Something that I enjoy doing from time to time is treating married couples to a hotel night on me. As a marriage life coach, I am a huge fan of marital intimacy (which is a polite way of saying that I want husbands and wives to have sex, just as much as they possible can). Well, one time, when I extended the offer to a particular couple and I told them that a jacuzzi bathtub was included with the room, I'll never forget what the husband said. "Shellie, that's sweet of you but baths are nasty to me. Who wants to soak in their own filth? The only way that I'll do a bath with my wife is if we take a shower together first." Hilarious. But I get it.
You know, I've written a few articles, shouting out the beauty and benefits of bathing on here before (check out "Did You Know There's A Right & A Wrong Way To Take A Bath?" and "Make 'National Bathtub Party Day' Your Favorite Day Of The Year"). But if you happen to be a lot like the husband that I mentioned or you're simply too pressed for time to always have a long hot soak, I've got a few ways for you to make your showers feel just as pampering and tranquil as if you were taking a bubble bath. All you need to do is apply the following 10 tips and your shower will miraculously turn into your very own at-home spa.
1. Upgrade Your Showerhead
Before we get into anything else that can help you to feel super pampered while you're taking a shower, it's an absolute must that you reevaluate your showerhead; after all, this one upgrade can literally change your entire showering experience for you.
Your best bet is to look for a showerhead that sprays in a wide pattern and offers up a good amount of water pressure. Budget-wise, it's also smart to look for a low-flow showerhead because they can save you as much as 60 percent of the water that you would use without one.
If you really wanna take things up a notch, you can even get shower light showerhead; one that comes in a variety of colors (like this one right here). As far as what a great showerhead costs, you can expect to pay somewhere between $50-100. But when you stop to think about how many showers you take a year, that's pennies in comparison to all of the luxury that it will provide. If you want some help with selecting the best showerhead for you and your personal needs, Consumer Report has a guide right here.
2. Apply a Mask Before Showering
Something that a spa treatment does is rid your body of built-up toxins. Well, one way that you can do that at home is to apply a mask. It can be a mask for your face or even a mask for your armpits, which is where a lot of toxins tend to go unnoticed (check out "When's The Last Time You Detoxed Your Armpits?"). Some other reasons to consider applying a mask, once a week, is it can also refine your pores, firm your skin and even your skin tone. A bonus is, if you apply your mask and let it sit for about 15 minutes before hopping into the shower, you can easily rinse it off once you're in there, so there won't be any mess that's left behind. The Healthy is a site that offers 13 DIY facial mask recipes (that you can also use on the rest of your body). You can check them out here.
3. Buy a Spa Robe
I don't even know a lot of people who own a bathrobe anymore. If you don't, there really are some benefits that come with getting yourself one. On the practical tip, if you invest in a microfiber robe (which is the route I would suggest), they're absorbent (so you can walk right out of the shower and put it on), along with being mold, mildew and stain resistant. On the pampering tip, they also feel really soft and super fluffy. And, if you throw any kind of bathrobe into your dryer for 15 minutes before getting into the shower, your robe will have you feeling so warm 'n cozy that you'll never wanna get out of it.
4. Get a Suction Wine Glass Holder
Some of y'all would like to take a bottle of wine with you everywhere you go. Chile, I already know! If you're unapologetic about being in that number, did you know there is such a thing as suction wine glass holders? A company called Sip Caddy has 'em so that you can have a glass of wine (or a can of beer or anything else you like to drink) while showering or soaking in the tub. Just when you think they've thought of it all, chile.
5. Bring a Plant into Your Bathroom
If you've never had a plant in your bathroom before, I might be able to convince you to consider it.
For starters, putting a plant in that room of your house is great because they are really good at absorbing excess humidity and bacteria. Plus, plants have a way of reducing stress levels and helping to put you into a good mood (which is great to know if you happen to wake up on the wrong side of the bed). And, if you get a shower plant specifically, they're so low-maintenance that you don't have to worry about giving them the kind of attention that other plants in your house may require.
Another cool thing is, greenery being around you while you're showering, creates an atmosphere that is oh so tropical and serene. It can literally make you feel like you're someplace else for those few minutes that you're washing up. (You can read up on a list of plants that are ideal for your shower here.)
6. Install a Bathroom Diffuser
Every time I've gone to a spa, something that I really liked was how good it smelled, in every room that I entered. If you want to experience a delightful scent to your own bathroom, how about installing a bathroom essential oil diffuser? It's pretty much a device that distributes essential oil evenly throughout a room. Not only can using an essential oil to disperse various oils pamper your sense of smell, but essential oils can also help to purify your bathroom space as well. Plus, a diffuser is a lot safer than using candles (that could catch fire or burn you). Therapeutic scents for your spa shower time include citrus, peppermint, lavender, sandalwood, neroli and vanilla.
7. Invest in a Shower Bomb
Another approach to achieving diffuser results without actually purchasing one is to get yourself a few shower bombs (some call them shower steamers, by the way). All you've got to do is place one down close to your drain (not too close or it will dissolve really fast). Once you turn the water on, you'll start to notice a dense fog along with a smell that is absolutely amazing. It all will seem as close as you can to being in a sauna without actually being in one. There are plenty of places where you can buy shower bombs (Lush has a cute and affordable collection). Or you can always customize your own. They're really not that hard to make at all. You can check out a few DIY videos here, here and here.
8. DIY Your Bath Wash
One of the reasons why I'm such a fan of homemade bath washes is because a lot of the popular commercial brands contain chemicals that can irritate your skin or throw off your skin's pH balance. This is especially the case when it comes to vaginal washes (check out "Love On Yourself With These 7 All-Natural DIY Vaginal Washes" and "Are You Washing Your Vagina Correctly? You Sure?"). But really, if you want your skin to feel and smell divine, from head to toe, without worrying about what is in your body wash, you can always make your own. Hello Glow's got 11 recipes that are really easy to make and can keep your skin feeling really soft. You can cop 'em here.
9. Try Some Exfoliating Sponge Pads
Each of us sheds somewhere between 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells on a daily basis. Thanks (but no thanks) to dirt, sweat and humidity, sometimes those cells get stuck and can lead to breakouts and dull-looking skin. Something that can help to prevent this from being an issue is exfoliating your skin. Some other reasons why it's a good idea to exfoliate on a consistent basis is it helps to detoxify your pores, increase blood circulation and keep ingrown hairs at bay. While I'm personally a huge fan of DIY body scrubs, another convenient way to exfoliate your body as you're taking a shower is to get yourself some exfoliating sponge pads. They're pretty easy to find. Even most local Walmarts carry them.
10. Apply Some Scented Body Oil Before Getting Out of the Shower
A lot of you have probably heard of sealing the ends of your hair before. Basically, it's a process that consists of locking in your hair's moisture after washing it, so that your ends don't become dry and brittle.
Well, if you want to lock in the moisture that you just received from taking a shower, it can never hurt to "seal your skin" too. All this consists of is applying a relatively light carrier oil like sweet almond oil, avocado oil or grapeseed oil onto your skin, right after you do your final rinse and right before you dry off. Let the oil sit for a couple of minutes and then use your towel (Oprah offered up a list of some of her favorite ones this past July; the list is here) to pat yourself dry.
If you really want to bring a perfect end to our shower spa experience, add 5-7 drops of your favorite smelling essential oil to the carrier one. Oh, and if total relaxation is what you're after, lavender, jasmine, rose, lemon balm and patchouli, will all have you feeling like you are walking on a cloud. You'll be smelling and feeling truly wonderful; like you just spent a mint on a spa day, when all you did was walk into your very own shower.
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