I know it seems kind of silly to tell you about my shower routine, but you would be surprised how confused people are about the basics of hygiene and caring for your skin and hair. First of all I will tell you I don’t shower everyday. Generally I only shower 2-3 times per week. The pH of water is actually too alkaline for the skin, so water can strip down the acid mantle and be very drying. So, I try not to shower too often, but when I do shower I make it count. I had a friend who showered everyday with soap and water, they teased me cause I only showered a few times a week. I had to point out to them that showering everyday doesn’t mean much if you aren’t scrubbing all the dead skin off. As you probably know by now, if you have been reading my blog, I am a firm believer in exfoliation. It removes the top layer of dead skin, allowing your skin to breathe and expel toxins more efficiently. It also stimulates blood flow and can help the lymphatic system move the fluids back to your heart for cleansing. A healthy lymphatic system means a healthy immune system.
So here it goes:
The first time I wash is to get the topical dirt and excess oil off of my hair and scalp. I apply the shampoo from scalp to ends. Then I scrub my scalp all over vigorously. This not only helps to unblock any clogged hair follicles, but also stimulates them. I rinse thoroughly, then repeat this process, but the second time I don’t rinse my hair, I leave the shampoo on. This isn’t necessary for all shampoos, only high quality ones like Mallika. The reason I leave it on is to give all the powerful botanicals packed into this shampoo, some time to work. Not all shampoos have these natural and powerful ingredients, so you can wash them off immediately. But, hair is dead. It can’t heal itself or produce anything to help it become shiner and healthier. All it has is what you put on it. So, I have tried to provide a shampoo that will nourish and feed your hair good stuff to keep it healthy and bouncy. If you find your hair is too bouncy, we can address that problem later on with styling products, but a shampoo and conditioner should solely serve the purpose of gently cleansing the hair and fortifying it with powerful and healing botanicals that provide protein, moisture and vitamins.
I also have a Korean scrubbing glove.
The Korean one I only use about once every 10-14 days because it has some serious exfoliation powers. But, the Japanese one is gentle enough to use everyday. I know that neither of these are made of sustainable materials, and certainly anything scrubby will work. The reason I switched to these ones is that they are easy to wash out afterwards and can be tossed in the washer and dryer. My husband works at a sawmill, so he showers everyday and the dampness in the shower was causing all of my natural scrubbies to grow mold and mildew on them. If you have a suggestion of one that you have used and love, please tell me about it in the comments below. I am always trying to find the balance between effective, safe and sustainable.
You want to move in big circular motions always moving up towards your heart. It is imperative to start at the extremities and move towards your core, because we are stimulating the blood flow and helping to move the lymphatic fluid back towards the heart to be cleansed. I move up to my calves them thighs and butt and belly. Then I move out to my hands and arms. Then I wash my shoulders, chest and neck. The Japanese cloth is also wonderful because you can stretch it out and scrub your own back. I usually have to use a pump of Zobhana for each quadrant of my body.
4. Next I use a pump of Trikha to wash my neck and face.
I use a Dew Puff for this.
You can use the Dew Puff either with or without cleanser. When I use it in the shower I always use cleanser. I gently buff my face for a minute or two. If I am using it on days I don’t take a shower then I use it without any cleanser. Sometimes I will do this with Dadima face wash, or wash with Trikha first and finish with Dadima.
I like the ingredients in both products and depending on how my skin is behaving that day, sometimes I need one, or the other, or both. I will make a side note here that this is the only time I wash my face. It is very rare that I will wash my face in between showers. I usually just moisturize. If my face needs a freshening up, I will use Amzula cleansing pads and spray a little toner on.
I rotate toners between Tila and Zalvari.
I believe it is good to mix things up and not use the same products on your skin day after day. Because of this, when we stay at hotels, I will sometimes use their shampoo and conditioner. My hair usually stinks and looks awful when I do, but I like to shock my hair with “junk food” every once in awhile. I think it keeps it on its toes, and it responds better when I go back to RADHAhaircare and RADHAskincare products.
5. After washing my face, I will rinse the shampoo out of my hair. Then I will apply several pumps of Mallika conditioner.
I have very long hair, almost to my waist, so I need a little more product. But, these products don’t have fillers and are packed with botanicals, so you don’t need to use very much. When I apply the conditioner, I put in from my roots to my ends. Because of the ingredients in these products it is important they they get a chance to be absorbed into your hair follicles. I also scrub the conditioner into my scalp, this makes sure that I have gotten rid of all the dead skin cells that accumulate in my head. It also removes any dead skin that might be flaking off. Sometimes people come to me with dry scalp and think they have dandruff. Dandruff is actually a medical condition and the flakes on your scalp are yellow and greasy. Real dandruff needs medicated shampoo to dry it out and treat the condition. Dry scalp needs the exact opposite, it needs moisture and oils. Using dandruff shampoo on dry scalp will only make the condition worse. Those old commercials showing flakes on peoples’ shoulders were very deceptive and lead many people to think they needed to treat dry skin as they would a more serious medical condition. So, if you have dry scalp, use lots of high quality conditioner and scrub your scalp. Later you can use Rosemary or Lavender essential oils on your scalp or a hair oil.
