Rescue from the Black Tiles of Doom; or how to successfully avoid the gym shower

Busy Beauty Gigantic Showerless Body Wipes

I have a confession to make. The shower at my gym creeps me out.  I know what you’re thinking.  Overweight woman, public-ish showers, fear of public nudity. Completely understandable. But that’s not it. Okay sure, I don’t want to be naked in public, but the real creep factor? 

The tiles.

Don’t get me wrong.  They are clean. Squeaky clean. The force of industrial disinfectant is strong with those tiles. It is just the color of them that creeps me out.  They (and even worse the commodes in the ladies restroom section of the locker rooms) are black.  Jet black.  And shiny. 

Somehow the shiny makes it worse.

Not that I think matte black would make it better.

I have no rational explanation for why this creeps me out.  I suspect several sessions with a therapist might be able to tease out an answer.  But because of it, I tend to rationalize avoiding all but the changing area of the locker rooms. 

While I live across town from my gym, it is only about a twenty minute drive (on a good day).  And while this has on occasion (because the black commode is waaaay worse than the shower tiles) caused me to race directly towards my bathroom upon arrival, I can stand to be stinky in my car alone for twenty minutes.  Especially knowing I can shower when I arrive.

In fact, I frequently ‘forget’ my gym toiletries bag so that I have to race home to shower before continuing my day.

The only real downfall is the grocery store.

It is located next to the gym. They are separated by a thin strip of asphalt.  And often I need to stop by and pick something up that was forgotten on grocery day. We make a list, and yet, things get left off. Or run out unexpectedly mid-week.

Either way, I need to stop at the store and not only can I not inflict my post  workout stink upon an unsuspecting public, but I almost always end up running into someone I know, occasionally it is a neighbor but more often it is a professional connection.  Stinky isn’t really an impression I like leaving.

My new post workout besties

Enter the Gigantic Showerless Body Wipes from Busy Beauty.

They were kind enough to send over three different types for me to try.  They gifted me with the peppermint pomelo, the dandelion dragon and the kiwano star fruit body wipes to try and let me tell you, I will be forever grateful.

At first the term gigantic made me a little hesitant.  I envisioned a tarp like creation emerging from the packet to either swaddle me or enable me to erect a tent of sanitation in the middle of the locker-room. And the individual packs felt almost thick enough in the pouch to do that.

Incidentally, the large bags each contain eight of those (above) individually wrapped packets.

It felt less massive when I saw the individual ones, but still substantial. When I opened the peppermint pomelo I was braced, but the sheets are about the size of an oversized washcloth and quite manageable.  In fact they are very cloth like, which accounted for the puffiness of the pack. The cloth is thicker than a make-up wipe or pre-moistened towel-ette and thinner than an actual washcloth. It’s textured a bit like a washcloth thought, which gave me high hopes.

The sheets are large and textured to both help you clean up and to feel more like a washcloth than a baby wipe

According to the website…

Customers told us they wanted a biodegradable body wipe that could be used for their whole body – without ripping or drying out. So we made a body wipe that’s biodegradable AND 3 times bigger and 2 times thicker than the average baby wipe. Now you can survive your sweaty commute, go to brunch after a workout, sleep in, and travel the world… all you need is a Gigantic Body Wipe!

I love the fact that they are biodegradable. The first body wipe I tried was the peppermint pomelo.  I have a weakness for peppermint.  Oddly enough, I can’t stand spearmint, but I adore peppermint. The scent is nice, but not overpowering. 

When I opened it, I was worried about exactly how moistened the cloth would be.  I know I have opened a couple of sheet masks before and found massive amounts of extra serum.  This was moist, and when I squeezed it in my hand I could feel the liquid, but nothing dripped.  It was at that perfectly saturated, but not overly saturated stage. 

So standing with an opened cloth in the ladies locker room, I quickly wiped down.

The wipe was cooling and clean.  I did not feel like I had any residue left on my skin, nor did I feel that my skin was stripped as it would have been had I used an oversized towel-ette packet. My skin was damp from the cloth, but quickly dried.  By the time I finished wiping down the rest of me, the parts I started with felt clean and dry.  The scent is light and it fades as it dries so that it is no more of a scent on your skin than a good body wash would leave after you exit the shower. It is content to fade into the background.

On my next few visits I tried the other scents, dandelion dragon and kiwano star fruit. They were both slightly cooling as well, but not quite as cooling as the peppermint pomelo.  I think they all have some peppermint in them, but clearly the peppermint pomelo has more and all mint produces a cooling sensation on the skin.

Of the three I tried the kiwano star fruit is the sweetest smelling.  It is not a sticky sweet that makes you feel a little unclean after applying it to the skin, but a lightly sweet scent almost like a floral soap, but not quite as intense. The dandelion Dragon smelled a little green and mostly like dragon fruit, which is a subtle scent to begin with. 

Given that it is winter, the dandelion dragon is my favorite of the three scents.  The peppermint pomelo was just a little too cooling for the outside temps and a little shocking after an intense workout.  It was a nice shock, but not something I’d want each time. 

I suspect as temperatures climb and I start sweating it out on the walking trail under the burning sun (and several layers of sunscreen) I will go straight for the peppermint pomelo as a post walk rub down.  Even after a short time of use, I knew this was going to be a gym bag staple for me. Actually after the first use I knew I would keep using them. 

With one of these wipes and a can of dry shampoo, I can cool down and tidy up enough that I can avoid the gym shower to get groceries without stinking up the produce aisle. And while I know that sounds a little silly to some, I generally break my workouts into sections, sometimes two and other times three.  I simply can’t take a shower after each section without doing horrible things to my skin, and water bill.

Even without my dislike of black tile, this is a really good product for me. I also suspect that they will be in my carry-on next time I jump the Atlantic to visit family. I think with one of these in tow a quick visit to the airport bathroom will leave me feeling less nasty after a long flight.

I also have to add as a personal vindication, I now feel less upset by my dislike of the black tiles.  The third time I pulled one of these out of my bag a couple of the ladies I see every gym visit, but don’t really talk to beyond pleasantries asked me about them.  I explained what they were and handed them some extras I had with me.  One of the ladies showed an intense look of relief. 

Apparently, I am not the only one who is not a fan of those black tiled showers. She claimed they wouldn’t be as bad if the grout weren’t black as well. Its something I have to think about.  Luckily, I can now think about it when I am clean and dressed and not contemplating using the showers.

Even if you don’t have my fear of showers, I highly recommend looking into this product.  Whether for gym visits, surviving long flights or camping (oh lord, I just remembered I volunteered to serve as an extra adult during a spring camping trip this year if the girl scout leader couldn’t get enough parents.  Sorry, mental aside, just ignore that.) this biodegradable option is something to keep on hand when a regular shower isn’t a viable option. I’ve posted a link below if you want to check out their site. You can also save 10% with the code SAVE10

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