Contents

5 ways to clean your skin without soap

By Hello Natural
Confession: I regularly break the ‘always wash your face before bed’ rule. Soap left my skin feeling dry and tight, and I rationalized not using it because I wear very little makeup. Eventually it dawned on me that the soap I’ve been using since high school probably wasn’t the best fit for my skin.

Not knowing what to use, I gave up on cleaning altogether and just started slathering my face with coconut oil. At first, I was sure a major outbreak would come from the oil, but, lo and behold, my skin felt awesome. Glowing, even. And when I switched back to my old moisturizer while on vacation THAT’S when I got a zit!

What kind of cleanser do you need? The answer is, it depends! On your skin, your make-up usage, the season, etc. Now I even wash with coconut oil, but there are days when you need to exfoliate and clean away extra makeup. So I started experimenting with non-soap ways to clean my face. A trip to the kitchen is all you need to try one of these 5 methods that will gently clean your skin.

1. MILK
The classic cleanser that kept Cleopatra looking so beautiful. The lactic acid works to remove dead skin cells while the milk proteins and fat moisturize and plump the skin – so stick with whole milk, not fat free. To use on your face, pour a small amount into your palm and massage into your skin. You can also combine whole milk with a whipped egg for dry skin or add aloe vera for sensitive skin. Get head to toe milk benefits by adding 2-4 cups to your bath. 2. OATMEAL
Oatmeal is one of the best natural cleansers hiding in your pantry. The soft texture gently exfoliates, so it’s a perfect mild cleanser for sensitive skin. Grind 1/4 cup whole oats and store in a sealed container. When you’re ready to cleanse, combine a pinch of powder with a small amount of water, oil or aloe vera in your palm to make a paste. Massage into skin and rinse with warm water. Mix up your cleansing grains by adding wheat germ, cornmeal or ground rice. 3. LEMON
I love lemons! They’re are an excellent cleanser for oily skin and help make you look younger. You can combine lemon juice with milk or yogurt for a creamier cleanser or apply the juice after you cleanse for a non scrubbing exfoliator. I like to apply fresh lemon juice directly to my skin, let it absorb for a few minutes (don’t rinse) and then moisturize. It sounds like it would sting or make your skin dry but it actually feels quite refreshing – just don’t get it in your eyes! 4. SUGAR
Sugar can also gently exfoliate and cleanse your skin – just make sure to use a finely ground sugar that won’t be too abrasive for your face. Combine sugar with a small amount of water or oil to make a paste. I like using coconut or olive oil because you get the moisturizing benefits at the same time. You could also use aloe vera if your skin is oily. Gently massage into your face (and body, if you like) then rinse. 5. HONEY
Just recently I started using honey on my skin on a regular basis, and, wow, it feels amazing! Honey is a natural humectant that draws moisture from the air, leaving your face dewy and soft. Plus raw honey has amazing healing properties that soothe irritated skin and reduce redness. You can combine 1/2 cup of honey with 1-2 tablespoons of castile soap for a foaming gel cleanser.

Regardless of what I clean with, I always end with coconut oil. Then I dab on my anti wrinkle eye oil. That’s it!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NON-SOAP CLEANSER?
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Everyone likes to feel clean, but sometimes lathering up with a bar of soap just isn’t an option. This can happen if you’ve run out of soap at home, or if you’re camping and miles from the nearest shower. Thankfully, you don’t need to make an emergency run to the store to buy a bar of soap. Just a pinch of baking soda has the power to ward off odors and get you clean.

Fill a bathtub with warm water. If you’re camping outdoors and don’t have a bathtub, fill an bucket or bowl with water instead. Any similar nonporous object that can hold water will also work.

Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Baking soda deodorizes and cleans without soap. It’s a mild abrasive that gently lifts dirt and dissolves odor-causing grease. It neutralizes smells instead of simply covering them up with artificial fragrance. For example, baking-soda water also works as an odor-eliminating mouth gargle if you don’t have mouthwash or toothpaste.

Collect some of the water in a cup. If you’re not in a shower or bathtub and have no access to running water, you can use bottled water instead. Running bodies of water, such as creeks and streams, will work in a pinch. Don’t use standing water, such as water from a pond or puddle; it may harbor bacteria. Pour the water over your entire body to wet it thoroughly. Wet your hair now if you’d like or wait until you’re ready to wash it.

