Introduction to Shower Steamers
Shower steamers, also known as shower bombs, melts, or tablets, are fragrant discs that release essential oils and aromatherapy ingredients when placed in a steamy shower. They provide a spa-like experience, promoting relaxation and stress relief. The aromatherapy qualities are the main draw of most shower steamers. They first entered the mainstream consumer market in 2015, with retailers like Target and Walmart carrying popular brands. Now, dozens of companies offer various shower steamers, scents, and formulations. The use and functionality are simple: place the steamer at the corner of the shower floor, allow hot water to hit it, and enjoy the sensory escape. Most steamers provide fragrance for 5-10 minutes before fully dissolving, making them a pleasant and easy way to start the day or unwind at night.
Benefits of Using Shower Steamers
Shower steamers provide benefits beyond simply scenting your shower routine. Understanding these benefits can help you maximize your shower steamer experience.
The Fundamental Benefits of Using Shower Steamers
At their core, shower steamers transform an ordinary shower into an aromatherapy steam session. As the shower steamer dissolves under the hot water, essential oils infuse into the air and provide an immersive aromatherapy experience. The scented steam helps you relax and unwind, enhancing your shower from a perfunctory task into a rejuvenating sensory experience.
Beyond aromatherapy, shower steamers provide moisture to your skin. The hot steam softens and hydrates your skin, helping you avoid dryness and irritation. The essential oils also provide skin-nourishing ingredients that can make your skin radiant.
Aromatherapy and Its Effects on Mood and Mindset
Aromatherapy through essential oils is the core benefit of shower steamers. The scents interact with your limbic system, impacting your emotions, mood, and mindset.
Eucalyptus, for example, is clarifying and invigorating. Lavender is calming and relaxing. Citrus scents energize and uplift. With different scents, you can customize your shower to your specific needs at that moment – whether it’s a pick-me-up, distress, or relaxation.
Beyond influencing mindset, aromatherapy’s impact on the limbic system can also provide real physical benefits. Scents like eucalyptus open up airways, lavender calms hypertension, and jasmine aids sleep.
The Potential Health Benefits of Essential Oils
In addition to aromatherapy benefits, many essential oils used in shower steamers also provide potential health and wellness benefits:
- Eucalyptus is antiviral and antibacterial, potentially helping prevent colds and allergies. Its anti-inflammatory properties help with respiratory conditions.
- Peppermint relieves nausea, headaches, and digestive issues through its antispasmodic characteristics. It may also boost energy levels.
- Lavender oil reduces inflammation and aids sleep and relaxation through its sedative traits.
- Lemongrass, rosemary, and citrus oils help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Tea tree oil is antimicrobial and may help treat breakouts, burns, and cuts.
While more research is still needed, these potential benefits give further motivation to make shower steamers part of your wellness routine.
Types of Shower Steamers
Shower steamers come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and ingredients to suit different needs and preferences. Here is an overview of the main types available:
- Tablets – These are the most common shape for shower steamers. They are flat, round discs that dissolve easily under hot running water. Tablets typically range from 2-3 inches in diameter.
- Hearts – Heart-shaped steamers are a popular romantic or self-love option. The indented heart shape allows the steamer to dissolve gradually. Heart steamers are approximately 2-3 inches in size.
- Flowers – Flower-shaped steamers provide a fun, decorative look. Flower shapes are usually more intricate and detailed, taking longer to dissolve. Flower steamers range from 2-4 inches in diameter.
- Animals – For a playful shower experience, animal shaped steamers like frogs, whales, or butterflies are available. Animal shapes are typically 1-2 inches in size.
- Balls – Ball or sphere shaped steamers are less common but provide a unique look. The rounded shape causes them to roll around as they dissolve. Ball steamers are 1-2 inches in diameter.
- Geometric – Square, triangular, or cylindrical steamers offer an alternative to traditional round tablets. Geometric shapes stand out and often dissolve slower. They range from 2-3 inches in size.
- Essential oils – Most shower steamers use essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, citrus oils, peppermint, and tea tree. Essential oils provide aroma and therapeutic benefits.
- Dried flowers – Some contain real dried flowers like lavender buds, rose petals, or jasmine for visual and aromatic appeal.
- Clays – Plant-based clays like kaolin or bentonite help hold the shape and add minerals.
- Salts – Sea salt, Epsom salt, or Himalayan pink salt can be used for exfoliation.
- Vitamins – Vitamin C, vitamin E, or other vitamins may be included in the ingredients for an added boost.
- Other – Natural moisturizers like coconut or shea butter are sometimes incorporated too. Colors or glitters may be used for decoration.
The ingredients impact the aroma, skin feel, and effects of the steamer. Natural plant-based ingredients are recommended.
How to Use Shower Steamers
Using a shower steamer is a simple process that enhances your shower experience with aromatic steam. Here is a step-by-step guide:
Start by taking the shower steamer out of its plastic packaging or wrapping. Some shower steamers may come in a foil packet or plastic clamshell case – remove the steamer from this casing before use.
Position the Shower Steamer
Place your shower steamer on the floor of your shower, near the stream of water. You’ll want it positioned so that the water hits and activates the shower steamer directly. Putting it on a corner ledge or directly under the water stream works best.
Activate the Aroma
Turn on your shower to a hot temperature. Allow the shower steamer to get wet underneath the stream of water. It will begin to fizz and dissolve, activating the essential oils and aroma. As the hot water continues to hit the shower steamer, it will fully dissolve and release fragrant steam into your shower.
