Let's talk about showers (the bathing kind, not the meteorological kind)

Full disclosure: I hate showering. Especially in the winter. Because I hate to be cold right after when still I’m all wet and haven’t gotten dry yet. Also because in the winter my skin gets so dry I feel like it’s all just going to flake off my body. Rest assured, I DO shower (although not every day in the winter, as I don’t do anything or go anywhere), but I wish I enjoyed it. It’s just a necessary nuisance. I feel like this is a grownup thing I haven’t mastered and consider myself inept in the showering department.

I’d like some tips on how to turn it into a more enjoyable experience. Also, what to do about my very dry skin. What kind of soap do you use-- liquid, gel, bar? Brands? And how do you apply the soap to your body-- wash cloth, pouffy net thingie, just your hands, or something else? I’m always trying new lotions, searching for something that will help with the dry, itchy after effect of showering. I have tried zillions and have yet to find one that I really like, although straight coconut oil is pretty good (and I like the smell).

I do have an excellent, detachable shower head that I got from amazon. How do people wash, um, all over if they don’t have a handheld attachment? Rhetorical question.

Baths are okay, but I think they make my dry skin worse. I’ve tried various additives to the water with varying degrees of success. Help out a fellow Doper who’s challenged in this area?

I have nothing worthwhile to add @ThelmaLou but I will be following along since I have exactly the same feelings about showering in the winter as you and the same dry skin issues. Thanks for raising the question.

I love warm (or hot) showers, especially in winter. To me, it’s one of the great luxuries of modern life. I use Dove soap, the unscented version, which might help your dry skin issue (it’s one-quarter moisturizer, after all). And though this might horrify some, I directly apply the soap bar to my bare skin. Never really got into the washcloth habit.

You sound a lot like me. I have a small space heater in the bathroom, I warm it up for about 10 minutes before I shower. I don’t use manufactured soaps, it all aggravates my psoriasis and makes me itchy. The last 6 years my soap has come from 2 people. The first I found in Juneau, Alaska during a cruise. It is made with glacial silt and they don’t use oils for scents. The second sells her soap at a Farmer’s Market in Shelton, Washington. Again, natural scents, no oils. After the shower I spread lotion from my ankles to the tops of my shoulders except the nether regions. I have been using Curel lotion, the itchy skin formula. Works wonders.

When I was getting up early and showering every day before my long commute to work, I had a small heated fan in the bathroom to make the transition out of the hot shower not be a shock of cold air.

Working from home has changed up my routine, but I was recently realizing I was taking more baths because the little heater got moved into my home office.

Ditto. Bar soap; usually use Ivory, but currently using Dove because I grabbed the wrong package. :slight_smile:

For most of my body, yes. I use my hands (well soaped up) to apply the soap on my backside and my crotch.

I used to have a bathroom situated at the furthest point in the house from the gas heater and it got cold in there. Really, really cold. My solution was an oil radiator set to turn on about an hour before my alarm went off and then when I got up I’d drape my towel over the radiator so when I got out of the shower I was in a nice warm bathroom with a luxuriously warm towel to dry off with. It was a very nice solution. Now I live in a tiny house that’s uniformly warm so I don’t need all that (and I don’t have a regular work schedule so I shower whenever) but I kinda miss the warm towel thing.

My skin is fussy so I use only Dr Bronner’s liquid peppermint soap on a washcloth, it’s very gentle on the skin. I also have a setup with two shower heads, one fixed and one handheld so it’s pretty sybaritic in there. Coconut oil goes on my face right after I get dried off and the rest of my skin mostly fends for itself, although in summer I’m more likely to slather on some lotion. In winter I’m so covered in fabric it doesn’t really matter to me lol.

These are excellent replies, and I appreciate no one making me feel like a smelly barbarian for asking about this.

Right now I’m using the old-time Dial gold bar, and I also apply it right to my very person. I have used Dr. Bronner’s bar soap, but not the liquid. I didn’t realize the liquid formula was gentle. I will definitely give the Dove a try. I sometimes use the pouffy net thingie, but maybe its scratchiness is aggravating my dry skin?

@racer72 I will look for the anti-itchy Curel-- I know Curel is a great lotion-- I remember when it came out.

@SmartAleq What kind of coconut oil do you use? Just the stuff right from the cooking section? And I also have an oil radiator in the bathroom-- it’s great because it doesn’t blow any air. Even warm air can feel chilly when you’re wet. Actually I have two more oil radiators, in the bedroom and in my office. Very safe and produce a lot of heat. One of my cats pretty much spends the winter snuggled up to the one in the office.

I use Cetaphil on my skin. No washcloth just a bar. It used to be antibacterial but it’s not anymore, but they assure me it does just as well for my stupid skin. It’s not very moisturizing tho.

My legs get super super super itchy, almost all year round. Like, I scratch til they bleed. My favorite remedy for this is Goldbond Healing (url says “foot cream” but that’s not what the product says. It’s for all over.) It lasts until the next shower and if I don’t explicitly wash my legs, it lasts even after. I only get itchy enough to scratch til I bleed because I’m lazy and don’t use it after every shower.

Never really tried it on the rest of me. I’m prone to breakouts so I try not to put stuff on my skin.

Do you have a shower radio of some sort? I’ve had this one since 2013 and it’s fantastic. I also have a shower bluetooth speaker which connects with my Echo (could also connect to a phone) to play tunes in the shower. I won’t link to it tho cuz I’m sure there’s better than the ones I’ve got.

I think I may be part Finnish, because I love a sauna.

