9 Ways to Get Beautiful … in the Shower

Why get just clean when you can get gorgeous? Here are some ways to turn your daily shower into a beauty boost, from head to toes.

1. De-tangle your hair before you shampoo. 
Lather, rinse, repeat. You know the drill. But in fact, there's a little bit more technique to getting salon-like shiny hair.

First, never step into the shower with tangled hair. Water will make those knots even knottier and can lead to breakage. Gently brush out tangles while your hair is still dry, paying attention to the layers underneath, where snags sometimes hide.

Then, prevent new tangles by applying shampoo to the roots and working it through to the ends, moving in the same direction as the water. A circular massage or flinging your head upside down under the showerhead may feel good, but it can lead to snarls.

2. Condition, starting from the ends. 
After rinsing out the shampoo, apply conditioner to the ends of your hair (your newly grown roots don’t need the repair as much). Then, using a wide-tooth comb you keep in the shower -- so it’s there when you need it! -- comb the conditioner through your ends, moving up the length of the hair. Leave the conditioner in your hair while you continue your shower regimen.

3. Use a moisturizing body wash instead of soap. 
Skip the deodorized soap (it can strip your skin of oils) and choose a moisturizing body wash, especially in the winter. “Darting from frigid temperatures outdoors to dry indoor heating compromises the skin’s body function,” says Dr. Glen Kolansky, a dermatologist in Tinton Fall, N.J.

“Without this protective barrier the skin isn’t able to hold on to moisture effectively,” adds Kolansky. “Instead, when water evaporates, skin is left dry, rough and itchy.”

4. Deep-clean your pores.
Rotating cleansing brushes do a terrific job of getting rid of makeup residue, dirt and oil that can remain trapped in your pores even after you’ve cleansed your face. But not if they remain unused on your bathroom sink! Follow the example of Dr. Tina Alster, a Washington, D.C., dermatologist who keeps her favorite sonic brush in the shower along with a tube of mild cleanser. “I use it on my face, on my neck and on rough patches on my shoulders,” she says.

5. Get a close shave.
Prep your legs for a super-smooth shave by letting your skin get wet for two to three minutes before you begin.  Use a moisturizing shave cream or gel and a razor that’s, well, razor sharp. 

“You’ll get the closest, cleanest shave with less risk of being left with nicks or dry flaky skin if you use a sharp razor that skims the skin instead of dragging against it,” says Dr. Jeanie Leddon, a Boulder, Colo., dermatologist. “A good rule of thumb is to replace the blade after five to ten uses.”

6. Soften your feet.
Keep calluses at bay by using a foot scrub every time you shower.  (The tickle will wake you up too.) Once a week, gently buff away dry skin with a pumice stone.

7. Rinse.
The last step while the shower is still on: Rinse out your hair conditioner, letting the water flow down your locks.

8. Moisturize.
Pat your skin lightly with a towel while you’re still in the shower then apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp. The hydrating ingredients will absorb more efficiently on skin that’s slightly wet, keeping your skin its most touchably supple.

9. Towel dry your hair.
Gently blot the extra moisture from your locks with a dry towel. If you rub vigorously, you’ll create tangles and set your hair up for frizz. Use a wide-tooth comb or paddle brush to get your hair ready for styling.

Now, scrubbed and stunning, get ready to start your day!