evening.
So before I went to bed that night, I marked down a date in my calendar to schedule my next everything shower in two weeks time. As I discovered, the power of an everything shower isn’t at all about using the most expensive lotions and products, it’s about enacting a ritual of self-care. The everything shower might be the latest beauty trend, but taking a little time out of our week to treat ourselves should always be in style — after all, we deserve it!
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