But that said, I have a loooong, really hot shower. Really long, really hot. The steam heats up my entire bathroom, which is thankfully pretty small so the heating doesn’t take that long. I use the time to rehearse bits of the day’s lectures, practice my budding standup routine at the shower walls, or indulge my inner opera singer. In my shower, I am the most knowledgeable, hilarious singing comedian known to humanity.

When I’m done, I promptly stand on this absurdly thick bathmat so my feet don’t touch the floor directly, and dry off promptly. Then some warm clothes. I hate being cold. I endure well enough without complaint, but it doesn’t mean I like it.

As for products, I just use whatever, just a bar of soap. Even on my scalp. (But then I shave my head so who cares? it’s just skin). I’m fortunate in that I don’t have flaking skin. My wife, on the other hand, does not enjoy this robustness and has a regime of fancy liquidy soaps and aloe gels and the like; she smells great, but it’s quite a process. However, she also finds the heat oppressive and begs off promptly.

I have an Echo in the bathroom. (I have three Echos in my 1,200 sq ft house. And almost all of my lamps are on smart plugs. Did I mention that I love my gadgets? :wink: )

Gold Bond lotion is also excellent stuff.

I feel quite inspired…

Yup, just straight up coconut oil from the giant gallon tub I also use for cooking and whatever. Sometimes if I’m feeling fancy (or if I’m prepping some oil just to use after being out in the sun) I’ll add a drop of tea tree oil–doesn’t smell awesome but it is certainly good for your skin.

I’ve made certified disciples for oil radiators of my whole family, that portability and gentle heat can’t be beat and every cat loves the things.

My shower is in a small room with a door, and the hot water from the shower raises the air temperature enough that I actually leave the door open an inch so it doesn’t get too warm in there. I towel off before opening the door further, during which time it’s gradually leaking the heat out and normalizing the temperature with that of the air outside so it’s not too much of a shock when I finally open it.

As for not having a handheld attachment, I got a fixed attachment that focuses the water into as small and tight a beam as possible. The impact radius is maybe two inches across five feet away and still hits with ‘massager’ levels of force. So I just move myself around under that to get all the necessary areas the attention they need.

I have atopic dermatitis, which gets worse in the winter, but I don’t think my skin is as bad as a couple of the people in this thread, especially anyone with psoriasis. I use Dove liquid soap for showering, and regular Aveno lotion for everywhere on my body including face. I like both very much.

If you have both an overhead light fixture and a light fixture around the sink area, consider changing the overhead fixture to an infrared lamp (you’ll probably have to pay an electrician to make the change, there’s more to it than swapping bulbs). You can stand right under it and get a nice blast of warmth whenever you want it.

If you like hot steamy showers in the winter but don’t like stepping out into the cold, I highly recommend a bathroom dehumidifier (or just bring the one from the basement up for the winter, as it is drier anyway in the winter)

A dehumidifier will take all that steamy air and turn it into dry heat, enough that the mirror will be almost clear of fog. You will also dry off faster and more complete in a warm environment before stepping out into the cold rest of the house. It also takes away the damaging effect of the steamy shower in respect to mold growth. Much better then opening a window or running a fart fan and does not exhaust all that heat, just getting rid of the humidity.

I bought a package of those several years ago just because they were the cheapest per ounce I could find, and I found they made me incredibly itchy when I used them in the shower. I ended up switching to Olay soap in the shower, and I ended up using the Dial bars as hand soap just to use them up.

Several years ago I purchased a small space heater specifically designed for bathrooms (has additional safety features beyond just a tip-over switch). I love it! I can start it up, get the bathroom toasty, wash, and keep warm the whole time. Works best with a small bathroom.

Cetaphil, CeraVee, or the storebrand versions. They’re liquid.

Either hand or washcloth.

I switched to a body oil instead of a lotion for winter. It’s a bit messier (I oil up in the shower/bath to help with any mess) but it seems to moisturize a lot better. I’m still trying to figure out what oil I prefer. My current one is from Dr. Teal’s and is a mix of jojoba, sweet almond, and aloe vera (along with a bunch of other oils and things like shea butter if you read the label). I was a little dubious at first because my skin is so reactive but so far so good. I’ve also used plain almond oil (when I can find it) and cooking grade olive oil (when you’re on food stamps you can use them to buy that, but not moisturizing lotion. Thank goodness I’m doing better financially these days). I use O’Keefe’s Working Hands on my hands to ward off/treat skin cracks on the fingertips and around the nails.

I have to limit baths, which I love, due to dry skin issues. I don’t any anything to the water, but I use body oil afterward.

Baths are for suckers. A good warm shower is soothing and you’re not sitting in a pool of your own filth. Bar soap for me.

One thing to note, which I didn’t know until I had a problem: A hot shower or bath or sauna can cause your blood pressure to drop like a stone, especially if you’re on BP meds. My meds keep my BP down around 120/70, but it’s been dropping a little lower all along. So one morning I get out of my hot shower and get all dried off, etc., and suddenly felt very dizzy. “Ear wax,” I thought, so irrigated my ears. No luck. I ended up lying down for awhile, but it was persisting. So I checked my BP and it was at 106/60! That’s quite low for me. I checked with my doc and told me to cut one of my pills in half, take warm showers and make sure I’m drinking enough water. Did so and no repeat performances.

Showers, no matter how warm, do not relieve the arthritic ache in my joints, especially my knees. Lying in steaming hot water does help relieve the pain. If relieving pain makes me a sucker then so be it.

Also, if you’re paranoid about “filth” do what the Japanese do and shower before your hot soak.

And if you don’t like baths, fine, but don’t dis those who do.

Now you’ve got me wondering - what to the Japanese see as the purpose of those baths? Are they for cleaning themselves, or are they just as a place to relax and de-stress, like a mini-hot spring?