While 10-step skin care routines have been substituted for pared-back skinimalism, TikTok is leading the charge on a new maximalist beauty practice: the everything shower. The process is peak self-care, with people spending hours on pampering themselves from head to toe. Here, we ask experts to break down the trend and share all the steps needed to take an everything shower the right way.
What is an everything shower?
While the goal of a typical shower is to clean your hair and body, an everything shower takes an indulgent approach and incorporates any and every skin, hair and self-care treatment you want to add to the mix.
“The everything shower is not just making sure you are fully groomed but rather a reset to the mind, body, spirit,” says Hayley Wood, licensed esthetician for The New Knew. “It’s about taking that extra bit of time to fully transform into the version of yourself you deserve to be. This means taking a thoughtful approach to your whole routine from head to toe.”
Your everything shower routine can be as comprehensive as you want, making time for exfoliating, shaving, lymphatic drainage massages and more.
“An everything shower [can] include all practices from washing your face to doing hair and lip masks and foot scrubs,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tiffany J. Libby explains. “They might not all be incorporated each day, but would all be performed in the shower time period. Benefits include efficiency and prioritizing self-care, which has positive impacts on mental health.”
However, the dermatologist recommends keeping your time spent under the water to under 10 minutes. “While this may be counterintuitive, long exposure to water can dry out skin by stripping the good, healthy oils from [it],” she says.
How often should you take an everything shower?
Keeping an everything shower as a treat that you do occasionally rather than turning it into a daily routine is the safest bet for your skin and hair.
“If doing all of these practices (cleansing products, shaving, exfoliating, shampoo, conditioner, hair masks and scrubs) in an ‘everything shower’ is being done each day, there will absolutely be more irritation and harm done than good,” Libby says.
Instead, the dermatologist suggests picking a few of the extra treatments and spacing them out by doing them each one to three times per week. This will give you a few extra minutes of relaxation with your regular shower and also “shorten the length of your ‘everything shower’ to the recommended 10 minutes or less,” Libby explains.
How to take an everything shower
While the different steps you include in your everything shower are totally up to you, the experts shared some tips and general order of operations so you can optimize your shower experience. One thing to never forget? Keeping a great bath towel on hand. “Having fresh towels available to your skin after deeper care will help support all the benefits of your everything shower,” Wood says. She loves the fluffy organic cotton ones from Coyuchi.
Step 1: Pre-shower treatments
Before you even step into the shower, there are some treatments to consider. Wood suggests starting with dry brushing for light exfoliation and to stimulate circulation. “It takes very little extra effort to feel energized with this step, but it also allows for a quick full-body scan before you hop in the shower where you can access if you need a shave, a deep exfoliation or more hydration,” Wood says.
This is also a great time to give some attention to your scalp or kick-start healthy hair with prewash treatments that you let sit before washing out. A clarifying scalp oil or bond repair treatment, like editor-favorite Olaplex No. 3, are restorative options that target common issues like product buildup and damaged hair, respectively.
For the face, Wood also recommends applying a gentle exfoliating mask and letting the steam from the shower help loosen sebum and debris while you continue with other steps — just be careful. “Once in the shower, make sure to watch the water splashing in your face so you don’t get the mask in your eyes,” she cautions.
Wood loves this vegan dry brush that makes it easy to slough away dead skin and increase blood flow. Before your shower, brush your body starting at the feet and using gentle strokes toward your heart.
A handful of Underscored editors tested this hydrating and clarifying hair oil that you leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing out and found it made our scalps (and hair) look and feel moisturized.
Libby recommends the popular Olaplex No. 3 treatment, "which uses a patented bond-building technology to help strengthen damaged hair." Another Underscored-tested product, we found it restored smoothness and shine to all hair types.
This exfoliating mask that Wood recommends uses natural enzymes from blueberries and strawberries, along with antimicrobial honey, to nourish and soften the skin.
Step 2: Hair wash routine
Whether you did a prewash hair treatment or not, once you’re in the shower, you’ll want to start with your hair wash routine. This is because shampoo and conditioner can end up on your face or body, which can ultimately cause irritation and breakouts if it isn’t rinsed off properly.
So Wood recommends going for your shampoo and conditioner first, letting the latter sit in the hair as you multitask cleansing your body and shaving (if desired). Or if you skipped a prewash treatment, you can simply apply conditioner to the ends of the hair right away and let it set as a kind of mask. Of course, you can also use a dedicated hair mask after shampooing and conditioning too. These can target a number of issues like dryness, frizz, damage, weak hair and more. Just double-check the instructions on the specific mask you choose, as some may be designed to replace the normal conditioning step or have a leave-in formula.
We’ll circle back on when to rinse the conditioner or hair mask after a couple more steps.
"Formulated with salicylic acid, which helps exfoliate, unclog pores and fight flakes, this purifying shampoo helps minimize dry, irritated and itchy scalps," Libby says. Pair it with the corresponding Serene Scalp Balancing Conditioner for the full effect.
Wood's shampoo and conditioner of choice has an antioxidant-packed, clean formula that cleanses and hydrates all hair types.
Eva NYC's nourishing shampoo and conditioner both contain argan oil to strengthen locks and boost shine. The salon-quality find at drugstore prices is safe for all hair types and free from sulfates, parabens and phthalates.
Wood says adding a scalp exfoliator to your shower routine will "help stimulate the scalp and help with buildup."
This top-rated hair mask detangles, softens and smooths the hair in a matter of minutes. The restorative mask is great for color-treated hair and those who regularly use hot styling tools.
To quench dry and dull hair, Amika's rich hair mask delivers antioxidants and nourishment with jojoba seed oil and seabuckthorn oil. It can be used as a weekly treatment, or even in place of regular conditioner for hair in need of serious moisture.
