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Have You Heard of “The Special Shower”?? Your Happiest Skin And A Confidence Boost Guaranteed

I have finally taken a shower SO SUBLIME that it has made all other showers pale in comparison. The shower that makes me feel like a million bucks. The shower that makes me look like a glassy, freshly-glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut. The shower that makes me want to curl up underneath clean sheets and rub my ultra-soft shins together for eternity like some kind of cursed cricket. If you saw me out and about after this shower, you’d say, “WOAH, is that a sleek, smooth land dolphin in front of me? Or wait…no…just a really clean woman?” And guys, it’s okay – it’s just me, Caitlin, a really clean woman! 

Here’s the deal: I know that as a fellow adult person, you’ve probably showered at least a couple of times in your life. And hey, after decades of experience, you’re probably pretty good at it, too! But I’m not here to talk about our standard bleary-eyed, auto-piloted, in-and-out morning rinse or the classic oh god, just let me get this gunk off so I can go to sleep nighttime soak. This one is BETTER. 

After almost 30 years of constant experimentation (with, uh, some questionable breaks between like, March and June of last year), I’ve nailed the formula and order that just works. I take this shower – hereby deemed the “special shower” – once a week, and it’s the closest thing to a reset button that I can create in my own life. I emerge feeling SO CALM on the inside and with skin that is (a.) glowing, quenched, and happy and (b.) fortified to stand another week of me bumping into things. And before I lose you, YES, there are before & afters below to prove my claims. I’m serious about this.

I’m going to jump right in and I’ll share the tools and products that have worked for me, but if you have any favorite shower essentials, please drop a name or link in the comments. Last week, you helped me find an everyday moisturizer (praise be) so I know y’all are a wealth of information. I’m just one gal with dry skin (part lizard over here), so let’s share our favorites so EVERYONE can find the perfect products for them. SPECIAL SHOWERS FOR ALL!!!

photo by tessa neustadt | from: modern old-world master bathroom

Timing Is Everything

This baby has to happen in the afternoon. (I start mine around 3 or 4 PM on Saturday.) Two reasons:

  1. You’ll be able to spend the rest of the evening luxuriating and appreciating the fruits of your labor. Remember how it feels to go on a vacation, get a little sunburnt in the morning, take a super relaxing midday nap, and then hop in the shower right before dinner? That’s the energy we’re channeling here. You’re setting the tone for the rest of the night – even simple things like eating dinner or watching Netflix or journaling on the couch (read: the only things I do) will feel extra special.
  2. GOLDEN HOUR. You, a person who is now shining like a stone plucked straight out of a river, are going to leave the bathroom and step into the most beautiful light ever. Nobody will be able to tell you ANYTHING. (I hope this is the post that spawns a million thirst traps.)

Make it Special

There are really 3 things you’ll need to set the scene – a beverage, lighting, and some music. I know that line sounds like it came straight out of a post called “Ah, Someone I Have a Crush on Is Coming to My House for the First Time, What Do I Need?!” but stick with me, okay?

  • A Drink: Shower beers aren’t for me and I don’t really have the space (or coordination) to risk bringing in a glass of wine (or barware of any kind, TBH), so I default to kombucha. Gingerade is my everyday flavor; Mango is my special Saturday flavor. Bring in whatever you want, but having a beverage in the shower is SO FUN, even if you only take a few sips.
  • Music: HUGE POINT. SO IMPORTANT. It’s not fun to stand in the bathroom for this long without a playlist. (This is the one I’ve been using lately – it’s my 2020 favorites; please don’t judge me.) I usually default to playing it straight my phone on full volume but if I’m listening to something SUPER mellow and quiet, I’ll break out an old Beats Pill I got when I worked there so I can actually hear once I’m inside the shower. Use whatever you have!
  • Lighting: Just change it up from your daily shower lighting. I like keeping the lights off and using this $10 candle, but it’s dealer’s choice here. Maybe you can go wild and use your canned lights instead of your vanity lights. GIVE IT A WHIRL!
photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: portland reveal: creating the dreamiest of master bathrooms

Break out the Dry Brush

Yeah, buddy, we’re putting in WORK before we even turn the shower on. Dry brushing was new to me and I only started because I wanted to slough off some winter skin manually, but it turns out that it’s SUPER good for you – dry brushing actually helps drain your lymphatic system and it increases circulation. (In fairness, I, a lover of woo-woo nonsense, had written this off as some wellness-y woo-woo nonsense until I googled it and found doctors confirming that yes, this is actually good for you BEYOND exfoliating. WIN/WIN.) I’m sure there are fancier brushes, but this one is $7, has a loop for your hand, and it works fine.

