The Shower Roundtable


For some strange reason that no one can figure out, the subject of showers came up quite a lot this past summer at Glossier. Shower habits, more specifically. How often one showers, the time of day they take place, and the kind of soap used. Turns out that there are a wide range of opinions about this very basic topic. So eight Glossier employees huddled together in a small closet to discuss. A lot of things were learned, namely that the next meeting should take place in a larger, better ventilated room. Anyway, the following is the result of that conversation.

Emily Ferber, Editorial Director: Hi, I’m Emily Ferber, and I think that showering is mostly optional. We’ll get into it, move on.

Anna Jube, Editorial Assistant: I’m Anna Jube and I disagree. I think that showering is never an option. I shower at least twice a day, every day.

Kendall Latham, Senior Experiential Designer: I’m sort of in between. I usually shower once a day, in the morning, and I think it’s great. I love showering.

Ashley Weatherford, Senior Editor: My shower philosophy is ‘get in there, get out.’ I don’t exactly look forward to it...

Peyton Johnson, Customer Insights Associate Manager: I’d say I shower two out of every three mornings. I love an outdoor shower. Better yet, an outdoor shower with a beer.

Sam Sonntag, Designer: Representing the quick shower-ers here. I’m not myself if I don’t shower in the morning. I cut corners when possible, but I do not sacrifice the hygiene.

Ali Oshinsky, Editorial Intern: My view on showering is that it is the same as eating and going to the bathroom—in that it is maintenance, and it’s annoying. You constantly have to keep doing it. It will never end, it’s a life of showering.

Tom Newton, Photographer and Senior Visuals Editor: Eating is annoying?

Ashley: Hey! I’m the one asking the questions here. Tom, what’s your stance on showering?

Tom: I shower twice a day, every day. It’s actually hard for me to wake up and to go to sleep without showering.

Emily: It’s how Tom enters and leaves the world.

Ashley: OK, so my question is, do you guys shower for your own sense of personal hygiene? If you aren’t going to be around other people—just hanging in your apartment all day on a Sunday, for example—would you shower?

Emily: I would not shower. I don’t shower.

Peyton: I don’t feel compelled if I’m having a lazy day, but it wakes me up. That’s why I’m a morning shower-er. Otherwise it feels like I’m in pajamas, even if I’m not, you know, in pajamas.

Emily [who is shaking her head]: My showers have to be at night. They put me to sleep.

Anna: That’s so strange...

Emily: I’m tired just thinking about it.

Kendall: Does anyone do that thing where you get in the shower, and it’s at the temperature you want it to be at the beginning, but then over the course of your shower you keep on increasing the temperature until it’s almost burning your skin?

Anna: Sounds awful. I make mine colder and colder. It’s invigorating.

Ashley: I try to do the coldest temperature possible, to the point where I’m almost uncomfortable, because I’m scared of drying out my skin.

Peyton: Water temperature affects the dryness of your skin?

Ashley: Oh, yeah.

Kendall: It’s like laundry.

Emily: I want to circle back to the idea of shower beverages. Peyton, you said you drink beer?

Peyton: To be clear, this is something I do before going out at night, or if I’m on vacation.

Emily: I don’t have the shower situation where I could bring a drink into the shower that wouldn’t get wet. I live in a pit. I don’t have plumbing.

Sam: I just heard this morning that somebody drinks their coffee in the shower.

Ashley: That’s deranged.

Peyton: Does anyone brush their teeth in the shower?

Ashley: What?!

Sam: Saves time.

Ashley: [clutches pearls]

Anna: I mean, people will pee in the shower.

Emily: I pee in the shower. I prefer to pee in the shower. I don’t have to sit down. Less work.

Ashley [who is now breathing heavily]: What’s the worst part about taking a shower?

Emily: Being wet after the shower.

Ali: Agreed.

Emily: Again, I live in a not particularly nice apartment, and the whole building is kind of grimy. We do our best to keep the apartment clean, but I feel like when I get out of the shower, all of the dust is going to stick to me and I’m just going to get dirty again.

Anna: Have you ever heard of a bath mat?

Ashley: Emily, I hear you on this one. My solution is to step out on the mat first, and then I step into my slippers right next to the shower mat.

Sam: Hmm, I always just leave a massive puddle on the floor. Can’t be bothered.

Peyton: Do people prefer their own showers, or are there showers that you like better?

Sam: Oh my god. Going home and showering in your parents’ bathroom is…have you ever showered in those showers where it comes out of all the walls and the ceiling?

Peyton: Sounds like a sex thing.

Ali: I have a question—if you’re a night shower-er but you just couldn’t get around to it one night, will you still get into your bed?

Tom: Never.

Anna: Never.

Peyton: There have been a couple times where I have laid out towels on my bed, on top of pillows. I play soccer on Tuesday nights, and if it’s really late when I get home I might do that.

Ashley: What are you scared of? The germs? The sweat?

Peyton: Eh, it just feels sticky.

Kendall: This is getting a little gross. Let’s change the subject. Does anyone play music in their shower?

Sam: Absolutely. That’s why I love it. There’s such a performance to showering. I have a waterproof bluetooth speaker.

Anna: Wow. I just turn up my music really loud outside of the shower.