Wipe your skin down with a wet washcloth. If you don’t have a washcloth on hand, any clean cloth will do. For example, a T-shirt also works. Rinse with another cup of clean water.

Dispose of the dirty water down the drain if you’re in the shower. If you’re using a bucket or some other container, pour the water out on the ground. Fill the tub or bucket with clean, warm water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.

Pour a cup of the baking-soda water water over your hair if you haven’t wet it already. Use your fingers to comb the baking-soda water through your hair. Massage your scalp to work the baking soda into your skin. Rinse with clean water, then comb your hair to remove any knots. Pat yourself dry with a towel.

Scrub the underside of your fingernails with a nailbrush, if you have one handy, to clean out dirt and debris.

Apply unscented deodorant to your underarms — if you’re outdoors, the fragrance of scented deodorants can attract insects and animals. For example, flies and bees may find sweet-scented cosmetics attractive because they smell like a potential food source. If you don’t have deodorant, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and apply it to your underarms.

Tip

Rubbing alcohol also works as a quick sanitizer when you don’t have time for a bath.

If you have shampoo handy, use it to wash your hair instead of baking soda. For camping, take travel-size shampoos with you to lessen the weight of your pack.

Warning

Never bathe in standing water outdoors. It may contain bacteria that can make you even dirtier or cause you to get sick.

The Case Against Soap

When I published my article about stopping using shampoo, a few readers reached out and mentioned that not only was shampoo unnecessary, soap and other cleaning products could be mostly dispensed with as well.

So now, a confession. When I stopped using shampoo, I also stopped using nearly as much soap as before. I figured this would require as much, if not more, explanation than not using shampoo, so I wanted to give it its own article.

Here’s the short version: You don’t need to use soap 90%+ of the time you’re using it right now, assuming you’re not regularly doing some kind of dirty laborious work. Water and a towel will do fine.

When I mention this to people, they usually look at me like some sort of sea monster and then have one of a few reactions:

  1. Why don’t you smell terrible?
  2. Why don’t you look dirty?
  3. Why don’t you get sick?

And then a follow-up question usually comes up: What about hand washing?

Let’s start with the smell concern.

Why Don’t You Smell Terrible?

As with not using shampoo, you’ll have to trust my mother’s incredulity as sufficient evidence that I don’t smell bad or look dirty. She had no idea I’d mostly stopped using body soap, and no one else I’ve told it to has noticed any difference either.

First off, I still use deodorant. I tried cutting that out too, but I found that while I was fine without it 95% of the time, that 5% was unpredictable and nasty and not worth the risk. I should mention, though, that this was also true before I stopped using soap. Maybe I can figure out not using deodorant, but until then, the safe bet is to keep using it.

But back to the question of not smelling terrible, we need to go a level deeper from simply assuming that no soap = bad smell. The real question is, why would you smell bad in the first place?

It turns out that a big part of body odor is what you eat. That’s why people who eat a lot of garlic, onion, and cumin, as you might find in Indian food, can have particularly bad body odors, as can people who eat a lot of junk food. As you digest food, compounds from the food are released through the pores of your skin, so certain foods in excess end up affecting how you smell.

The other big factor in body odor is being overweight. If you’re heavy enough to have folds in your skin, bacteria and mold colonies can grow between them and produce a nasty odor.

But in both of these cases, showering doesn’t prevent the smell, rather it helps wash off the nasty oils. So unless you’re producing so much oil that water and a towel aren’t enough to scrub off the scent, you’re fine without soap. You just have to make sure you’re eating healthy, you’re not overweight, and that you’re regularly rinsing off.

Now let’s look at question two.

Why Don’t You Look Dirty?

To understand why you can still look fine not using soap, we need to understand how soap works.

You can read the more detailed description on Wikipedia, but here are the sparknotes:

  1. You have something on you, or a surface, that water won’t get off. Something “insoluble.”
  2. You add soap to it.
  3. The little molecules of soap wrap around the molecules of the insoluble substance trapping them in cute little soap bubbles.
  4. Those bubbles are water soluble, and suddenly, water works to carry the substance away.