I do my dry brushing facing a window and I really like it because I can see the skin cells floating off of me while I scrub. It’s simultaneously very gross and very satisfying. (Also, it’s nice motivation to deep clean my bathroom more frequently.)

Exfoliate Dry (& Apply Other Specialty Masks)

This is where our actual routines may diverge a bit, but the ~general spirit~ will remain the same. If you have any specialty masks or cleansing products, break them out now! You can probably turn on the shower and let it start to heat up at this point.

But for me, I love starting with this cleansing balm – it simultaneously gets rid of dirt/grime/makeup/buildup while moisturizing. (I also love NOT washing my face in the sink, so being able to rinse this off in the shower is a real treat.)

Second, I really like this underarm mask. It’s not essential for everyone, but it’s $16 and really makes a huge difference – whatever’s in this definitely helps made my pits less stinky overall. You also really only need it once a week, so it lasts forever.

But third, AHHH. Let me sing the praises of this exfoliator. I’ve never found one I loved or that really worked for me – they oftentimes feel a little too oily or not gritty enough to get the job done. But this one, from Skinfix, is the perfect texture AND it’s applied pre-shower to dry skin. GUYS, I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. If you can splurge on a new exfoliator (it’s $30), I’d recommend this one in a heartbeat!!! But if not – or if you’ve already found a product you love – try applying your exfoliator of choice while you’re still dry. Newborn baby skin is en route!

Hop In & Shave (Round 1)

FOLKS, WE HAVE ENTERED THE SHOWER. We all have our own routines and preferences here, so skip ahead if shaving isn’t your thing! That said, the next step here is to rinse off – you’ll already be amazed at how baby-soft you feel after just dry brushing and exfoliating – before going to work on your legs. You can save any other bits for later (we’ll come back to them).

Pre-quarantine, I was a pretty vocal advocate for waxing (it’s so much easier for me because I am lazy), but I’ve grown to enjoy the process of shaving as I’ve perfected THE SPECIAL SHOWER process. These three razors were recommended to me by my own waxer and they all serve different functions: this super tiny one is great for intimate areas (ew, sorry for using that phrase, but I’ve tested and can confirm), this one is a great store brand product that does double-duty, and this metal one is a real top of the line investment piece that you’ll keep forever. (I don’t normally use shaving cream though, so if you have a good one to recommend for folks who need it, please drop it in the comments!)

Massage in Your Shampoo

Alright – you’re brushed, masked, exfoliated, and (partially) shaved. Next up: shampoo. You know your hair better than I do, so use whatever you have. My one ~special shower tweak~: add a massaging scalp brush.

I asked for one of these for Christmas via a Link Up (what good is the website if not for soliciting presents from your family???) and my mom delivered. Y’all, I love this thing, and I’ve been using it long enough to tell you that it’s actually stimulating baby hair growth. That’s not why I got it, though – it’s awesome at lifting your hair at the root and ACTUALLY getting your scalp clean. This thing’s a 10/10 and it’s the best $15 I have ever asked someone to spend on me.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: the final mountain house reveal (for now): all the details of my master bathroom

Apply Your Conditioner (Or A Mask!)

Ah, yes, the familiar order of shampoo and conditioner. Again, you know your hair, so use whatever conditioner or treatment makes the most sense for your hair.

But speaking of treatments, this is a great time to apply them – you’ll be in here for a while longer, so it’ll actually have time to work. (“Uh??? How??? Do I get in the shower and then get out???” – me, any time a hair mask says “apply to damp hair.” But NOW is the right time, pals! Your hair is damp and you have at least 10 minutes! Get wild!)

According to my hairstylist, my hair is pretty thin but very dense (tiny hair, lotta follicles – “like constantly walking through a spiderweb,” if you want a description from a boy I used to date), and this is a great treatment that adds moisture without weighing it down.

Serious Scrub-a-Dub-Dub Action

STOP READING. IF THERE IS ONE THING I CAN EVER CONVINCE YOU TO BUY, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LET IT BE A SCRUB CLOTH. Your loofah is garbage and it needs to go. This is WAY more effective, soap actually rinses out of it (no more standing around squeezing and rinsing, waiting for the water pouring down from loofah to run clean – girl, it never will), it dries super fast, and it’s also great for folks with mobility issues.

