Our morning shower is often hasty, something we rush through before hurrying off to battle commuter traffic or the subway mob. It's a "wake up" shower. But an evening shower deserves more attention.
To get the most from your shower, have the following accessories close at hand:
- a shower cap or some big hair clips to hold back your hair
- shower gel
- a facecloth or loofah (the "skeleton" of a variety of dried sea cucumber)
- a nail brush
- a pumice stone or something similar
- an exfoliant (once or twice a week - no more)
- massage glove (not too often either!)
- body milk or cream
- body powder or talc
- one or two towels large enough to dry yourself off
Adjust the water from the showerhead to the desired temperature. Keep in mind that very hot water every day isn't good for either your skin or your heart. Once you're wet, place some shower gel on the facecloth. Soap up, working up a foam. Don't aggress your skin by scrubbing like a maniac! It's the foam from the gel that cleans the skin, not rubbing, and unless you work in a coal mine, you require only a normal degree of cleansing, so there's no need to strip the sebum and redden your skin by destoying its nautral protective layer. Instead of a facecloth, you could use a loofah onto which you've put the soap. A light exfoliant, it will leave your skin smooth and soft. You can even find loofahs in a strap shape so that you can wash your back.
Brush your fingernails and toenails well.
Run the pumice stone under your heels, toes and anywhere your skin is rough, dry or hard. A little buff with pumice stone on your knees and elbows will finish off your time in the water.
Dry off well and wait until your skin is totally dry before applying deodorant. The least trace of moisture will reduce its effectiveness.
Elbows and knees need special care if you want to keep them soft. After bathing or showering, get into the habit of rubbing a little olive or sweet almond oil onto them. To whiten them a bit, rub them with a lemon peel. You'll soon have the elbows and knees of a goddess!
Apply body milk, massaging lightly and moving towards your heart (feet > legs > heart / hands > arms > heart, etc.) If you don't like putting lotion on your body, choose a 2-in-1 shower gel that already contains a moisturizer. It's less effective, but better than nothing!
Finally, dust a little talc on your underarms, between and under your breasts, and anywhere else you think necessary.
You should now be clean and nicely scented!
Once or twice a week, replace your shower gel with a body exfoliant in order to remove the outer layer of dead skin cells. After you dry off, massage yourself lightly with a dry massage glove with just a little alcohol-based tonifying lotion or eau de Cologne (perfect for learning to dance the lambada)... and you'll be perfectly clean. Apply some lotion to your elbows and knees to make everything soft.
Don't make the mistake of exfoliating with a massage glove every day.
Dermatologists are seeing increasing numbers of patients who have developped eczema or other joys because their skin is not properly protected. Harsh exfoliation damages the skin's outer layer. The skin cannot renew itself quickly enough and becomes prone to unexpected infections. Don't be aggressive with the skin's sebum, the skin's natural protective layer.
Photo: Douche Neptune
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