TikTok often sheds light on wellness hacks, racking up millions of views and inspiring people to rethink everything from skincare routines and food combinations to, recently, taking a shower.
The “everything shower” is not new, but it's been getting traction on the platform recently as more users share their routines, suggesting specific rituals and recommending products.
What is an everything shower?
As the name suggests, an everything shower is an elaborate, time-intensive way of showering. Instead of a quick rinse, it involves various rituals — from dry-brushing and deep-conditioning to exfoliating and moisturising. The common denominator is breaking the shower down into three mini-routines: pre-shower, during shower and post-shower.
The idea is to create a luxurious pampering experience at home, similar to what you would have in a spa, where you would typically take time out to enjoy each step of the process.
Although an everything shower usually involves various products, Dr Balbous, a psychiatrist at Euromed Clinic Dubai, says its effect lies “in the power of setting a ritual”.
“It is not just about washing the body, rather it encompasses a range of self-care practices, such as lighting a scented candle and playing music while enjoying your me-time,” he tells The National.
“Research has indicated that rituals have a positive effect on our well-being because they support us in feeling safe, confident and comfortable.
“This particular one is about taking time out from the stresses of everyday life and being more attentive to oneself. It can promote a feeling of calm, as well as lessen anxiety and uplift the mood.”
Before the shower
An everything shower starts even before you enter the bathroom. You can play calming music to get in the mood, while organising all the products you will use, lining them up in chronological order.
Dry-brushing your body is another pre-shower ritual.
Ridah Syed, a senior medical aesthetician at Skinfluencer London, says dry-brushing can “stimulate blood flow, which will enhance your skin's glow”. It also removes dead skin cells and increases the effectiveness of a moisturiser.
Hair-wise, brushing yours before getting into the shower can help to loosen product build-up before shampooing, says Sam Carpenter, a hair artist and teacher at Eideal and Davines Arabia.
Mukta Purain, co-founder and chief executive of beauty marketplace MissPalettable, recommends oiling the hair before showering, citing her use of almond oil massaged on to the scalp 30 minutes in advance.
You can also throw in a shower steamer, which fizzes and releases essential oils, like a bath bomb does.
During the shower
Syed suggests checking the temperature of the water. “If it's too hot, it can strip oil off the skin, leaving your skin dehydrated and irritated,” she says.
The hair is usually the first point of treatment. Start with a cleansing shampoo to remove any products or residue, and follow it with a hair mask for hydration and conditioning, says Carpenter, adding that you can layer products — such as those that promote purifying, prevent breakage and add shine — to reap several benefits. Leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes or while you proceed to your body routine, then rinse thoroughly.
“I always recommend that the last rinse of the hair should be in cold water as this enhances shine,” says Carpenter.Wrapping hair in a microfibre towel can help with quick-drying.
In terms of the body, TikTok users are experimenting with exfoliate-shave-wash and wash-exfoliate-shave sequences for their during-shower mini routines. Many opt for exfoliating first to ensure products have ample time to work on the skin.
Syed recommends exfoliators that contain alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic or lactic) or beta hydroxy acids (salicylic) for oilier skin. “These are less aggressive than physical scrubs, which can irritate the skin,” she adds.
“Once you have applied the exfoliator, gently rub it upwards in a circular motion for up to 30 seconds before thoroughly rinsing it off.”
Shaving can follow exfoliation, after which you can apply a cleansing body wash and rinse.
Always finish with the face, say the experts. Syed recommends double-cleansing, which involves using two types of cleansers, an oil-based product followed by a water-based one.
“This is always the last step after I have washed my hair and body, so there is no residue on my face from the hair and body products,” she says.
After the shower
Once you step out of the shower, it's important to cool down after such a thorough cleanse. Syed suggests applying a body moisturiser after two to three minutes.
“I like to use a body cream rich in hyaluronic acid to seal the skin barrier and lock in moisture,” she says.
You can also use coconut, almond oil or marula oil for dry skin, says Rumpa Singh, head trainer of Urban Company's at-home salon service. A range of masks and lotions are also available for the feet and hands.
Next, it's time for facial skincare, which can involve up to 10 steps, as per K-beauty connoisseurs, although experts suggest finding one that truly fits your needs.
Typically, an extensive routine could look like this: cleanse, apply toner, apply serum, apply eye cream, use spot treatment, moisturise, apply retinoid, apply face oil and then sunscreen to finish.
Some people start by using an ice roller to “constrict the blood vessels, which enhances micro-circulation to your face”, says Syed. This can also enhance the absorption of the active ingredients of any other facial products you are going to use, she adds.
Alternately, if you don't have all the necessary products, you can opt for the regular three-step process: cleanse, tone and moisturise.