A scrub towel is rougher – it’s not necessarily like being kissed by kittens, like, you’ll feel it working – but it’s a game-changer. I could write another 1,000 words on how my scrub cloth changed my life (turned my skin a piece of silk) and how I use my scrub towel (folded up at first, then like a cartoon of someone scrubbing themselves after it’s fully lathered) or how much soap my scrub cloth has saved me (A LOT), but I’ll let the reviews do the talking. PLEASE GET A SCRUB TOWEL. The pack of 3 is $13 and it will turn you into an evangelist, too. This is the secret sauce of the special shower – it was my final, previously-missing piece. My whole body feels like your shins and ankles do after you get an awesome pedicure. I am smooth FOR DAYS.

When it comes to soap, though (you know, the stuff you have to put ON the cloth you’re about to fall in love with), I’ve been really surprised by the quality of this $7 Target find. It’s my mom’s go-to and I gotta say…Brenda’s got good taste. It’s super moisturizing and it smells awesome. I like to follow that up with this $8 underarm soap from Megababe because I am weirdly obsessed with the way my armpits smell – especially after switching to natural deodorant – and am on an eternal quest to make them smell like nothing all the time. (This helps.)

Shave (Yes, Again)

Yeah, just do it again. Full disclosure: I went to Catholic school and aced the whole “shave from the top of your knee sock to the bottom of your skirt” lesson, but clearly missed the whole “here’s how you get the entirety of your leg in one go without missing enormous patches” class.

Plus, if you’re trying to shave anywhere else, your skin is super warm and open and it’ll be more receptive thanks to all the prep you’ve done. Good job!!!

Cleanse Face & Rinse Off

The final step: start your skincare routine in the shower! I normally use Clinique’s cleanser because I love the exfoliating texture, but I recently grabbed one of these cleansing sponges to use with smoother cleansers, like this one from Glossier. If you’re super into skincare, you can see a ton of recommendations from a BUNCH of different EHD women with different skin types right here!

And pat yourself on the back, because your time IN the shower has come to an end. Now, it’s time to treat yourself outside of the shower.

photo by tessa neustadt | from: sylvia’s makeover: a quick bathroom refresh

The Cozy Essentials

A nice towel really is everything, folks, so I’m here to shout at you a little bit about the wonders of the bath sheet. TOWELS BE GONE, THIS IS A SHEET-ONLY HOME. Bath sheets are enormous, plush, cozy, and you’ll feel like a little kid getting wrapped up after a bath. They’re such a luxe, everyday indulgence – I grabbed these from Boll & Branch last year (thereby retiring the neon Target Room Essentials towels I’d had since 2009, RIP) and while I had originally balked at the price tag, they were absolutely worth the splurge.

I also love a memory foam bath mat – stepping out of the shower and on to something soft, drying, and bouncy NEVER gets old. This one from Target is only $22 and it’s not ugly (trust me – finding affordable, aesthetically pleasing, memory foam bath mats is a TASK).

And last but not least: the robe. THIS IS THE ONE. I’ve purchased this one from Brooklinen in a few colors (for what it’s worth, the white stays more stiff and “hotel,” while the colors seem to soften up a little bit more) and truly, NOTHING COMPARES. It also cleans up like a dream – I may or may not have splattered A LOT of plum sauce all over myself while wearing the white robe this morning (you DON’T eat dumplings for breakfast???) and the stains came right out without any special treatment. You’ll have this for a LONG time, so it’s 100% worth the investment.

Get Moisturized

Break out the body butter, guys. This is not the time for your everyday lotion – this is the time to use your special occasion, super-hydrating moisturizer. You’re going to be so soft and smooth – even if you didn’t shave – and now, it’s time to lock that feeling in. (As a side note, I cannot recommend grabbing a set of these $4 silicone brushes enough to help with application. I use one for face products and one for body products, and the brushes mean that I (a.) don’t waste any product under my nails and (b.) don’t have to stick my little paws in a million different containers.

I oscillate between these three moisturizers, but this whipped argan oil butter is my all-time favorite. I have it in the vanilla apricot scent and it is SO UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. The first time I used it, I woke up in the middle of the night and in my disoriented haze was like, “what smells so good?” and y’all, IT WAS ME. I WAS THE THING THAT SMELLED SO GOOD.

