In the three years since lockdown, most of my pandemic-era habits have gone by the wayside. My living-room workouts have returned to the gym, my newly minted cooking skills have gone dormant, and the guitar I swore I would learn how to play has become a decor piece instead of a hobby. The one thing that's stood the test of time—and the back-to-real-lifeness that started at some point during #hotvaxsummer—is my shower routine.
In 2020, when every other part of my routine was disrupted, my showers became a saving grace. I came to cherish the time I spent under the warm water with my sandalwood-scented body washes and slippery hair masks—the sensory experience of it all turned those few solo minutes into meditative moments of self-care. And I wasn't alone in that: At the time, I wrote a story about how showers had become the only sliver of "me" time that many could carve out amidst the chaos of the pandemic and spoke to multiple women who felt the same way I did about their solo bathroom routines. It wasn't much, but it was something.
- Amy Galper, certified aromatherapist
This "something" turned into an awakening about the power of daily showers, which has stuck with many of us long after the days of bingeing Tiger King and making sourdough starters were behind us. #Showertok has very much become a thing, garnering more than 5.5 billion views on videos about how people make their shower time special. "Everything showers" (which involve doing everything from shaving your legs to scrubbing your limbs to deep-conditioning your strands) and "nothing showers" (which require doing little more than chilling out under the water) have begun to dominate the conversation. Despitepite their inherent opposition; both send the same clear message: This time is for you, so spend it however the hell you want.
Brands are picking up on the fact that people are looking to make the most out of their daily shower routines, and the offerings to help them do so are beginning to pour in. Body care has emerged as one of the foremost beauty trends of the last few years, with countless scrubs, body washes, and lotions hitting the market that allow people to embrace sensory beauty while caring for their skin from the neck down. "Shower steamers," which are essentially bath bombs for the shower and dissolve to fill the air with relaxing scents, have become a product category of their own, with brands like Esker and Herbal Zen entering the space. Even shower heads have gotten an upgrade, which leads me to the product that has helped me maintain my pandemic-era shower zen above all else: The Sprig Shower Infusion System ($149).
Earlier this year, plumbing brand Kohler introduced Sprig, which they call "a new wellness brand that elevates daily routines into premium self-care rituals." The line features bath bombs, linen sprays, and the aforementioned infusion system, all of which are meant to turn a basic shower into a full-blown spa experience.
"Built on the belief that being short on time doesn't mean one has to be short on experience, Sprig expands everyday moments by transforming standard routines into amplified wellness rituals," says the brand in a press release. "The shower (and the bathroom more generally) is a place where consumers go to relax, reset, and recharge, and Sprig makes the most of those small and medium pockets of personal time." In other words, Kohler took our lockdown learnings about the power of showers and turned them into an entire brand.
The Sprig Shower Infusion System features a next-gen showerhead attachment that uses specially designed pods to infuse your shower water with relaxing scents and skin-friendly ingredients. The head is easy to install on most existing plumbing, and it takes seconds to pop in the pod of your choice (FWIW: they last for around eight showers until they need to be recycled). Each pod is made with hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA to hydrate the skin (both of these ingredients act as humectants to draw water into the skin, making them perfect to use while you're already standing under running water), and comes in the following scents so that you can personalize your shower based on what you're feeling (or, more aptly, how you want to be feeling when you step out):
- Breathe: Eucalyptus and Mint to revive and refresh
- Focus: Clary Sage and Patchouli to awaken and empower
- Recharge: Bergamot and Lemongrass to energize and invigorate
- Shield: Tea Tree and Rosemary to purify and cleanse
- Relax: Chamomile and Green Tea to calm and soothe
- Sleep: Lavender and Vanilla to create a serene environment
"The shower is a great time to make use of essential oils," Amy Galper, certified aromatherapist, previously told Well+Good. "The heat from the shower helps disperse the vapors of the oils, making them easier to breathe in, and the heat also opens the pores of our skin, making it easier for the oils to enter our bodies."
I've been using the Sprig Shower Infusion System for the last three months and can confirm that this is true—the device has elevated my routine precisely the way the brand promises. Because I work remotely, my showers have become bookends to my day—I take one immediately after I wake up to kick-start my morning and after I close my laptop for the night to reset my mental state at night—and the infusion system helped make each of these moments feel special. Depending on how I feel first thing, I'll opt to use either the Breathe (on days when I'm super stressed), Focus (on days when I know I need to get a lot done), or Recharge (on days when I'm super sleepy) pods for my a.m. lather and rinse. Then, in the evening, I'll go with Relax or Sleep to chill me out before I settle in for the rest of the night.
It may not sound like much, but this tiny tweak to my routine allows me to inject self-care into even the busiest days. Inhaling the soothing scents from Sprig's line reminds me that the time I spend in the shower is for me. And giving myself permission to turn off my brain and make the most of it—especially as those days seem to get busier and busier in this post-lockdown world—has been a game-changer.
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