Enjoy the Steam
Breathe in deeply and enjoy the therapeutic steam infused with essential oils. The aroma will fill your shower and provide a spa-like experience. Let your body absorb the moist steam, relax and enjoy the scent.
Once finished with your shower, allow the leftover shower steamer residue to go down the drain. Any remaining aroma or essence will leave your shower smelling wonderful. Pat yourself dry, breathe deeply and enjoy the relaxation and aroma that lingers on your skin.
Tips for Using Shower Steamers
To get the most out of your shower steamer experience, here are some helpful tips and tricks:
- Place the steamer directly under the water flow. Position the steamer near the bottom of your shower floor or wall so the water hits it directly. This helps activate and diffuse the aromatherapy benefits most effectively.
- Make sure your shower is not too hot. Very hot water can burn off the essential oils before you get the full aroma benefit. Warm to hot water is ideal.
- Close the shower door or curtain. Containing the steam helps concentrate the essential oil molecules so you inhale more of the scent.
- Inhale deeply. Breathe in slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This draws in more of the aromatic vapor.
- Use steamers in the evening. The relaxation benefits are enhanced when using shower steamers before bedtime.
- Pair with music or sound. Listening to calming or upbeat music enhances the immersive experience.
- Follow up with moisturizer. Lock in hydration after your steamy shower by applying a rich, aromatic body lotion or oil
- Combine scents. Use multiple shower steamers at once to create your own blend. But start with just one scent at a time to identify what works best.
- Track benefits. Note when and which steamer you use to identify the most effective ones for relaxation, energy boost, etc.
By following these tips, you can optimize your shower steamer routine for the greatest aromatherapy benefits. Take deep breaths, relax, and enjoy your mini spa experience!
DIY Shower Steamer Recipes
Making your own shower steamers at home is a fun DIY project that allows you to customize the scents and ingredients. It’s also much more affordable than buying pre-made shower steamers.
The process of making shower steamers is relatively simple. All you need is a few basic ingredients like baking soda, citric acid, corn starch, essential oils, and a mold to form the steamer shape. The ingredients are easy to find at most grocery stores or online.
Below is an example recipe and instructions for making homemade shower steamers:
Lavender Vanilla Shower Steamers
Yields 6 shower steamers
1 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons citric acid
1/2 teaspoon carrier oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops vanilla essential oil
Shower steamer molds
- In a mixing bowl, combine the baking soda, corn starch, and citric acid. Use the spoon to mix the dry ingredients together.
- Add the carrier oil and the essential oils to the dry mixture. Mix well until fully incorporated.
- Using a spoon, tightly pack the mixture into each cavity of the shower steamer molds.
- Once all cavities are full, use your finger to smooth out the tops.
- Allow the shower steamers to dry completely overnight before removing them from the molds.
- Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
The key steps are blending the dry ingredients, mixing the wet ingredients, tightly packing the molds, and letting the steamers fully dry before using them. You can customize the shapes, scents, colors, and ingredients to create shower steamers perfect for your needs. Homemade shower steamers make a thoughtful gift too!
What are shower steamers?
Shower steamers are small tablets, made up of essential oils, natural ingredients, and binding agents, that release aroma when placed in a steamy shower. The hot water from the shower causes the tablet to dissolve, releasing essential oils and moisturizing ingredients into the air.
What are the benefits of using shower steamers?
There are several benefits to using shower steamers:
They infuse your shower with lovely scents that uplift your mood and promote relaxation. The aromatherapy qualities can help reduce stress.
They add moisture to the air, which can help improve respiratory conditions and moisturize your skin and hair.
Certain ingredients may offer additional benefits – menthol can open up sinuses, eucalyptus has antibacterial properties, etc.
They can enhance your shower experience and self-care routine by promoting pampering.
Are shower steamers safe?
Shower steamers are generally safe when used as directed. Most are made from natural essential oils, herbs, and other ingredients that are safe for inhalation. However, those with respiratory conditions, allergies, or skin sensitivities should check the ingredients first. Avoid direct contact with eyes and mouth. As with any product, discontinue use if any irritation occurs.
What are some highly recommended shower steamers to try?
Some popular and top-rated shower steamer brands include:
Cleverfy Aromatherapy Shower Steamers
Vena Wellness Shower Steamers
Kneipp Shower Steaming Rounds
Pure Daily Care Aromatherapy Shower Bombs
Dr. Teal’s Eucalyptus SteamShower Steamer
Village Naturals Bath Shoppe Shower Steamers
Look for quality ingredients like essential oils and sea salts. Favorite scents include eucalyptus, lavender, menthol, citrus, and floral.
How can one make their own shower steamers at home?
Making DIY shower steamers is simple. Basic ingredients include baking soda, citric acid, cornstarch, Epsom salts, essential oils, and water. Mix the dry ingredients first, then add several drops of your chosen essential oils. Slowly add water just until a dough-like consistency forms. Pour into molds, press firmly, and let dry completely before removing and using in the shower.
Shower steamers are a great way to improve your shower routine and provide relaxation, aromatherapy benefits, and an at-home spa experience. They release essential oils into the shower, providing a soothing aromatherapy treatment that boosts mood, energy, and mindset. Key benefits include aromatherapy effects, moisturizing shower humidification, fun visual appeal, stress relief, and congestion relief from menthol and eucalyptus oils. To use, remove plastic wrapping, run the shower hot, place the steamer under the water spray, close the door, and breathe deeply. They are easy to use, affordable, and can be made at home.