Spa showering: where convenience meets luxury

We’re all guilty of viewing a shower as a means to an end; a quick and easy way to wash away sleep or sweat. But shower products have evolved, and with them a new concept in showering has emerged.

For as old as time, or perhaps just since the modern shower was invented, we have all bought into the myth that baths are for unwinding, and showers are for refreshing. We bathe in the evening, we shower in the morning. Baths help us fall asleep, showers help us wake up. But a new day is dawning in the world of showering. No longer will showers just be used for a quick ‘freshen up’, no longer will just a splash of shower gel suffice, and no longer will a shower’s potential as a realm for pampering be ignored, because the rich and plentiful range of products that can be used within the confines of a steamy shower room have advanced in the most elaborate of ways.

Shower gel has long been seen as a staple part of showering. Along with shampoo, conditioner and face wash, it forms a cornerstone of our regular cleaning routine. But in a world where we constantly demand more, basic shower gel no longer cuts the mustard. Sure it does the job; we go from dirty to decent in a few swift swipes of a lathered up loofah, but delve into the concept of spa showering and you’ll soon blush at how primitive our notion of ‘showering’ once was.

The concept: restore your body and mind

Think luxury, think decadence, think an aromatherapeutic awakening that not only cleanses your body, but transforms your mood, and that, in a nutshell, is spa showering. By combining a variety of sensorially stimulating products, you’ll not only layer yourself in a bespoke bouquet of perfumes for a richer, longer-lasting scent portfolio that stays with you long after you’ve stepped out of the shower, but you’ll charge the bathroom with an intoxicating steamy blend of mood-altering aromas that actively awaken different parts of the mind.

Take, for example, Atmospheres, one of the latest shower innovations belonging to the Lush Moods portfolio. These colourful squishy spheres are a single dose of shower gel wrapped in an environmentally-friendly layer of seaweed that can be washed down the plughole or popped on the compost heap. Four palm-sized cushy balls complete each set, held within a natty recycled and recyclable box.

The concept behind Atmospheres is that each one acts as a sort of sensory totem. Born from the laws of attraction (thinking positive thoughts to bring about positive action), each Atmosphere releases a specific concoction of scents that help to focus your mind to bring into reality the things you chiefly desire. So for example, if your goal is to find love or to be loved, plump for the red Atmosphere, Love. Take it into the shower with you, focus your mind and gently tear at the top to unleash a therapeutic blend of spicy, sweet apple. As you lather the liquid over your skin, the ambient scent provokes thoughts of amour. Yellow represents Joy; a warming bergamot, clove, black pepper and ginger blend. The green is Money; a lime, fennel and cypress creation. Whereas blue is Let Go; a pure lavender oil fragrance to help you do just that.

Another exclusive Lush Moods introduction are shower bombs. Just like their bath-foaming counterparts, these softening sodium bicarbonate bombs awaken in a fizzy explosion of scent and sound; each dose designed to stimulate a specific reaction, allowing you to personalise your shower experience with a variety of essential oils and beautiful ingredients that benefit the skin and mind. An evolution from bath bombs, these pocket-sized fizzers use added seaweed and starches to create a cleansing mousse that can be swept over the body to leave you feeling silky-soft to the touch.

Not Sleepy is a seriously sharp lemon myrtle, neroli and Brazilian orange blend guaranteed to put a zing in your step, whereas cloud-shaped Sleepy introduces suggestions of slumber with its steamy infusion of lavender. The neon orange pyramid that is Karma exults a zesty celebration of energising citrus top notes that rejuvenate and ground the mind without inviting sleep, plus added turmeric lends itself for purification and warmth. Styled as a blue spinning top, Koyaanisqatsi, meaning ‘life out of balance’ in Hopi Indian, presents an alluring melody of French lavender, ylang ylang and violet leaf to calm and usher in a sense of stillness. 

hero sleepy shower bomb lush labs
oaty creamy dreamy moisturising shower cream

The process: lather up, layer up

To ascend your spa-like shower experience to the next level, try incorporating a succession of products, rather than just one. Think of it this way; a basic facial routine includes: washing, exfoliating, cleansing, toning and moisturising. Even your go-to hair washing ritual will usually consists of two parts: shampoo, and conditioning, with the odd nourishing hair mask thrown in for good measure once in awhile. Yet when it comes to our bodies, the largest organ our body has, we simply smear a thin layer of liquid over ourselves in the belief that its scent will stand up to the rigours of the day or night ahead. So it’s time we forgot basic, and started thinking bourgeois.