Emily: I put my phone in this particular place on my sink so that it reverberates against the ceramic in my pit. I also sing. The best voice to sing in when you are in the shower is your best Fall Out Boy or Panic At The Disco voice. Then sing a The Weeknd song. You’ll realize how similar they are.

Peyton: I actually don’t know at all what that would sound like. I’ll turn away, but can you—

Emily: I can’t do it on command.

Kendall: It depends on your shower acoustics. Some showers are echo chambers that make you sound like you’re a perfect singer. And other showers are like, ‘I’m singing in my closet.’

Peyton: I’ve walked in on people singing in the shower, and there’s no way that it’s not a little bit embarrassing.

Ali: I have a recording of my brother singing the Harry Potter theme song in the shower in a very high pitched voice—

Emily: Wait, the Harry Potter song?

Ali: Like, do-do-do-dooo…and then he ends it with, ‘You will die!’

Tom: Your poor brother.

Ali: He’ll never see this.

Ashley: Do you guys ever use your shower for other things besides showering?

Peyton: I’ll wash my shoes in the shower.

Emily: Spray tanning.

Anna: Hand-washing clothing.

Ali: Crying.

Anna: Yes! It’s like a hug, it’s comforting, you’re by yourself, you have privacy. It’s a very New York City thing to do, like sobbing walking down the street.

Kendall: So dramatic. Love!

Emily: Are you cry-wailing?

Kendall: No, but I feel like the shower makes me cry more than I would if I wasn’t in the shower. Because I’m like, ‘Wow, I feel sorry for myself, what a pitiful, wet, crying, 20-something.’ The shower is my cry chamber.

[Several people nod]

Kendall: Moving along now, do you ever do that thing where you buy a really nice thing for yourself that you plan on using in the shower, and then you always forget to bring it into the shower with you for the first couple of mornings? You get in the shower and you’re like, ‘Damn it! It’s on my dresser!’ Like, if you’re out of face wash but you know that you have a full one in your bedroom or something, and you’re like, ‘I forgot. Again!’ So upsetting.

Tom: Oh, that’s why you cry.

Emily: Wait, this is a shower roundtable and no one has talked about how they get clean in there.

Ali: I do not wash anything that I cannot reach. I don’t think I’ve ever taken pains to wash the middle of my back. I can’t see it, I have no idea. But it’s fine!

Emily: Yeah, I’m not totally concerned with getting everything squeaky clean, but occasionally—obviously I’m not doing it every day, as we’ve established—I like a really stripping body soap because it allows you to be a very lazy shower-er. I got Dr. Bronner’s because you can literally pass that over your body—you barely even need to suds it—and you rinse it off, and you’re squeaky.

Kendall: I absolutely fully wash in the morning, because I like to start my day clean. If I get really sweaty by the end of the day, I will jump in the shower at night just to rinse.

Anna: I have a very specific ritual, which is that I wash my hair first, then condition. I leave it in while I shave my legs. After that I always use a bar soap on my armpits. Then I clean my whole body with body wash, just using my hands. Then I use the body wash under my arms too, just to match the scent.

Emily: You’re insane.

Anna: Then I massage my face with Milky Jelly Cleanser, and then…


Anna: Maximum, 10 minutes.

[Emily takes this in]

Anna: So, as I was say-ing, after I massage with Milky Jelly, then I wash my face with La Roche-Posay Salicylic Acid Cleanser. And then I rinse my hair and my body, and I get out.

Ali: What’s your night routine?

Anna: I’ll use Milky Jelly for my face, and I do a once-over with body wash.

Emily: When I had a reliable shower I would shower all the time. And then, when I stopped having a reliable shower, it was like, well, I don’t know how long the water’s going to take to get hot, and then not scalding. That could be 10 minutes.

Kendall: I have the same routine every morning. I get in the shower, I turn my handle to a perfect 45 degrees angle. I always wash top-down. So, I do my hair first. And then I wash my face with either CeraVe or Milky Jelly with this little silicone exfoliator thing. I don’t use any kind of cloth or loofah. Other than that everything is pretty standard. I have this goat milk bar soap that my mom mails me from Kentucky that I really like. I feel clean—like, when I rub my arm in the shower it squeaks—but I never feel dried out. You know how people say you don’t need to wash every part of your body? I never respect that in the shower. I always think of my body like, if you were to open Photoshop and it was all red, and you had to erase all the red. If I think of behind my ears, or between my ankle bone and Achilles tendon, places like that, I have to always make sure to get or it’ll drive me crazy. I’m very thorough, but very simple.

Everyone but Kendall and Anna: ...

Ashley: And how long does this take?

Kendall: Like 10 or 15 minutes.

Emily: Now that I don’t wash my hair, and I got laser, if I shower it can take me 3 minutes.

Ali: I don’t know how it’s possible to shower for longer. Like, what are you doing in there? Three minutes sounds right.

Emily: Kendall needs approximately 7 minutes to cry.

Ashley: Last question. How do you guys clean your shower?

Anna: I use one of those scouring pads.

Kendall: I bleach it.

Emily: Here’s the thing. I can’t clean my shower too thoroughly because the tiles will fall off—

Ali: You need to move.

This conversation has been edited and condensed.

Photo via ITG.