I know I'm not starting out with a very sexy one, but this is really important. And the fact is you're going to feel a lot more pampered if you know that what you're doing is actually benefitting your health and your skin!
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a three-year investigation of the country’s drinking/bathing water and found that water flowing to about 85 percent of the population contains 316 contaminants – of which over 60 percent have no safety standards and are not regulated by the EPA. Add to this the fact that our skin is our largest organ, and absorbs about 80% of everything we put on it within seconds. Finally, add a little hot water to open your pores and help accelerate the process even more. Yikes! No more mysteries about why hot showers make your skin dry and flaky. 'Nuf said, I think.
I like the Aquasana Premium Shower Filter. I have this on my standing shower and my baby's tub shower (where I use it to fill his bath with clean water). It's not the prettiest addition to your shower-spa, but makes up for it in versatility (with handheld nozzle) and health/beauty benefits.
Even the smallest spaces have room for a little comfort and style.
I am bathtub-challenged at my house, with our only tub in a Frog-themed bathroom (adorable, but not spa-like!). I make the most
of my small stand-up shower with this beautiful DecoTeak Shower Bench which provides the perfect shower version of "sit-and-soak" when you want to get off your feet after a long day.
Also, no shower spa is complete without a plant. Bring nature into your shower with this great idea from hgtvgardens.com. All you need is a suction shower caddy, and an orchid or other humidity-tolerant plant. For lower light, peace lilies are ideal.
to avoid direct immersion, and simply place your plant(s) inside. It's probably best to use shatter-proof containers, incase your shower
caddy decides not to cooperate, but if you stick to a lightweight plant option, you should be good to go.
Even though I've suggested a couple of additions to your shower environment, an overall minimalist approach is recommended. While you're creating your shower-spa, don't forget to de-clutter. Nothing will make you feel less pampered than being surrounded by a bunch of stuff. So, remove anything from the shower that doesn't make you feel serene when you look at it, AND anything you don't use routinely.
You're on a date with a VIP, so pull out all the stops with mood lighting and music. For lighting, if you're lucky enough to get some nice sunshine during the day, this might be the ticket. Evening requires a little more thought: You don't want the direct overhead glare of a typical shower light, and candles alone won't be enough light to support important parts of your routine (shaving comes to mind). One versatile option is to install a dimmer switch. If no one in your household is a DIY type, this is a quick and easy job for your handyman. Another option is to repurpose lighting you aren't currently using. I had a mini table lamp in storage that fit the bill for low lighting with a little flair. And of course, candles are always part of a great spa experience, especially when you don't need to shed much light on your routine. So if you have some attractive candles, light them up too!
A great time for hydrating, cool filtered water is a great choice for your shower spa. Add a wedge of lime for a flavor boost, or make infused water ahead of time:
To make infused water:
Simply fill a sealable container (preferably glass or PVC-free plastic: I use recycled Voss bottles) half way with bite-sized cubes and wedges of fruit. Fill to the top with water, seal and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours until desired strength is attained. You can keep or remove the fruit, and store for up to 2 days in refrigerator.
Include any combination of these super fruits:
For digestive support: lemon slices and mint leaves.
For detoxification: cucumber and watermelon.
For reducing inflammation: pineapple and berries.
Other shower spa beverage options:
Relax with some herbal or decaf. tea, OR . . . and I saved the fun one for last, a nice glass of wine. Try to stick to just one glass though if you're aiming for a good night's sleep. Studies show that more than one glass can lead to diminished sleep quality and even sleep disruption in the early morning hours, setting you up for a stressful day.
6. Suit Up.
This could mean different things for different people, but once you're all clean and pampered, you don't want to ruin the moment with a moldy old towel, scratchy robe or anything uncomfortable. Continue to pamper yourself with a favorite robe and fuzzy slippers, or some fancy lounge wear - even just re-naming your old-but-super-comfy jammies "lounge wear" might do the trick. It's whatever makes you feel good! Try keeping an extra pair of clean bed linens on hand so it's easy to climb into a fresh bed if you've been shower-spa-ing in the evening. Hopefully, you will be enjoying a great night's rest very shortly!