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Shower gel

Sarah Horrocks
By Sarah Horrocks Published on 18 March 2008

Little used 15 years ago, shower gel is now widely popular and the choice of fragranced, relaxing, toning, moisturising and exfoliating products is vast. Here's our guide to shower gel versus soap.

Why shower gel is better than soap!

- It's hygienic and you can share it

- It doesn’t slip out of your hands

- You can choose whatever flavour you like

- You can get two-in-one shampoo and shower gels

- You can get shower gel that cares for your skin (hydrating, exfoliating, purifying, softening etc)

- It's gentler on your skin than soap, feels nicer on your skin and and rinses off easily

Types of shower gel

For pleasure

Shower time can be a time for some serious pampering! For pure relaxation, choose a hydrating shower gel with an exhilarating fragrance. The exotic tones will revive all your senses and wrap you in a subtle essence all day long.

For wellbeing

Choose toning showing gels with fresh fragrances and moisturising ingredients to comfort and soften your skin and start your day off on the right foot.
Whatever your skin type, it's advisable to use gentle cleansing products. You want to wash your skin, not strip it off!

Can you use shower gel on sensitive skin?

Standard shower gel contains surfactants (also called tensides) which are wetting agents.
These can irritate your skin, especially in foaming gels which also contain sodium laureth sulfate. So if you have sensitive skin, select a special shower gel made for sensitive skin.
Milder gels shouldn't foam much because they should contain a low concentration of surfactants.

Ingredients such as shea butter and glycerine are added to shower gel to make it calming and smoothing. However, a brand can also add their own ingredients, so even hypoallergenic tested products can cause your skin to react.

Gel versus soap

Shower gels contain chemical products (colouring, preservatives, perfume etc), and as a rule soap is more natural. The best soaps for your skin are olive oil based ones from Alep in Northern Syria and Marseille in the South of France.

Soap-free products are not natural as they contain synthetic tensides rather than molecules of soap.

Note: Moisturising shower gel is not enough to keep your skin properly hydrated. Affter showering, always apply moisturising body cream too.

by Sarah Horrocks

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