Shower Gel vs Body Wash

Typically, when you think of a body wash you may also think of a shower gel, because while the two are synonymous to one another, they are both very different. The purpose for them both is the same but depending on a few factors one might work better for your skin than the other. So, let’s dive in.

What is a shower gel? A shower gel is similar to a liquid soap that can be used to clean the body while showering. It is preferred over bar soap because it leaves no soap scum or residue in the shower. One common question we get asked is, “Can bar soap cause mold?” The answer is, perhaps. Ventilation is your best friend. Bar soaps can get wet and scummy after use which creates the perfect spot for mold to grow. Therefore, sometimes one may prefer to use a body wash or shower gel, but more on soaps later.

What is a body wash? Unlike a shower gel, a body wash is an essential liquid soap. The body wash has a creamy and soapy structure as compared to a shower gel. Additionally, it contains a lot more moisturizing and hydrating components.

The main difference between both of these is simply texture. Shower gels tend to be firmer while a body wash is thinner and for good measure, we would like to point out bar soap as well. Bar soap is known to have a high alkaline pH which is thought to disrupt the natural skin barrier and strip the skin of its natural oils. It is, for this reason, we would not recommend bar soap when you have dry skin. For those with sensitive skin, a shower gel may not be your best option. This is because most shower gels tend to have fragrances in them, leaving the skin both dehydrated and irritated. If you’re looking for a quick lather and rinse: Bar Soap. Fragrance: Shower Gel. Hydration and moisture: Body wash.

Keep in mind, these are not hard and fast categorizations, you will need to play around with various options to determine the right fit for you and your body. Let’s break it down by climate, too, shall we?

If you live in a cold drier climate, body washes are the safer options: body washes that contain the ingredient, ceramide, which dermatologists explain, “will keep the skin barrier intact and retain moisture.” Also, both hyaluronic acid and glycerin are good ingredients to look for. And while some body washes have fragrances, those with sensitive skin, again, may want to avoid that altogether.

If you have oily skin and want to use bar soaps, this is a good bet, along with a good shower gel. It is best for acne-prone skin – back and legs etc. To help combat this bar soaps do sometimes contain ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. For those who have acne-prone skin and prefer a body wash, or want to avoid drying out their skin, it is best to choose a non-comedogenic or oil-free wash to prevent pores from getting clogged which can lead to worse breakouts.

Our recommendation, of course, is the Revitalize Lavender and Sage Body Wash. The 2 FL oz. bottle is free from fragrances which makes it ideal for those with sensitive skin. This Body Wash is perfect for all skin types. When using products to help combat skin irritation it is always nice to have your sensations tingling with the sweet aroma of Lavender, Sage, and essential oils to help stimulate the mind and body. With water as the first ingredient, your skin will not experience any dryness. We are happy to schedule a consultation today to determine exactly which of our body products will work best for you.

Last but not least, is the DIY route. The aforementioned product can be one of many in your at-home customized body wash and/or shower gel. Many websites offer detailed tutorials on how to make your shower products, massage oils, bath bombs, and other homemade toiletries. Larger craft stores sell unscented shower gel bases that can be customized by using various essential oils and skincare additives.

And keep in mind no bath care routine is complete with a good sponge.

Written by Anna Barnes
Photo by Sunsetoned from Pexels

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