Since Josie Maran’s products really work for my dry skin, I also love her body butter with retinol. And I need to thank you, the readers – last week, I put out a call for a great, affordable, daily moisturizer and you delivered with the recommendations for Vanicream. It’s a great choice for every day and it means that I can keep my special moisturizers on hand for use after SPECIAL SHOWER. Thank you!!!

The End: Oil It Up

WE’VE MADE IT. THE FINAL STEP. I know that it’s been a long process, but this one was a surprise to me (even though it shouldn’t have been). Look, I know that oils help lock in moisturizers on your face…I just didn’t realize that it’d do the same thing for your body. These are products that I like, but I’m sure you could also just use, like, an ACTUAL oil of your choice.

First up: Fur Oil. If you have any body hair, this stuff makes it SUPER soft. (They also have a life-changing ingrown concentrate and if these two products sound like something you’d be interested in, I can’t recommend this duo enough.)

My final oil choice depends on what I have on the docket for the rest of the day. If I eschew my own advice and take a special shower early in the morning before spending a lot of time outdoors, I’ll top myself off with Supergoop’s Glow Oil. This stuff makes you look like you’re fresh off a beach – it’s just a little bit of long-lasting shine and I LOVE IT. (Plus, can’t hate on the SPF.)

But if I’m staying indoors, this shimmering oil has been a life-changer. It’s a super splurge for me so I only bought it per Em’s recommendation and dang, THAT LADY KNOWS HER BEAUTY PRODUCTS. She was right!!! This oil has a super subtle shimmer, locks in my moisturizer, and not to put too much value on a product, but like, wearing this stuff boosts my confidence by SEVERAL notches. I really, really, really love it. I will continue to pay $90 for this for the rest of my life because of what it does for my mental state.

Proceed as a Glowing, Dewy, Dolphin-Skinned Baby

look at that moisturization!! like a glassy glazed donut!
it’s a new arm!

That’s all, folks. For me, this takes about an hour and a half if I’m not rushing but it’s the best hour and a half of my week! Follow this with your standard skincare routine and leave the room as a whole new dolphin/person hybrid. Actions speak louder than words, so give this process a try and then let me know what you think. (Please!) I can’t really describe how delightful I feel after finishing this whole thing, so I just want to spread the joy.

But in the meantime…what are YOUR shower essentials? Any splurges that are worth it? I think this is my routine for the long-haul, but y’all are a persuasive bunch, so I could be swayed to add some new products to the arsenal…LET’S CHAT??? xx

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Tessa Neustadt | From: Portland Reveal: Creating the Dreamiest of Master Bathrooms


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77 thoughts on “Have You Heard of “The Special Shower”?? Your Happiest Skin And A Confidence Boost Guaranteed

  1. If you do want to take an adult beverage into your special shower, you can search for ‘wine tumbler with lid’ on Amazon. My husband got me one for bath time or patio time, due to my habit of knocking glasses over ALL THE TIME.

    1. haha it’s an ice skate blade! a VERY weird looking object. goes all the way to my armpit!

  2. “Dry brushing was new to me and I only started because I wanted to slough off some winter skin manually, but it turns out that it’s SUPER good for you – dry brushing actually helps drain your lymphatic system and it increases circulation.” Just NO. Enjoy the shower, spend your money on products if it makes you happy, but don’t talk about brushing your skin and improving your lymphatic system. That’s hooey.

    1. The lymphatic drainage from dry brushing is for real and suggested by doctors for both post-cancer and chemo!!!
      You’re supposed to start at the extremeties and brush towards the heart (from every direction).
      Follow the science. 👍

    2. @bobbi As a person with a very compromised immune system, dry brushing the correct way for the lymphatic system has been a game changer for me. There are proper how-to videos on YouTube.

  3. I read the headline and was skeptical, but this was hilarious and somehow I too want to become a dolphin/person now.

  4. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to devote this much time to a shower on a weekend (or any other day – it’s been hard enough to find time to dye my hair without the kids imploding – I really miss getting my hair done at the salon!!!) but I felt like I had done so after reading your process! Unexpectedly entertaining, fun and relaxing, and inspiring read. Great job!

  5. I’m not sure I buy into the lymphatic drainage side of dry brushing but if massage stimulates the body, then I suppose in theory it could stimulate the lymph system. Either way I think it feels so satisfying…tingly, itchy in the moment but so smooth afterwards! And in my world, which has been locked-down and pretty isolated for much of the last year, it’s the little things that lift my sense of wellbeing. And feeling good is half the battle, right.

