Remember the olden days, when showers were just for washing yourself? No more! These days you can moisturise, mask, tan and even volumise your hair without leaving the shower, and the in-shower products work as well as, or better than, their non-watery counterparts.
US brand St Tropez is so dominant in the self-tan business that it has possibly been responsible for more tans than the actual sun in the sky. Its latest innovation is a doozy: the first self tan that you apply in the shower.
It goes on after you wash – the product is supposedly distributed more evenly than regular tanner because wet skin is slippier than dry skin. You leave it on for three minutes then rinse off, towel dry and go about your day, and you can even use it on your face.
The tan develops gradually over the ensuing eight hours or so and is fairly subtle, a sun-kissed golden glow rather than a deep bronze. The product also contains almond oil to moisturize and condition skin and is free from parabens, phthalates and sulphates. Your tan will last four or five days and fade gradually. I tried it; it works, and it’s easy – even for a self-tanning simpleton like me (I once tanned the soles of my feet).
I’ve written about this before here, but it hasn’t stopped being awesome. Wash, apply all over, rinse, get out of the shower and dry yourself. Moisturising, done. Nivea makes a similar product, reviewed here.
Lush also has something really exciting in the works: an in-shower sunscreen. It’s already available in the UK and other countries. According to the brand, it’s being reformulated to meet Health Canada and FDA standards and will hopefully be available next summer.
This goes on wet skin, but you don’t rinse it off, so more of the product stays on your skin and you only need to use a tiny bit. The theory is that it traps water and prevents it from evaporating. Don’t towel too vigorously though, or you’ll rub away the goodies. The light lotion comes in two varieties: Coconut Oil, which smells summery and beachy, and Green Tea Oil, which is light and fresh. Afterwards, skin feels smooth and soft, not greasy, so you can get dressed immediately.
You can do any face mask in the shower, but this one rocks because you only need to keep it on for a minute. Apply with dry hands to wet skin and massage in. The mask will heat up on contact with water, thanks to chemical called PEG-8 and a mineral clay. The heat supposedly opens pores, allowing charcoal to draw out the dirt. After a minute, you just rinse it off. It’s ideal for reducing oiliness and makes pores look smaller, but isn’t great for dry skin.
You apply this on wet hair in the shower, massaging it from the roots to the tips, then leave it on for up to five minutes as it coats hair in a polymer that makes it appear thicker. Then you rinse it. After blowdrying, hair has more volume and body. And (this is the WTF bit) the effect lasts through your next three washes. I thought this would do more harm than good to my very short hair, but I was wrong. It doesn’t make locks feel overloaded or look greasy – simply more voluminous, but still shiny and healthy. According to the brand’s creative consultant, Dante Perrone, it works best if you pull up the hair from the roots as you apply it.