If you were exhausted by the idea of a 10-step skincare routine, you might not be prepared for the latest trend exploding on the internet: The “Everything Shower.” This lengthy bathing ritual is the complete opposite of a quick shower and features soothing scalp scrubs, moisturizing body lotions, hydrating face masks and so much more. But we have to ask, is the trend a bitexcessive or a solid form of self-care? We tapped a few board-certified dermatologists to share their opinions on the latest trend.
TikTok Fact Check: Is the "Everything Shower" Trend Excessive or a Healthy Self-Care Practice?
We asked the experts.
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Meet the Experts:
- Dr. Brendan Camp is a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City, who specializes in treating conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, moles and skin cancer. He also does cosmetic treatments such as Botox, lasers and the use of rejuvenation devices.
- Dr. Bradley Glodny is a board-certified dermatologist and owner of Park Ave Dermatology in New York City, who specializes in general and cosmetic care such as acne, skin conditions, skin cancer and laser/light therapies. He’s also a cosmetic professor at Columbia University.
- Dr. Toral Vaidya is a dermatology resident physician with an interest in skin of color, cosmetic dermatology and skincare education. She has over 10 years of experience in clinical research and medical writing, including the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
What Is An "Everything Shower"?
The “Everything Shower” is an extensive process that focuses on skincare, haircare and body care. Also known as the “elevated shower routine,” it’s broken into three parts: pre-shower, shower and post-shower to thoroughly cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize from head to toe. Depending on your commitment levels to it, the “Everything Shower” can take up to a few hours to complete, so you might want to cancel the rest of your plans for the day.
What Are the Benefits of An "Everything Shower"?
The obvious answer is that it cleanses your body and hair. However, it can offer you so much more.
- It can build healthier habits. This trend allows you to experiment and find out what your body needs in the shower. It also encourages a moment to slow down and show care for yourself through each step. “I call these ‘functional everything showers’ because you can efficiently perform some of your self-care treatments that would have otherwise been done in separate sittings. You can become consistent with your weekly exfoliating, shaving or conditioning routines,” says Dr. Glodny.
- It can help address skincare and haircare needs. “An ‘everything shower’ gives you an opportunity to address multiple skincare needs,” says Dr. Camp. “For example, you might consider using a weekly cleansing shampoo to remove excess residue and oil, a nail brush to clean out debris underneath nails, a hair mask to provide intense hydration to dry ends, a foot rasp to remove calluses and a body scrub for exfoliation.”
- It can improve your mood. “At the end of the day, an ‘Everything Shower’ is an indulgence. While the shower primarily addresses physical concerns, the therapeutic benefits of self-care can also improve your mental health,” says Dr. Camp.
Is This Trend Worth Trying Out or Is It Too Excessive?
Short answer: It depends. As Dr. Vaidya explains, it all comes down to personal preferences. “Complex, multi-step routines don't necessarily mean you’ll get better skincare results, compared to simpler alternatives. That said, individuals who like to indulge in lengthier self-care rituals may find the ‘everything shower’ enjoyable and reap its associated benefits,” she says.
Regardless of where you stand on this trend, you should still tread lightly to avoid damaging your skin. “You want to do everything in moderation. Developing a routine can be healthy from a physical and psychological perspective, but spending too much time in the shower, using too many products, wasting water or driving up your water bill can have its own consequences,” explains Dr. Camp.
What Are the Downsides to This Trend?
We mentioned a few already like using too many products and wasting water. However, the biggest concern with the trend is spending too much time in the shower, which can affect your skin and hair. “Prolonged showers can strip the natural oils of your skin, which are important because they keep your skin moisturized,” explains Dr. Camp. “People with dry or sensitive skin may also want to skip some of the steps to avoid the risk of exacerbating dry skin or eczema.”
How Often Should You Do An “Everything Shower”?
Dr. Glodny recommends doing an Everything Shower once a week or once a month if you have sensitive skin. “Do not perform an ‘Everything Shower’ every day since this will likely dry out your skin and possibly lead to overexposure to harsh products and fragrance,” says Dr. Glodny. It’s totally up to you what day you pick, but our experts suggest Sunday as a way to wind down and get ready for the week ahead.
A Step-By-Step Guide to The Everything Shower
There is no right or wrong way to take an “everything shower”. You can add or remove any steps that you aren’t so keen on trying out. Just remember to have a pre-shower, shower and post-shower plan. To get you started, we devised a step-by-step guide below.
In the pre-shower phase, focus on prepping your skin and hair.
- Use a dry brush to exfoliate. It helps remove dead skin cells and increase blood flow.
- Add a scalp treatment to your hair. Whether it’s a scalp scrub, oil or mask, this step can help lift any dirt, oil or product build up.
- Prep your actual shower. Throw in some shower steamers or eucalyptus plants to bring a relaxing scent to your bathroom. And pop on a filtered showerhead to really elevate the experience. One more thing: Dr. Vaidya suggests using lukewarm water to prevent stripping your natural oils, which can and lead to dehydration.
This step is the main event—the reason we’re all here, folks. Start from the top (your scalp) and slowly work your way to the bottom (your toes), so you can get a thorough clean and prevent future breakouts.
- Rinse out your scalp treatment and apply a shampoo. Use a scalp massager to really get the shampoo into your scalp. Again, you want to remove any grime so you have a clean base for the rest of your hair care routine.
- Apply a hair mask and detangle each section. The hair mask will moisturize and strengthen your hair. Once applied, just wrap your hair up and continue onto your body care.
- Grab a body scrub and exfoliate your body. Similar to your scalp scrub, you want to remove dead skin cells from your body. Use an exfoliating glove or do it by hand by gently rubbing a scrub over your body in circular motions before rinsing. Tip: “Over-exfoliating the skin can lead to damage of the skin barrier. For individuals with dry, sensitive or eczema-prone skin, I recommend avoiding harsh scrubs. Instead, I prefer the use of alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic and glycolic acid, which provide gentle exfoliation for the skin,” Dr. Vaidya adds.
- Use a body wash or soap to cleanse your body. This is the time to pick up a luxuriously scented product that smells like a dream. This is your at-home spa after all.
- Rinse out the hair mask. After finishing your body care, wash out your hair mask.
Note: Shaving is completely optional. There’s no shame in the body hair game. If you do decide to shave, we suggest doing it after exfoliating since your skin will be smoother and prepped. Other than that, make sure you have some shaving gel on hand to prevent nicks.
Now that the shower portion is done, it’s time to focus on your face, styling your hair and moisturizing your body. According to Dr. Vaidya, by saving your skincare routine for last, you can prevent clogging your pores and potential breakouts from all the products you used in the shower.
- Do your styling routine. This will vary based on your hair type. Implement your leave-in, styling cream or hair oil to maintain moisture, improve shine and strengthen strands.
- Wash your face with cleanser. Consider doing a double-cleanse (aka using an oil-based cleanser followed by your regular cleanser) before rinsing.
- Use a face scrub to exfoliate. Your body and hair already got the royal treatment, so give your face some love, too.
- Do your skincare routine. Whether it’s a simple 3-step routine or a comprehensive 10-step one, take a few extra minutes to indulge here.
- Apply body lotion, balm or oil to your body. After putting your body through dry brushing, scrubs and body wash, you’ll want to add some moisture back to your skin. Dr. Vaidya suggests moisturizing the skin while it’s slightly damp as this “allows the products to absorb more effectively and the skin to retain its moisture content.”