Morning showers are the most powerful weapon against morning sleepiness. They give our bodies the much-needed energy to kick-start the day. No matter whether you enjoy taking cold or hot showers, both have their own benefits. For instance, cold water reduces muscle soreness and fatigue, decreases inflammation and swelling, lowers cortisol levels, improves circulation and reduces pain. On the other hand, hot water improves cardiovascular and brain health, it provides better blood flow to your muscles and joints and improves sleep.
The cherry on the top is your favourite body wash. Its scent spreading across the room, soothing your mind and treating your senses. Natural body washes take this whole experience to a whole new level, leaving your skin smooth and fragrant.
What are the different types of body washes?
Well, soaps and shower gels. Both of these products are made for bathing but they differ from one another. Gels may consist of the same basic ingredients as the soap, but the main difference lies in their surfactant’s compounds which are the ones that actually help in washing away oil and dirt. Those surfactants in shower gels come from synthetic detergent, but in natural alternatives, they are derived from a plant-based source. Thanks to these surfactants, shower gels have a lower pH value than soap, which means they don’t dry out your skin.
Are shower gels and body washes the same thing? No, they are not the same and there is a marginal difference between them, specifically in their formulation and functionality. What does body wash do? Body washes have a more liquid texture and moisturise the skin better. This makes them ideal for people with very dry and sensitive skin. On the other hand, shower gels are thicker and can be used for almost all skin types.
Shower oils are another option but not many people are familiar with them. Don’t be deceived by their oily texture – once they come in contact with water, they transform into a thick, luxurious foam leaving soft sheen all over your body. You can also use shower creams which are creamy and look almost like a lotion. Natural shower creams are a great choice as they are made from natural ingredients, such as coconut foaming base and soy proteins.
What to look for in a good shower product?
First, the product you choose should be pH balanced. Preferably, go for a paraben and sulphate free body wash. This is especially important if you have sensitive and problematic skin. Also, you should consider its moisturizing and cleansing function. The product should be able to remove oil and dirt from your skin and at the same time condition and moisturise it. People love shower gels also because of their exquisite fragrances that linger on their skin long after they’ve showered. Make sure you look for sulfate free shower gel that has natural fragrances derived from aromatic herbs and flowers.
What to avoid when choosing a shower product?
Parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate/sodium laureth sulphate, artificial fragrances and colours, toluene and formaldehyde are all ingredients that should be avoided in shower gels and other showering products. There’s a great fuss about parabens and there is a good reason for that. They are preservatives used to prevent the growth of mould and bacteria in cosmetic products. They have estrogen-mimicking properties which are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. Although sulphate-based products create a luxurious foam, dermatologists don’t recommend using them as they are often too drying. When possible, it’s always healthier to use natural shower gels that use plant-derived surfactant, like decyl glucoside which comes from corn starch and coconut.
In addition to sulphate-free products, it’s good to also look for silicone-free ones. How often do you get the feeling that you still haven’t washed your shower gel off your body after long after you’re out of the shower? This usually happens as a result of the presence of silicones in shower products. They have sensorial qualities without any benefits for your skin, so there is no reason to not avoid them. Instead, look for nourishing ingredients and blends based on natural sources. These products will act therapeutically, improving your mental clarity and enhancing your physical energy levels as well.
Can you wash hair with body wash?
The formulation of shower gels is not very different from that of shampoos or face washes. The main difference is the pH level and the number of surfactants used. Face washes are usually the mildest because the skin on the face is thinner and more sensitive than the one on the rest of the body. On the other hand, shampoos have a maximum level of surfactants and are not that much moisturising. Unless the product is not labelled as such or unless you are not using a natural showering product formulated for the entire body, washing your hair with body wash might not be the best idea. Body washes are designed to clean skin which is more sensitive than hair. You can find some natural gels that can be used for both body and face. But when it comes to cleaning your hair with it, it may not provide the deep cleanse that your strands really need.