Beauty enthusiasts spend a lot of time debating what products we should use in the shower and itemizing the most effective post-bath steps—toning, moisturizing, massaging… all that good stuff! But we don’t always give enough weight to our pre-bath routine, i.e. what we do to prepare for our bath or shower. The following ideas for a pre-bath routine may inspire you to pamper and beautify yourself—before you even hop in the shower—and help you feel relaxed after a long day. Who doesn’t deserve that? I don’t suggest that you try to do each of these in one go–I know you have a life!–but incorporating one or two here and there can feel quite divine!
1. Oil Cleanse/Double Cleanse
Oil cleansing is a wonderful way to remove makeup—even stubborn water-resistant eye makeup. Although it may seem counterintuitive to put oil on oily skin, oil cleansing has a wonderful way of dissolving excess oil in pores and can even help with blackheads. To do an oil cleanse, choose a non-comedogenic base oil. Argan and rosehip seed oil tend to be pretty safe bets, but everyone’s skin reacts differently, so use you best judgement on this. (You can check out the debate on which oils are non-clogging here.)
Pour a nickel-sized dollop of oil onto clean palms, and warm the oil between your hands. Using small, circular motions, gently massage your entire face, avoiding the delicate eye area. To remove eye makeup, apply a small dollop of oil to a cotton ball and gently press the oily cotton over your eye. Hold for a few minutes then lightly sweep the makeup off of your skin and eyelashes. Then, if you want to do a double cleanse, you can wash your face with a regular facial cleanser.
2. Face Mask
For a weekly deep cleanse, apply a face mask designed for your skin type/ skin concerns. A new beauty trend called multi-masking advocates customizing your mask experience by applying different masks to different parts of your face. For example, if you have oily skin on your T-zone, you can apply a cleansing clay mask to that area. If the rest of your face tends to be dry, you can apply a hydrating mask to that portion of your face.
We’ve got several ideas for face masks if you need a little inspiration:
Maca Cacao Clay Mask (pictured)
3. Dry Brushing
Even though dry brushing may not be a magical cure for cellulite, it is an effective way to exfoliate skin, improve circulation, and ultimately boost your glow! Using a large body brush, work up your skin in large sweeping motions beginning at your feet. Always brush towards your heart (this is good for circulation). On your stomach, you can brush in a counterclockwise circle—this is believed to enhance digestion. Your skin should feel warm and tingly afterwards–never roughed-up.
4. Hair Mask
Nourish your strands with a weekly hair mask. These masks are really easy to DIY. Hint: There’s a ton of stuff in your kitchen that can serve as a hair helper. For example, a blend of coconut and avocado can restore hydration to dry and brittle strands. On the other hand, if your hair is suffering from a case of buildup, try a baking soda mask—I’m obsessed with this recipe—it never fails to leave my hair clean, shiny, and full of volume. Here are a few other ideas:
Nourishing and Clarifying Avocado Mask (pictured)
5. Ayurvedic Self-Massage (Abhyanga)
This simple form of self-massage feels like the ultimate expression of self-care. To practice Abhyanga, warm a base oil of your choice (you may consider selecting an oil that complements your Ayurvedic dosha) and massage your body in upward strokes towards your heart while massaging your joints in a circular motion. (It’s definitely a good idea to do this over an old towel to avoid making a slippery mess on your bathroom floor.) Once you’ve massaged your entire body, you can hop in the shower and rinse off the excess oil. Here is a more in-depth breakdown of Abhyanga if you’re interested in learning more about the specific steps involved.
Abhyanga is believed to improve muscle tone, boost circulation, slow the aging process, nourish skin, and soothe the mind.
Do you have any favorite pre-bath beautifying routines?
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Photo: Shawnee Wilrorn via Unsplash, Mary Hood Luttrell