6. While the conditioner is still on my head, I shave my legs with Vapati shaving cream.
My honey shaves his head every other day and swears by this stuff. I shave a lot less than him, but don’t get any razor burn or skin bumps when I use this product on my legs. My bikini has been lasered, because my skin is so sensitive, but I can talk about that in another entry in the future.
7. After I shave my legs and while the conditioner is still on my hair, I scrub my feet with a pumice stone.
I am pretty spoiled because my friend brought this one back from New Zealand for me. Don’t tell, but she picked it right up off the beach. It is the best pumice stone I have ever owned. But, if you can’t get to New Zealand, you can buy a decent one on Amazon. Scrubbing my feet is one of my most important shower rituals. These feet carry me around all day long and are irreplaceable. The least I can do is spend a few minutes at the end of my shower thanking them. Dry cracked feet are painful and unhealthy. Just this little bit of weekly foot care can save you years worth of suffering in the future. The reason I wait till the very end of my shower is because I want the warm water to soften up the dead skin as much as possible before I start to scrub. I also use a scraping utensil on my nail to scrape the dead skin off from around my nail beds. Sometimes, a fingernail will work too. This helps keeps your toes healthy in between pedicures.
8. The last thing I do is rinse the conditioner out of my hair. I don’t worry about rinsing too much, because if a little conditioner is left on my hair it will just continue to feed my hair good stuff and bolster it up. Normally at this point I would turn off the water.
9. Optional ending. At this point, I sometimes turn the water on cold for 30-60 seconds. It is a great way to wake you up, improve blood flow, seal down the cuticle of your hair, and close all of the pores on your skin back up. But, sometimes we keep our bathroom so cold, I just open the door and the shock of cold air works almost as well.
10. Now I put oil all over my body. I do this while I am still wet, so the oil seals moisture from the water. This also keeps me from being too oily when I pat myself dry. I make sure to put some oil on my face too. I like to switch up oils, but Grapeseed is my favorite overall. It is light weight but very moisturizing. I also like Almond oil. It has a little bit of a heavier weight and can be nice in the wintertime. Olive is wonderful. The makeup of Olive oil is very similar to your bodies natural sebum, but is pretty heavy. Sesame is also lovely but very heavy. Coconut is generally too drying. The only time I recommend Coconut Oil is if you have acne on your back or body. Rough bumps in the backs of your upper arms are not acne and need scrubbing and a heavier oil like almond or olive, although Grapeseed works too. Once you have put the oil everywhere from your head to toe, you pat yourself dry with a towel. The oil will ruin your towels, so don’t use your favorite towels passed down from your great grandma, and know you will need to buy a new towel every 6 months or so. I also like to use a separate towel for my hair so it doesn’t end up with oily spots.
11. At this point, I either go rest for a moment to allow my body to cool down or if I have already cooled down with a cold water blast, I apply Anazara serum all over my face, neck and chest.
Then I apply Dikkara or Nizcala eye cream. (Sorry I don’t have a photo of Nizcala right now.)
I like to rotate my eye creams because they each have distinct properties and at 43 years old, my face needs all the help it can get. I finish off with Amara or Nirjara moisturizer.
I use both of these on almost a daily basis. Again, the have very different properties and my skin needs both.
12. The last thing I do is gently brush out my hair. My hair does best if I brush it wet. My hair tangles easily, so I have to be extra gently so as not to stretch or break my hair. I put a little hair oil on the mid shaft and ends. I don’t have a photo to show you here, because I am currently working on some hair oil formulations. Next I spray Mastey Beach Spray onto my roots.
This gives it a little bit of texture and lift when it dries. Lastly, I twist my hair into two side twists and tuck it into my shirt till it dries. Which for me could be all day. If I put my hair in a bun it could still be wet the next day. So, I try to let it dry naturally and hanging down, if possible. I rarely ever blow dry my hair, but if I do I ALWAYS use a heat protectant. The hair oil I am working on will also serve as a heat protectant.
That is the end of my shower ritual. All of it takes me between 15-25 minutes. But, as you can tell, this is not just about washing off the dirt, it is a very integral part of my overall health and wellness routine.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to put them in the comments below. I always enjoy feedback and hearing the experiences and discoveries of others.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay beautiful!