  6. Ah, yes, my precious scrub cloth!! My Japanese mother-in-law first introduced me to these years ago and they are indeed life-changing! As an ultra-white (read: translucent) woman, these were never on my radar but are super common in Asian communities! They last forever, too, and don’t need to be replaced often.

    This was a great read! I may only get the opportunity for these kinds of showers a few times a year because tiny humans, hut reading about it had me living vicariously through you and will have to do for today!

    1. I love that you can run the Salux cloths through the laundry. Loofahs gross me out so much – how can you ever get them clean?! Salux 4ever

  7. I am a shower minimalist. I know it sounds weird but it’s always annoyed me how much time personal grooming takes. I do it, but grudgingly. Still, I did buy that scrub towel (on Caitlin’s recommendation in a previous post) and I can confirm it works really well. Definitely softer skin and it rinses out so easily. I might have to try at least a few steps of your “system.” 😉

    1. LouAnn, me, too! Shower minimalist and I bought the scrub towel. But whenever I tried spa experiences, I leaned toward the exfoliating ones. So whenever there are suggestions that support exfoliation, I’m on board. I think I’ll try the dry brush next.

  8. I’m so picky about bath towels. Everything else in a shower is second nature to me if my towels aren’t good quality. Chiming in to say that Hill House Home makes the BEST towels!! I bought two hand towels for my bathroom ($50 for two. So expensive but so worth it!) and not only are they quick drying and retain their shape after months of washing, they are very absorbent. They offer a set of the same towels for $200 😳 which I may splurge on when I’m a millionaire. Martex organic cotton towels are much more affordable and equally nice. I bought a set for about $45 on Wayfair years ago.

  9. ahhhh yes. i remember taking showers like this. before kids. it was such a fun process and my husband thought i was nuts. i would lay around after just letting all the moisture sink in. i don’t have that kind of alone time any more, but i’m going to try finding some time for it. even if it’s before they wake or after they go to bed.

    1. hard agree here. i’ve somehow convinced my 5yo that “super spa sunday” is a thing and we do kid bath and then mama’s shower- both with a little extra scrubbing and lotion. is it pure bliss? not quite, but it’s better than nothing. a sheet mask (for me, not the kiddo) always is fun too.

    2. I highly recommend an early morning shower! I don’t have kids but often get too busy during the day and am exhausted by the time the evening rolls around, especially I’ve had a very physical day at work. On the days when I wake early, exercise and then do my spa shower I never regret it and I feel great for the rest of the day, even though I hate the actual “getting out of bed” part…

  10. Usually EHD skincare posts leave me feeling like I’m not attractive enough as-is, but I appreciated the more self care vibe of this post. Once a week feels like a luxury instead of a societal obligation. And of course Caitlin’s silliness helps a lot <3 Luv you girl

  11. Oh, Caitlin … hilarious, as usual!
    But your “’what smells so good?’ and y’all, IT WAS ME. I WAS THE THING THAT SMELLED SO GOOD.” totally got me!😹
    I can imagine doing that!

    Now I wanna become a dolphin/person hybrid, too!🤗
    It’s inspiring!
    Who knew that a long post about a shower routine could be so good?!

    🌏 Please, choose a razor with replacement blades, NOT a plastic throw-away!
    🌏 Be wary of exfoliation products that have tiny ‘exfoliation beads’ in them (especially if they’re coloured – I see you, products with blue or pink beads!)… they’re usually micro-plastic and disgusting for marine life!!! (which is ultimately where everything ends up when it goes down the drain). There are heaps with natural and biodegradable exfolient particles.
    🌏 Choose products that are not tested on animals (aka: cruelty free). Coz, realky, who wants smooth skin that 250 monkeys and 60 kittens had to die to produce?!

    If we choose mindfully, the manufacturers produce the right stuff for us AND our planet = win-win.
    There is NO PLANET B 🌏

    1. I wonder about there shimmering oil, too. It says it has multi reflective sparkles in it. Would those be plastic, I wonder?

