How to Look Like Youve Showered (When You Havent Bathed in Days)

Did you ever notice that moms, especially new moms, joke a lot about not having the time to shower? Well, as the old proverb goes, many a true word is spoken in jest. Guess what: Lots of moms really don’t have the time to shower.

Unlike just about every other activity, showering requires walling yourself off from your child… and when you’re home alone with one or more children, yelling “Don’t feed your brother postage stamps!” through the curtain just doesn’t cut it.

Which is why on especially difficult days, the crafty moms fake it. They might look like they’ve lathered, rinsed and repeated… but, in fact, they’ve only wiped, dabbed and cheated!

Check out some of the fake shower strategies I’ve collected below. But please note that none of these apply to me because I’m always really clean and fresh like I’ve just bathed in a waterfall and then rolled in a bed of petunia petals.*

*OK, that might be a slight exaggeration. It’s more like lavender petals, really.


  • Prepare for Some Hygiene Hijinks! 1 of 12

    No one has to know...

  • Dry Shampoo 2 of 12

    It's easy to be skeptical, but fans of dry shampoo--which comes in spray or powdered form--say it's the real deal, actually cleaning your hair and making it smell fresh. "I don't know what I ever did before the invention of dry shampoos. Talk about an absolute game changer," writer Amanda Montel confessed in a dry shampoo feature on TotalBeauty.com. Feel like DIY-ing it? You can make your own with corn starch.

    Buy Dove Refresh+Care Dry Shampoo on Amazon.

  • Thick Head Bands, Wraps or Bandanas 3 of 12

    Your friends may think you're just being bohemian or trendy, but you'll know the truth--that gorgeous head gear is hiding hair slick enough to grease every baking sheet in your kitchen, plus a few in Martha Stewart's!

    Buy Bohemian Soft Headbands on Amazon.

  • Hairstyles That Hide the Funk 4 of 12

    Any number of 'dos can disguise your unwashed tresses. There are ultra, ahem, sleek, tight ponytails, regular braids, French braids and, a perennial favorite among the styling-challenged, messy buns. If it's really just your roots that look questionable, grab a thin head band to pull them back and let your otherwise passable locks flow freely.

    Image of Adriana Lima via Wikimedia Commons.

  • Advanced Hairstyles That Hide the Funk 5 of 12

    If you've got the wherewithal to use tools other than a brush or comb, consider using a straightening or curling iron to make your hair look neater. (The former works better when you soak up some of the grease with a dab of baby powder first, a mom advised me.) Want to try something new? One mom told me that a "hot bun"--using this tool--is a staple of her fake shower arsenal.

    Image via Wikimedia Commons.

  • Put Deodorant on Again 6 of 12

    Yesterday's eyeliner might still be doing its job--way to go, eyeliner!--but don't expect yesterday's deodorant swipe to be as enduring. Even without a shower, reapplying it will do you a world of good... or so I've heard.

    Buy Suave Invisible Anti-Perspirant on Amazon.

  • Use Hand Sanitizer Under Your Arms 7 of 12
    11 ways to fake a shower if you're a busy mom...or anyone else!

    I still remember reading a profile of one of the "Dancing With the Stars" show's foreign dance instructors, who rubbed hand sanitizer under his arms and said something along the lines of  "It's the Eastern European version of showering." I don't care if it's the Martian version of showering, if it's good enough for someone who dances up a sweat every day, it's good enough for me! Just one caveat: One mom warned me that if you do it too much, your skin might dry out and you risk in-grown underarm hairs. Yikes.

  • Baby Wipes… for You 8 of 12
    11 ways to fake a shower if you're a busy mom...or anyone else!

    You can use them, er, everywhere. 'Nuff said.

  • Just a Quick Spritz 9 of 12

    Spritz on a light fragrance to fake that fresh-out-of-the-shower scent... but consider wearing it on days when you do shower too, so it's not a dead giveaway to your family. "Uh oh, Mom smells like the ocean again. Ew."

    Buy Bath & Body Works Sea Island Cotton 8 Oz Body Splash at Amazon.com.

  • Light Make-Up 10 of 12

    Some tinted moisturizer, a lip balm and maybe a little mascara--or whatever your go-to minimalist make-up combo is--can make your face look fresh even if the rest of you isn't.

    Buy Dermalogica Sheer Tint on Amazon.

  • Accessorize Like You Mean It 11 of 12

    When all else fails, grab your favorite scarf or chunky earrings and prepare to dazzle the world with your bold sense of style. Fellow members of your Mommy & Me group will be too busy admiring your accessories to notice that most of your skin hasn't touched soap since last week.

    Image via morgueFile.

  • Mum’s the Word 12 of 12

    Given the brilliant ways you've managed to look great while skipping showers, you might be tempted to disclose your hygiene hacks. Don't do it! A magician doesn't reveal his tricks and neither should you. Just take it from North Carolina mom Amber: "Often times when I am faking it, my husband seems to hit on me more, saying I look all fancified," she told me. "As soon as I mention that I didn't shower... mood killer."

    Image via stock.xchng


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