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How to Freshen Up Without Showering

Life comes at you fast and furious, and as much as we get that you want to be clean, sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to shower.

If you're guilty of squeezing too much into your day and forgetting about the importance of cleanliness, please know that you're not alone. Likewise, if you've ever fallen prey to the luxury of an extra hour of sleep in exchange for a shower, we totally get it.

Think of it this way: Clean water is a precious commodity that gets taken for granted on the daily, so really, you're just doing your part to save water and reduce your water usage footprint. Good on ya!

Now, even if you forego the shower, that doesn't mean you have to walk around worried about how you smell all day. In fact, there are plenty of ways to stay fresh without even a single drop of water. I'm sure this is terrific news for all my procrastinators, “busy Betty’s,” and eco-friendly fam out there.

So if you're wondering how to freshen up after long flights, hard workouts, or stressful commutes without hitting the shower, I've got all the answers - plus a few shamelessly true stories to help you feel better about yourself!

Post-Flight Freshening

How to freshen up without showering post-flight

Okay, here's the sitch: I was flying from Boston to Fort Worth for a work event, and after what seemed like days of travel I was feeling less than stellar when I finally landed in the Lone Star State. Throw in a frantic 30-minute dash-to-the-next-terminal-like-your-life-depends-on-it layover in Philly, and I pretty much knew I was doomed to arrive looking like a dehydrated apple.

I don't know about you, but flying sucks the everliving hotness right out of me. I can road trip all day and not feel the same level of nasty that I do after a day of flying. Probably because planes are pretty gross when you really think about it; I mean, you're just breathing recycled air for hours on end. There's definitely nothing gag-worthy about that, right? It only makes sense to clean up after a trip so you can arrive at your destination as crisp as you were when you left.

Usually, I don't even try to fight the funk - I anticipate showing up to baggage claim looking haggard and make a beeline for the nearest shower, but this trip was a little different.

Contrary to my expectations, there was no luxurious hotel shower waiting for me at upon arrival. Instead, I got whisked away right from the airport to a fancy dinner with all the big wigs in my company. All I had was five minutes in a bathroom stall with a door that wouldn't fully close to rummage through my bag, put together a halfway decent ensemble, get dressed, and say a quick prayer that the restaurant would go up in flames before we showed up.

Oh, and before leaving the bathroom, I attempted to wipe the melting mascara off from under my eyes with one of those brittle pieces of brown paper towel. Spoiler alert: it didn't help.

I was stressed through the entire dinner, knowing that I looked like a hot mess in such a ritzy establishment between such stylish people.   

After this hellish trip, I decided to make a few changes in my travel game. Instead of looking like, well, a person who's been traveling all day, I figured it was time to take some precautionary action.

Now anytime I fly anywhere, I pack an arsenal of airplane-friendly toiletries to make sure I'm ready for whatever glamorous events get thrown my way. My new essentials include: face wipes to freshen up my makeup, dry shampoo to wake up my sad, parched locks, and body wipes to get the stale airplane air off my skin.

Keep Your Cool After A Workout

How to freshen up without showering after workout

If you've ever taken a hot yoga class, then you know that the sweat is nothing to joke about. If you've never tried it before, allow me to explain: you take your average yoga class, pack it full of people, and add about a hundred degrees to the room. It's fun, I swear.

Real talk though - these classes make me feel like a vision of health, but not until a little later on in the day. Directly after the class, I feel like a swamp monster who should run away and hide in the nearest shower. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot yoga or another form of exercise, I always feel this way after working out.

That's why any impromptu hangouts following a workout have always been a no-go - that is, until recently. I stumbled upon an article about the effects of showering post-workout that both horrified and delighted me.

Based on what I discovered, taking a shower right after a sweat session isn't such a good idea, after all. A cold shower will cool the body down (obviously) and disrupt the detoxification process, while a hot shower will drains the body of energy. That second one sounds a little hippy-dippy, but there's actually a ton of science to back it up.

I fully understand that this rule pretty much goes against everything we ever thought we knew about basic hygiene, but I’m not one to argue with science.

Instead of quenching your need for cleanliness with a shower, try using a body wipe to freshen up. If your sweat hasn't dried on its own, use a towel beforehand, so you're not just moving the wetness around.

Now, this all sounds pretty good, but what in the world do you do with your sweat-soaked hair? I'll tell you what: use dry shampoo like there's no tomorrow! You could also consider wearing braids to your workout and taking them out afterwards for some natural wave action or splashing some water in your hair and going for that posh, disheveled look. If all else fails, grab a hat.

Workday Wake-Up

How to freshen up without showering after commuting

Sometimes I feel like I deserve a trophy just for showing up to work regardless of what I look like (or smell like) when I get there. Other days I wake up early to take a shower only to have my efforts foiled somewhere along my commute.

Whether it's a sheer lack of motivation or an uphill bike ride to the office that's hindering your hygiene, we've got a few tricks up our sleeve that will help you look and feel fresh without actually getting in the shower.

If you're struggling with getting out the door in time, dry shave cream and dry shampoo are your best friends. But you couldn't possibly show off your freshly-shaven legs in your #OOTD when they're dry and flaky. Instead of taking all that extra time to wash and moisturize your legs, use a dry brush to get rid of dehydrated patches.

Some people drive to work in their nice, air-conditioned cars, while others bike or ride the train. Either way, if your commute is taking a toll on your cleanliness, keep a pack of body wipes on hand to help restore some balance when you arrive. It couldn't hurt to also carry some good-smelling spritz with you.   

Some additional tips to stay fresh between showers include keeping your undies clean, your hair away from your face, your underarms deodorized, and under no circumstances sleeping with old makeup on. Fun fact: magnesium oil also works wonders for reducing body odor - add it to your nightly routine for a fresher tomorrow!

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