      1. Now that’s a good point!
        Things that are “pretty” aren’t necessarily good or a good choice.

      2. Looks like it’s MICA. Basically, the shimmery bits are ground-up minerals that, when applied in goo to stick it on your skin, they particles reflect light.
        Necessary? (No) Healthy choice? (Could clog your pores) Benefits? (Ego) Harms? (Digging up the Earth)

        “Mica is a naturally occurring mineral dust often used in makeup foundations, as filler in cement and asphalt, and as insulation material in electric cables. Workers in cosmetic manufacturing factories are at high risk of mica exposure through inhalation.[1]

        FOUND IN: Makeup products, shingles, wallpaper, insulation, cement and asphalt.

        WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: Mica, muscovite

        WHAT IS MICA? Mica minerals are often used as color additives in cosmetics.[2] They also have reflective properties, allowing for a shimmery effect in mineral foundations.[3] Long term inhalation of mica poses a health risk to workers, specifically those working in muscovite (the most common form of mica) mills and other occupations such as agriculture and construction work.[4]

        HEALTH CONCERNS: Irritation MORE…

        VULNERABLE POPULATIONS: Workers in cosmetic manufacturing factories, mines, mills, agriculture and construction work.

        REGULATIONS: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has set recommended exposure limits and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set permissible exposure for an average workday.[11]

        HOW TO AVOID: Proper industrial hygiene practices should be followed, such as appropriate.[12] Mica use in cosmetics is not a concern for consumers.”

      1. I thought twice about commenting because of my “I agree” with someone else’s comment about being sensitive to flippant comments about schizophrenia being removed, TWICE, a few days ago on the mentee post.
        But … I have to walk my talk, so I did the research and commented.
        I’m dwelling in reality and truth, rather than an echo chamber of plastic, placating rose-coloured ignorance.

  12. Caitlin, your posts are my favorite favorite favorite! I enjoyed every word of this. Me, an avid shower HATER. You’ve sold me! Bring on the dolphin skin!

  13. Okay been reading for years and never once commented…. but this was hilarious ( in the best way)! Caitlin you’re writing is amazing and had me laughing before my first sip of coffee this morning. Also, I’m counting down to nap time so I can try out this super sized shower, it sounds amazing! Thank you so much for this weekend pick-me-up read 🙂

  14. I cannot be the only one who assumed “special shower” meant you were going to talk about water proof vibrators.

    1. I thought it was going to be a spruke for a steam shower, because I have a feeling Emily will be getting one sponsored for the farmhouse!

  15. Love all these showering tips! May I suggest a few more after-shower essentials from my online shop?

    – 100% cotton Turkish bath towel (super large, soft and absorbent)

    – A separate smaller size towel to dry your hair (our “hand towels” are the perfect size!)

    – Turkish cotton bathrobe (made from the same weave as our classic bath towels, so it’s just as soft and luxurious). It’s great for lounging in the rest of the day/night too 😉

    – Cotton bath mat that’s beautiful AND washable! (One that’s pretty enough to leave out as a small rug.)

    We have lots of styles and colors on our website (I’m a woman-owned small business based in Maryland, and all items are ready to ship!)

    Happy showering!

    💙 Berna

  16. I love all of this and will indulge in many of these steps before my baby gets here and I forget what time is! My hot tip on shave gel is good old Doctor Bronner’s. I use the almond one and I think because it’s oil based it just leaves me so much softer. And it does double duty for body wash, and lasts forEVER. Not sure if the other scents have less oil, but worth a try!

  17. Please read this all in a very kind voice – I know it’s sometimes hard to provide feedback on the internet without it coming off harsh when you don’t know someone, but I also know this team has been wanting to think about diversity and inclusion more! A comment like “you DON’T eat dumplings for breakfast???” makes me realize how truly centered everything white is in our society. (Yes, I am a white person.) There is a huge portion of the population globally and in the US who eat dumplings as a very standard breakfast. So really, this call out is made to resonate with white people who likely do not think of dumplings as a breakfast food … thus it being odd (emphasis on DON’T???). I think this sentence could have been restructured to keep from stigmatizing and othering the eating of dumplings for breakfast. It might seem like a small thing, but these microaggressions add up, and a rather larger number of immigrant stories talk about how their food culture made/makes them feel othered for being perceived as “weird” among the white populous surrounding them. This sentence could have read “I may or may not have splattered A LOT of plum sauce all over myself while wearing the white robe this morning while eating dumplings for breakfast and the” … it’s the same message. If it was “weird” for you to eat dumplings because they were leftovers originally intended for dinner, my same sentence would work but just insert “leftover” between the words eating and dumplings. No need for the aside. Just a thought. The Asian community has been on my mind a lot lately with the news..