Containing Chébe seeds ethically harvested in Chad — the special ingredient throughout Salwa Petersen's line — this repairing hair mask is ideal for those with curls and coils but great for anyone who needs some strength and hydration.
Step 3: Exfoliate
While your hair treatment is working its magic, you can give your body some attention and use a body scrub or exfoliator. Best limited to just once or twice a week — so as to avoid over-exfoliation, irritation and damaging the skin barrier — exfoliation can help remove dead skin and resurface fresh, soft skin.
“I recommend a chemical exfoliator like one that has glycolic, salicylic and/or lactic acids,” Libby says. “These will more gently and more effectively dissolve away dead skin cells, minus the potential irritation from physical exfoliators and scrubs that can be abrasive on skin.” If you do choose to use a physical scrub, remember to apply it in gentle, circular motions — you have control over the intensity by how much pressure you use.
"This body wash uses glycolic acid to dissolve away dead skin cells at the surface, and helps target rough, bumpy skin to smooth, cleanse and hydrate skin," Libby shares.
This physical exfoliating bar uses bamboo powder to slough away rough patches and dead skin cells, leaving skin smoother and softer.
A hybrid physical and chemical exfoliator, this features glycolic, polyglutamic, mandelic and hyaluronic acids along with an ultra-fine polish to resurface the skin. Plus, it has a yummy fruity and floral scent.
Another option is to use an exfoliating towel like this cost-effective and all-around great product. Our outdoors and sustainability editor Kai Burkhardt says he "felt cleaner, softer and more refreshed" after scrubbing with the reusable towel.
Step 4: Shave
If shaving is a part of your routine, it’s best to do it after exfoliating. By removing any dead skin cells first, you can achieve a closer, smoother shave, which will also help with avoiding razor burn or pesky ingrown hairs.
This emulsifying gel-to-milk formula that Wood loves will help your razor glide for a close shave. It features marula oil and vitamin C for moisturization and brightening benefits.
Wood recommends this high-quality alternative to disposable razors. The plastic-free weighted razor offers quick and easy hair removal and comes with a pack of five refill blades.
This moisturizing shave cream contains olive oil and aloe to condition the skin while providing a light layer between you and your razor. Plus, it's gynecologically tested, so it's safe to use around the pubic area.
Step 5: Body wash
Just before your body wash, it’s time to rinse your conditioner or hair mask out. This way, you can make sure to wash any residue from the hair product off your skin as you cleanse your body. From hydrating body washes to bacne-fighting cleansers, take your pick of what you want your product to target.
One of Libby's picks, this body wash is seriously packed with the good stuff. "Formulated with omega fatty acids, vitamins A, C and E, as well as prebiotics and postbiotics, this body wash addresses all skin concerns from moisturization to improving skin health by addressing the skin’s microbiome," the dermatologist says.
Wood also opts for a microbiome-friendly body wash, recommending this prebiotic-powered option with orchid oil and sea kelp.
A reliable drugstore product, this salicylic acid body provides gentle exfoliation to keep body breakouts at bay.
Available in 16 classic scents, plus a number of limited-edition options, Native's body wash will fill your shower with delightful fragrances like Coconut & Vanilla and Lilac & White Tea while getting you squeaky clean.
Step 6: Face wash
Finish your time in the shower with washing your face. If you applied a face mask before hopping into the water, now is the time to rinse it off and do a quick cleanse to make sure the skin is prepped for skin care. Otherwise, you’ll want to end with cleansing your face just to make sure any pore-clogging elements from the other areas of your routine are properly rinsed off.
An effective cleansing balm and makeup remover, you can use this on its own or part of a double-cleansing ritual.
"This soap and sulfate-free cleanser uses salicylic acid to exfoliate skin, unclog pores and brighten overall complexion," Libby says. "Skin feels thoroughly cleansed and refreshed without feeling overly cleansed or dry."
This gentle cleanser leaves skin supple and hydrated, thanks to soothing grape water, a special anti-aging active compound and olive oil.
Step 7: Post-shower treatments
Once you’re out of the shower, you have another set of “choose your own adventure” possibilities. You could wrap it up with moisturizer and call it a day, carry on with a protective hairstyle or blowout or do red light therapy, microcurrent or an at-home facial treatment and indulge in your skin care routine.
Whichever you choose, Wood says not to keep your skin waiting too long for replenishing hydration once you’ve exited the shower. She likes using a mist, moisturizer or nourishing oil on the face first, then turning attention to body moisturizing. Libby agrees, noting that it’s important to apply moisturizer or lotion while the skin is still a bit damp. “This is especially key after an everything shower, as longer showers or baths can strip skin of its natural oils, leaving skin drier and more easily prone to irritation,” Libby cautions.
Take the last few moments as an opportunity to massage the lotion in and get even deeper into relaxation.
Seaweed, mineral peptides and aloe help kick-start a dewy skin care routine with this face mist recommended by Wood.
Wood is also a fan of this face oil with the plumping benefits of omega fatty acid-rich plum and chia oil.
Libby likes this radiance-boosting face moisturizer that has a little bit of everything. She says it's a "rich and velvety smooth moisturizer that is formulated with ceramides to support the skin’s moisture barrier, hyaluronic acid to optimize hydration and antioxidants resveratrol and vitamin C."
This shea butter-based cream is one of Wood's favorite's for all-over nourishment. The ultra-rich formula contains five oils and butters to keep skin soft and hydrated.
Libby loves this multiuse oil and says it is "incredibly lightweight, glides on the skin and absorbs quickly, leaving [her] skin so smooth and soft," adding that the formula "mimics the naturally occurring oils within our skin to help restore and optimize the skin’s moisture barrier." And if you're not big on body oils, Libby recommends trying the brand's rich yet lightweight body lotion.