body wash: The grooming product you use most often? Chances are it’s that bottle you picked up on the way to the supermarket checkout. For those who want a little more when it comes to your bodywash, we’ve picked the best available for getting your morning scrub on.
Although the terms “body wash” and “shower gel” are often used interchangeably – and we’ve included both in this roundup – there is generally a difference between the two products. While shower gels tend to be dense, body washes err on the side of a soap-like consistency. As a result they’re often gentler on your skin and can be better at hydrating it too.
Whichever body wash or shower gel you opt for from our picks below, rest assured you’ll be in for a more refreshing, fragrant experience.
Kiehl’s ‘Made For All’ Gentle Body Wash
With a one-product-fits-all mandate, Kiehl’s gentle 100 per cent biodegradable body wash frees up valuable bathroom shelf space by being appropriate for use (as the name would suggest) by the whole family (three years-plus). Suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive, and made from 95 per cent naturally derived ingredients, it is a universal cleanser that can be used on hair, the face and the body. Clean and green (even the bottle is entirely made from post-consumer recycled materials) it has been rigorously dermatologist and paediatrician tested. It is powered with sustainably sourced aloe vera from Mexico, which is used in traditional and herbal medicine, and hand-harvested soap tree extract from the central mountains of Chile, known to have high levels of saponin which give the body wash its foaming properties. Follow up with Kiehl’s Creme De Corps body lotion for a game-changing shower experience. £29. At Selfridges.
Horace Virginia Cedar & Sage Leaf Shower Gel
Formulated with 99 per cent ingredients of natural origin, Virginia Cedar & Sage Leaf is the bestselling shower gel from this French boutique brand’s range of five topical body cleansers. Paraben- and sulfate-free, with a wild, woody and herbaceous aroma, it’s also the one within the collection that offers a restorative sensation. It is formulated with witch hazel floral water to calm irritation and beneficial coconut by-products that nourish and avoid stripping essential oils from the skin as its gentle cleansing agent. Virginia cedar essential oil brings a stimulating and bracing impact in regards to fragrance, while the reinvigorating sage leaf essential oil delivers its aromatic and botanical undertones. Suitable for all skin types, both soothing and invigorating, it awakens the senses, moisturises and protects and gently purifies at a budget-friendly price point.
Arket Geranium Body Wash
Arket’s scents are designed by Jérôme Epinette, the French perfumer and biochemist who develops his formulas from the most natural ingredients. Our favourite product under his design? It has to be this Geranium Body Wash. Formulated with a linseed extract, the resulting scent is rose-like with touches of mint and citrus. In short: very good and when you also take into account the creamy lather texture, you’re left feeling clean, hydrated, moisturised and perfumed. One bottle also lasts you a long time.
Elemis Cool-Down Body Wash
Described as a “skin wellness brand with an aromatherapist’s soul”, Elemis understands the body’s needs and creates formulae to help it perform to its optimum. Its latest revitalising body wash leaves skin feeling re-energised and revived from head to toe and has been designed as an invigorating aid to recovery post-exercise. Infused with a nutrient-rich blend of birch sap (harvested once a year, in the spring and popularly used by the Nordic region to enhance wellness), it is packed with natural sugars and minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium manganese and iron, with gentle mango-derived cleansers to effectively wash away dirt and grime, while administering a unique cooling sensation. It includes magnesium (one of the most common elements in the earth’s crust and recognised to be vital for many processes of the body, such as production of energy and proteins), arnica montana flower extract (made from the the flowers of the aromatic, herbal plant and known to have soothing properties) and menthol (a cooling agent that brings a refreshing and invigorating sensation). Free from parabens and mineral oils, the gel-based solution builds to a luxurious lather for skin that feels soft and hydrated. Perfect to start the day with, it also features aromatic oils of juniper, rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus and thyme for an uplifting fragrance. £30 for 200ml. At mothercareworld.com
Triumph & Disaster YLF Body Wash
Designed to shortcut the monotonous morning grooming routine, Triumph & Disaster’s iconic YLF formula is a multi-purpose cleanser that can be used from head to toe as an all-in-one body cleanser, hair shampoo and even a shaving foam. Using a cocktail of ingredients that are native to the brand’s New Zealand homeland, combined with some of the most efficacious nutrient-rich botanical oils, it actively protects the skin’s natural lipid balance and doesn’t strip it of essential moisture. Infused with argan oil to condition the hair, vitamin E and antioxidant-rich green tea, it also harnesses the healing properties of kawakawa (New Zealand pepper tree), a medicinal extract which has been embraced by the Maori civilisation for centuries. A gentle solution that is particularly good for sensitive skin, it additionally benefits from having an almost-not-there, very light herbal and woody scent derived from sandalwood and neroli, so it won’t interfere, compete or fight with whichever eau de toilette you choose to wear on top of it. £28. At
Weleda Arnica Sports Shower Gel
Packed with anti-inflammatory goodness, Weleda’s arnica-infused sports shower gel is a natural-based, post-exercise recovery saviour. A thoroughly refreshing and energising body cleanser, it is designed to soothe minor aches and pains, revive and stimulate overworked limbs and lift the heavy feeling of post-workout tiredness. Formulated with skin-friendly and eco-conscious plant cleansers that are 100 per cent biodegradable, the gentle foaming solution is supported with firming rosemary essential oil and lavender essential oil, which has anti-inflammatory benefits and encourages both cell regeneration and an overall state of calmness. The all-important arnica (also known as wolf’s bane) used is a dried arnica, which is sustainably sourced from Romania, as weather conditions won’t permit it to be grown at Weleda’s own 13-acre medicinal herb garden in Derbyshire. Suitable for vegans and offered in a soft-touch plastic tube that can be recycled, the transparent gel-to-lather wash is the first step to help reduce inflammation and strained muscles. £8.25 for 200ml. At mothercareworld.com
Aesop Citrus Melange Body Cleanser
Aesop’s new body cleanser is a purifying formula with a light and invigorating aroma. It’s a gentle solution that can be used in either the shower or the bath (or as a hand wash) which is delivered in a low-foaming, but rich in lather, gel texture. Driven by customer demand for a citrus-based cleanser, its clean, crisp notes serve as a refreshing cool-down during the summer months and an uplifting sensory experience for when the weather turns colder. Good for all skin types and mild enough for everyday use, its vivacious scent is a purifying blend of essential oils – lemon rind, petitgrain, jasmine and grapefruit rind. Available as a 100ml, travel-friendly flip-top or as a mega 500ml with a pump dispenser (both recycled PET bottles), it efficiently deep-cleans and helps replenish hydration, although it is recommended you follow with a body moisturiser such as Aesop’s Rind Concentrate Body Balm or Petitgrain Reviving Body Gel for additional protection. £13 for 100ml. At mothercareworld.com