Health & Beauty

Yes, There Is a Correct Order for Everything You Do in the Shower

While it’s a nice thing to do every once in a while, like an at-home spa treatment, some professionals argue that the everything shower is more of an indulgence than a necessity. Minneapolis-based, board-certified dermatologist Jenny Liu compares the everything shower to 10-step skin-care routines that are not necessarily proven to be better for your skin compared to a simpler one.

Which treatments should you use before you shower?

The act of self-care starts before you even step into the shower, so it’s important to focus on the pre-shower activities, too. Of course, you can customize your routine to make sure it works for you, but some people choose to dive into dry brushing, a process that includes massaging your body with a dry, stiff-bristled brush to stimulate blood flow, before getting in the shower.

You might consider taking time to focus on your hair before your shower, too. Lauren Kunijo, hairstylist and co-owner of Kenna Kunijo salon in Charlotte, North Carolina, recommends brushing your hair while it’s dry pre-shower to help loosen product buildup and debris before you shampoo.

Sarah Potempa, hairstylist and creator of Beachwaver, says she rubs a few drops of argan oil into her scalp before getting into the shower. When left on for up to 10 minutes, she says it acts as a soothing treatment to prevent dryness on the scalp and restore moisture throughout her hair. For the same reason, Seabrooke likes to apply a deep conditioning mask pre-shower. (Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! mask is a multi-time Allure Readers’ Choice Award winner.)

As you’re getting ready to hop in the shower, it’s important to pay attention to the temperature of the water. Using water that is too hot can cause dryness and irritation on your scalp and skin, says Lindsey Zubritsky, a board-certified dermatologist in Pittsburgh, adding that it’s always best to set your shower temperature to lukewarm.

What’s the first thing you should do in the shower?

“It’s important that you don’t wash your face or the skin on your body before completing your hair-wash routine,” says Dr. Zubritsky. Runoff from shampoo and conditioner might end up on your face and body and that can lead to clogged pores and breakouts, she says.

With that in mind, first up is your hair-wash routine — which will, of course, depend on your hair type. Siobhan Benson, hairstylist and owner of Cut Loose salon in Brooklyn, says most people can benefit from a hydrating shampoo (we like Crown Affair Ritual Shampoo), but adds that her own shampooing cadence depends upon the season. She normally shampoos her hair daily in the summer, but in the winter, she often washes only her bangs if she doesn’t have time to do a full blow-dry. If your scalp is particularly oily, you might consider using an exfoliating scalp scrub that doubles as a shampoo, like Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub.