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What is Shower Gel?

Dana Hinders
Updated May 21, 2024
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Shower gel, sometimes referred to as body wash, is a personal care product similar to liquid soap which can be used to clean the body while showering. Many people prefer using gel because the product is easier to handle than bar soap and leaves no messy soap scum residue in the shower.

There are many different types of shower gel, and is often sold as part of a complete product line that includes coordinating perfumes, lotions, scrubs, and body sprays. You can find those with fruit or floral inspired scents, as well as products designed to appeal to more masculine tastes. Several manufacturers sell aromatherapy versions that promise to reduce stress, promote a more restful sleep, or boost your energy levels. There are also special gels made for people with very dry or sensitive skin as well as some with avocado oil, shea butter, milk proteins, and other popular skin care ingredients.

Shower gel, like many other types of personal care products, is available in a wide variety of price ranges. You can find inexpensive ones at large discount stores such as Wal-Mart or Target for a fraction of the cost of the designer gels available at fine department stores and specialty boutiques. While more expensive versions do tend to use slightly higher quality ingredients and have longer lasting fragrances, the majority of this price difference can be attributed to increased marketing and advertising costs.

If you’re trying to save money, you can make the most of your shower gel by washing with a mesh bath sponge that will help create a rich foaming lather. You can also stretch your gel by diluting the product with water, since most are much thicker than what is truly necessary. The majority of brands can be diluted with 25-50% water without a noticeable effect on performance.

If you can’t find a product that suits your needs, try making your own customized shower gel. There are many websites which offer detailed tutorials for how to make your own shower products, massage oils, bath bombs, and other homemade toiletries. In addition, most larger craft stores sell unscented shower gel bases that can be customized by using various essential oils and skin care additives.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dana Hinders
By Dana Hinders
With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to her work as a freelance writer. After discovering her passion for freelance writing following the birth of her son, Dana has been a vital part of the BeautyAnswered team. She also showcases her versatility by creating sales copy and content for e-courses and blogs.
Discussion Comments
By anon269312 — On May 17, 2012

Shower gel can be used for your hair just as it can be for your body.

By anon240579 — On Jan 14, 2012

@Post 2: Yes! You certainly can use shower gel to wash your hair as well as your body, even if the shower gel is not a hair and body formula. Most shampoos and shower gels have similar detergent-bases. A shower gel will generally contain milder detergents than a shampoo and will usually also be PH balanced and therefore very gentle on the hair and scalp. In addition, most modern shower gels also contain conditioning agents to smooth the skin which will also condition hair and leave it softer.

To conclude: shower gel is a perfectly acceptable substitute for shampoo on a daily basis and it will work on hair almost as well as any moisturising shampoo on the market. Feel free to wash your hair with shower gel-it's fine and perfectly safe.

By anon106762 — On Aug 27, 2010

How's Adidas Shower Gel? I'm using it after my bath. just applying. Is it OK?

By anon43997 — On Sep 03, 2009

is shower gel for hair as well as body?

By anon27933 — On Mar 08, 2009

How good are Farmasi Shower Gels?

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders
With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to...
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