    1. This is a good point and I think you delivered it very kindly. I did not realize in reading that sentence the impact it may have (I just heard the humor that was intended bc I too am white). I really appreciate you taking the time to bring some awareness to me and other readers. Before learning about micro-aggressions I assumed they were small but intentional acts of aggression. This is a really good example of a potential micro-aggression as something completely innocent/unintentional but that can still cause harm and pain. Thank you.

    2. Thank you so much for this comment!

      I’m Asian American so yes, I did grow up eating dumplings and buns and rice porridge for breakfast. It’s always raised difficult feelings in me when people make comments that clearly leave out the immigrant community when discussing America or Americans (expat groups saying “what’s the weirdest thing your children like that they never would have if we still lived in America? And people answering with things I regularly ate growing up in LA…)

  18. Loved this post! Based on the initial image I assumed it was going to be all about the joys of a steam shower so I almost didn’t even read it. Don’t have one, can’t afford one – and even if I could I’m not thinking of ripping my shower out to install one. I really hate to take the time to shower and try to make it as quick as possible, but this gave me the truly great idea to make my weekend shower a little special. So good to be reminded that things don’t have to be all or nothing. Just because I don’t exfoliate with every shower doesn’t mean I can’t do it weekly! I am way to lazy for all those steps normally, but on the weekend I can certainly take a few xtra minutes for dry brushing and a good lotion after the shower. Those are the only two steps I can commit to at this point! And it seems they’d be sufficient for giving my skin and myself some xtra love.

  19. If you want to support a black female owned small company, I HIGHLY recommend the LuvScrub! I havent tried the Japanese scrub cloth but I think this is like the West African version. And the colors are beautiful. Happy showering 🙂

  20. Thanks for the scrub cloth recommendation!

    I love using a shave soap instead of shaving cream. You can get a super thick, creamy lather that feels luxurious. I like the unscented from Soap Commander but the scent with lime is also really nice!

  21. May I suggest putting a sprinkling of essential oils on your shower wall? When the shower starts to heat up, the steam hits the oils & makes your bathroom smell like a spa. I personally use eucalyptus, peppermint, & lavender. Scheduling some time out of my weekend to get this 1.5 hour shower party started, GREAT post!

  22. You are my favorite shiny land dolphin. Here’s a new shower situation I’ve just run into: I moved into an apartment with an “extra tall shower.” It’s an 85” tall corner stand up shower with a very small lip and I’m struggling to adapt to the smaller space. Please share tips for maximizing tiny showers so I too can become a land dolphin and join the pod!!

  23. I’m a nightly bath gal all the way (which I know is so bad for your skin!) but I may have to do this Saturday shower thang! I lived in Europe for a few years where I had some pretty intense exfoliation sessions (think husky woman in hip waders and a tortuous mitt with what felt like gravel scraped over my skin followed by a fire hose rinse!). Not to gross y’all out but the stuff that came off my skin was disgusting. She said it was from years of moisturizers and sunscreens. She said your body contains oils, not moisturizers, so return the oil to your skin. No moisturizing creams. For what it’s worth!

  24. Long time lover of a special shower and I would like to add the option of a yoga ball rolled into shower so you can sit and have a relax. I call it a “sit shower”. Xx

  25. Ohhhh Caitlin, what a gem of a post. Damn you for making me spend 💰 I have lived in Morocco, home to the aforementioned bulky ladies in shorts that scrub the f….right out of ya!. I was stupid enough to claim to my sister in law that I was clean as giant sheets of black guck rolled off my toxic skin 🤫. Nothing like getting nekkie with family in the hamamn spa. Love and miss them so much. I have been super lazy about self care of late. Who’s gonna see me, I know, I know MYSELF? So, I purchased must of what you recommended and give or take some more. 💋💋🤩🤩 Off to light candles, musify my bathroom and scrub…..

  26. You are funny AND authentic. What a great combo. The references to, “glassy glazed donut” and the rubbery, ultra-smooth skin of an unblemished dolphin make me want to buy a scrub cloth. Okay, just ordered one. My post-shower treats are Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Butter, and Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream. The hand cream is serious – so put it on right before going to sleep or right after you press play on Netflix. You don’t want that wine tumbler slipping out of your hands.

