Consider the Shower
Thanks to this age-old method of cleansing oneself under a steady stream of falling water, modern world smells way better than the 17th century Europe ever did. We are also absolutely healthier. However, as the mother of any adolescent can tell you, not all showers are equal. With water conservation becoming an increasing concern there has never been a better time to take a close look at how to take your shower.
So here is the absolutely, positively, undeniably best way to keep you and your conscience clean — in 8 easy steps!
1. Decide how often you should shower
Most people shower every day. This is a good guideline for those who live in particularly hot and humid climates, exercise every day, work in physically demanding and/or "dirty" jobs etc. As for the rest of us, a shower every other day might actually be a better idea. Too much soap and water can strip the body of natural protective oils.
A 10-minute shower can also use up to 200 liters of water — something to consider, given drought conditions in many parts of the world. If you do decide to give up the daily sluicing, just be sure to use a sink and clean cloth in the morning or evening to take care of areas such as the underarms and groin where bacteria can collect.
2. Temper your temperature
Tempting as it may be to jack that handle all the way to the left or the right… hold that urge. Most experts agree that a lukewarm or tepid shower is best. Why? Extremely cold or hot temperatures dry out your body's largest organ and first line of defense against infection: the skin. Stick to temps between 35 and 37 degrees. Moderate water heating will also save energy, which is good for the environment and your wallet.
Note: Concerned about conservation? Place a couple of 10 liter buckets under your shower while your water is warming to the desired temperature. You can use this later to water plants, rinse clothing … even flush the toilet!
3. Face it
The shower is a great place to wash your face, especially if you use a natural safe ekoko soap with special moisturizing or acne-fighting properties. Temperate water will open your pores and facilitate cleaning and rinsing. Here's the trick, though — use your dry hands to apply your chosen product before you get in the shower. Once in, leave the soap on a minute or two while you stand under the water to soap and rinse your underarms. When it's time to rinse, don't turn your face into the stream of water; delicate facial skin is better served if you cup your hands and splash the water across your forehead, nose, and cheeks to thoroughly rinse.
4) Top down
Not everyone shampoos every time he or she showers, but if you plan to wash (and possibly condition) your hair, this is a good place to start. Choose one of our natural shampoo’s that might not lather up as much, but it will do the job all the way. Use your fingertips, not your nails, starting at the crown of your head and working all the way down to shampoo your entire scalp. When you get to your ears, use your index finger to lightly clean the external folds of your ears and the oft-forgotten area behind the ears with shampoo. Unless you have been mud-wrestling or have some other reason to actually scrub out the rest of your hair, don't lather up all the way to your ends, lest they split. Too much cleansing can damage delicate hair. Your crowning glory will get perfectly clean when you rinse the shampoo out by tilting your head back into the stream and repeating your head massage.
Rinse your hair and external ear area until the water runs clear. (Don't miss that little strip across the top of your forehead. Residual shampoo can itch later, even if you wipe it off with your towel. That's it, you don't need to "repeat" the lather and rinse. Again, unless your hair is exceptionally dirty for some reason, one shampoo is enough. If you condition your hair, apply this product now.
5) Soap, water, and loofah.
Now it's time to reach again for your ekoko soap and loofah pad if you wish so. Loofah is an all natural simple pad that will change the way you think about showering. It will rinse clean, and by gently exfoliate your skin. If you wish a ‘soft touch’; just use your hands.
In both cases you take your ekoko natural soap, place the pad or your hand across your neck and upper shoulders and gently swipe it back and forth, moving down your spine, all the way to your tailbone. Bingo. You've got a clean back, devoid of dead skin cells that can block pores. Now rinse. Even with your back to the water stream and your head tilted back, you can begin work on your front. Start at the bottom of your jawline and with very gentle, circular movements, work down the front of your neck, chest, and belly. No need to rub hard; just let the loofah or your hands do its work. When you get to your hips, choose a leg and work down the front of that one to the ankle before moving up the back of the same leg, all the way up and over the buttocks on that side, avoiding your more personal parts … for the time being.
6. ”Down there"
The external genitalia of both men and women need to be cleaned just like the rest of the body. However, given the sensitivities of these areas, this is best done with the hand, not with the loofah … and, believe it or not, the water of the shower is probably all you need. Of course the ekoko natural soap makes it feel better but whatever you do… keep that soap away from the areas where your outside turns into your inside. Both urologists and gynecologists agree; soap in these places is as unnecessary and potentially harmful as soap in the eye. Both genders should clean their external genitals front to back, finishing with the perennial area. As with every other part of the body, rinse well both front and back.
Having taken care of yourself from the top down, now it's time to turn to your feet. Traditions around the world emphasize the importance of washing one's feet. Ironically, many people ignore this last, important step in the shower, mistakenly thinking the runoff from cleaning the rest of them will somehow remove the dirt, bacteria, and dead skin from this critical part of the body. Concluding your shower with a good all-over scrub of your feet with your loofah pad and natural soap just makes good hygienic sense. Clean feet smell nice, look good, and don't stink. Why not?
8. Finishing touches
Once you've finished showering, rinse your loofah pad thoroughly, and hang it someplace convenient to dry. Use a towel to pat — not rub — your body dry, paying special attention to creases and folds where dampness might irritate. If you have dry skin, this is an excellent time to apply body lotion and face cream, as pores are open and dead skin has been sloughed away.
And, with this, your shower is complete. If only the rest of life were so simple