There are no hard and fast rules with spa showering. Just layer up a palette of your favourite shower products, ones that serve to not only cleanse the body but include indulgent ingredients and aromas that steer your mind towards a desired mindset and destination, be that uplifting and empowering for the day ahead, sultry and stimulating for a night out on the town, or relaxing and calming for a quiet night in.

For an all-encompassing approach, where the aromatherapy benefits go hand in hand with the benefits to the skin, try starting with a super-softener, such as Oaty Creamy Dreamy. The shower cream incarnation of Dream Cream is imbued with soothing lavender and balancing rose water to calm, while vitamin-packed oat milk cools and replenishes. Not only is spa showering the perfect time and place to alter your mood, but you can also multi-task as who’s to say convenience and luxury can’t be combined? So while you allow the cream to soak in a little, why not use the opportunity to get your favourite shampoo on the go or wash your face? Oaty Creamy Dreamy also makes a luscious lubricant for shaving when you’re ready to rinse.  

Shampooed and softened, your next move will likely be to condition your hair, but what about pampering your skin as well? Grab a restorative fresh face mask, such as Brazened Honey, which is kept cool in the fridge, perfect for soothing skin after a long hot day or night. The powerhouse combination of fresh fennel, ginger, parsley and coriander detoxes and stimulates, turmeric tightens and boosts circulation, whereas the antiseptic properties of sage, rosemary and a unique juniper berry infusion purify without leaving your skin dry. Fresh lime cleanses, ground almond shells exfoliate, free range egg and almond oil moisturize, but the true superhero here is honey, which as a humectant actively attracts hydration into the skin. To achieve a truly dewy result resist removing the mask for at least 10 to 15 minutes, during which time you can continue with your pampering. Find your perfect mask here.

Next up meet the wonderfully wobbly world of shower jellies. Just as squeezing a stress ball or twirling a fidget spinner can restore calmness to the mind, these luscious gelatinous mounds are equally therapeutic as they’re swept over skin. What’s more, the range of jelly scents complement our line-up of shower gels and creams, working to harmonise aromas, rather than clash or compete against them. An option such as Deep Sleep works particularly well with Oaty Creamy Dreamy, as its intoxicating stores of lavender, rose and camomile continue the momentum of restore and reset, whereas the fresh orange adds an unexpected pep, and the neroli oil, renowned for its ability to produce serotonin, introduces some perk.

Exfoliating your skin encourages a healthy glow, and doesn’t have to be a raw and ravaging experience, as users of our body scrubs and body butters will testify. For a scent that comforts, they don’t come more sensually sweet than Cheeryish, which fills your bathroom with the warming and joyful aromas of cherry bakewells, marzipan, and hot chocolate, sparking fond thoughts of family and memories of home. Ground cherry stones gently exfoliate and boost circulation, ideal for waking you up or winding you down, and the almond and extra virgin coconut oils follow up by soothing and softening.

Every act of pampering, be it skin or hair, ends with a good measure of moisturising, and with a body conditioner this can be achieved within the confines of the shower. Take a tub of Ro’s Argan, slather it on all over your skin and let it sink in for a minute or two, giving you time and opportunity to wipe away the face mask. While the conditioner’s luxurious rose absolute, rich brazil nut and argan oils get to work on enriching, balancing and restoring your skin for a velvety finish, you’ll be greeted with a beautifully sensual Damask rose fragrance.

After you’ve rinsed off and patted yourself dry, the results should be instantly noticeable. Your skin will be softer, brighter and glossier as though you’ve treated yourself to the most wonderful spa day. But what’s more impressive perhaps is the transformation to your mind and mood, something that can’t be obtained with a quick five-minute ‘freshen up’. Plus by combining and layering beautiful aromas and ingredients you’ll have achieved a deeper, richer, longer-lasting result, that will stay with you all day or night, pampering body and mind over and over and over again.

Ready to upgrade your shower routine?

Words by Natalie Denton

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