    1. I love the Nuxe oil! I stock up each summer when I go to France (my husband is French..)

    1. When I do things like this I don’t run the water the whole time, and a lot of these things happen outside of the shower itself – dry brushing, body treatments, masks, lotion, etc. I also turn the water off while shaving or exfoliating my body – my bathroom is very small so as long as I’ve been in the shower for a few minutes prior, the steam keeps the room warm enough. You could also run a bath and do a hair mask while you are soaking, and then just exfoliate and rinse before getting out! Although I know a lot of the newer bathtubs take a ton of water to fill up. Mine is tiny so you can take a pretty environmentally friendly bath 😂

  27. What could have been written in a few paragraphs was written as rambling and pointless essay. This is the last of your blog posts I will read. They have progressively gotten longer over the years only to waste the time of your readers. The opening paragraph is too long to hold my interest before the point/topic is even mentioned. You are not writing about biochemistry, but are writing about completely trivial subjects, so just get on with it.

    1. I would encourage you to ask yourself why you felt the need to post that statement. A TON of readers absolutely love Caitlin’s narratives. As you said, this is the last blog post of hers you will read. Now please reflect upon making that choice and NOT choosing to share it. I don’t understand comments like these. Do people forget that there’s an actual human being on the other end? Why do people feel so entitled to make rude comments to others?! I’m so tired of the cattiness I see in comments.

  28. It sounds like a fun idea and too bad I didn’t get to reading it until Sunday morning, but maybe I can do the special spa shower(bath) after Sunday hot brunch. (our new pandemic tradition is hot breakfast whenever we feel like it after coffee 🙂 )

    I agree bath sheets are the best. There are no “towel” sized towels in our home – only bath sheets.

    I recommend the Braun Silk Epil epilators (shave and use it on very short stubble and it doesn’t hurt). After epilating for a while the hairs grow back sparse and fine. And for shaving the Merkur safety razor. You can buy a variety pack of blades on Amazon to find the type that works best for your skin/hairs (e.g. steel, platinum, etc.).

    I think for me one thing I’d like to do more besides showering is soaking in the tub. I like to add Jojoba oil to the bath water. So soft afterwards!

    And foot soaking. (a few daily swipes with my pumice stone keeps my feet smooth and callous free) but soaking makes my feet so happy.

    Great idea to make this a weekly self care ritual.

  29. Great post….just did a 30 min version, still amazing!
    Will definitely be doing this a few times a week.
    I was also get in some subtle stretching whilst dry brushing.
    Best tip do it at 4pm or earlier, as you do feel so amazing after it.
    Thank you!

  30. My mom got 3rd degree burns when I was a kid (be careful with giant pots of boiling water, ya’ll, she almost died) and her doctor prescribed Vanicream. It used to be prescription only but now they release it to everyone. She’s been a lifelong advocate and I think it’s the only thing she ‘fangirl’s over.

  31. A lotion warmer! Originally purchased for a whining son, but now I won’t put lotion on any other way. He needs a thicker CeraVe cream but it does fine in the $25 warmer (specifically True Glow by Conair heated lotion dispenser) I got off amazon. Nothing better than warm lotion especially when getting out of a hot shower.

  32. You are such a joy to read. In so many ways. So approachable and all your posts well researched. You totally convinced me to try this! Thank you.

  33. as a long time NP in dermatology…. please please please do not exfoliate dry skin, particularly in winter… this is one of the biggest misconceptions. Dry skin is more prone to irritation and the last thing you want to do is rub it even more with a brush or with any type of exfoliating beads/grit/crap. I can’t tell you how often I see patients come in with red irritated dry skin because they have been abrading the crap out of it! Same goes with blackheads/acne. Do not scrub! Be gentle. Chemical exfoliation, such as salicylic or glycolic acids can be used when appropriate for acne-prone skin.

  34. “A cloud of spiderwebs” is EXACTLY how I describe my own hair, so I will henceforth be following you for any and all hair product recommendations!

  35. When we reno’ed our bathroom we added this fancy thing: it is a fan, an LED light ( great for makeup) that changes color and can be used as a night light, AND it is Bluetooth enabled so you can listen to music/podcasts/books etc. in the shower and actually hear them! It’s AWESOME!

    As a fellow lizard-skin person, I have found that simple baby oil works really well post-shower. Face-wise I like Tru-Skin Vitamin C moisturizer , and then Glysolid for hands/feet etc., used overnight.

    Off to get a scrub towel ASAP!

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