Soap was never intended to be used for maintenance, rather, it was a way to get rid of dirt and mud that had caked onto your skin from a long day of work. You got covered in mud, or worse, excrement, and then soap helped you get it off.

Somewhere along the way, using soap became a daily ritual (this can probably be explained by marketing) to the point where it seemed odd not to use it. It probably starts with being young and playing in the mud, since your parents needed to use soap on you every day to scrub the muck off.

Then, as you got older, you kept using it because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do. But you never stopped and asked if it was really necessary. You just kept doing it and kept doing it for so long that it seems gross for this guy on the Internet to not be doing it.

But here’s the important question: what are you scrubbing off, exactly? What are you doing during the day to get your skin so dirty that you need to use soap? Sure, I’ll grant that if you just got back from a Spartan Race you could probably use a one over with a real bar of soap, but do you need to do it every day as you rotate between your house, office, restaurants, and gym? Most likely not. You’re never getting dirty.

If you’re living a modern life of general cleanliness, there’s no need to constantly be lathering up in order to keep yourself clean. Water and a towel will do wonders.

Now for the last major concern: why aren’t I getting sick all the time?

Why Don’t You Get Sick?

The idea “if you don’t use soap you’ll get sick” implies that something about soap prevents sickness.

If soap prevented sickness, then it would need to either remove harmful bacteria, or it would need to make your immune system stronger. And while the first case is sometimes true, the second one definitely isn’t.

Regular soap doesn’t kill bacteria, it moves them around and (hopefully) removes them from your body. This is why your skin is dry after using soap. The soap is doing that whole “magic soap bubble oil removing process” to your skin and carrying away the bacteria that are hanging out in the oil of your body.

Eventually, people decided that wasn’t enough, so they created “antibacterial soap” which kills the bacteria instead of spreading them around. The problem with this should be obvious: if you kill the bacteria on your skin, you’re killing just as many, if not more, of the useful bacteria that protect you from diseases in the first place.

Constantly using antibacterial products, and even regular soap to some extent, weakens your skin’s ability to handle infections on its own. With regular soap, you’re stripping away the oil and taking good bacteria with the bad, and with antibacterial soap, you’re taking the nuclear option and killing everything off leaving your system weaker than before.

Even if antibacterial soap is killing some invading bacteria, the damage that comes with that doesn’t make it worth it. Using soap could be making you sicker in the long run by weakening the good bacteria that protect you. It’s antifragility applied to your health. If you deny your body the stress of foreign bacteria by being obsessive about using soap, you will worsen your body’s ability to manage the really bad infections in the future.

What About Hand Washing?

The follow-up question most people have at this point is whether or not it makes sense to use soap when washing your hands.

If you just shook someone’s hand, touched something, handled raw food (except maybe factory-farmed chicken) there’s really no need. You’ll be fine with water, or nothing.

In the bathroom, if you just peed, there’s no need to use soap either. If you’re a guy, your penis is probably cleaner than everything else you’ve touched recently (there’d be a better case to be made for washing your hands before touching your fun zone), so water will again be fine.

After wiping, it makes sense to use soap if you get some excrement on your hands. That’s one of the use cases we had it for originally. But you should still try to get real soap, not mystery public bathroom pink goop with who-knows-what in it. Public soap dispensers are so bad that people have more bacteria on them after using soap, just because of the dispensers, so you don’t want to rely on them too much.

As for the risk of getting other people sick by not using soap all the time, I’d rather live in a world where we all have strong immune systems than one where we’ve mutually agreed to weaken our immune systems. Will I get people sick by carrying around bacteria that aren’t affecting me? Possibly, but it’s up to them to build up their own immune systems. If we all sterilize ourselves to try to protect each other, we’re all doomed when something particularly bad starts spreading.

Other Benefits

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out some other benefits to decreasing soap use. For one, I can travel much lighter, since I no longer need to pack soap or shampoo.

Another thing I’ve noticed since stopping using soap (and not using lotion) is that my skin has gotten more, for lack of a better word, moist. It’s not as dried out in cold climates. Many people, particularly women, are stuck in a nasty loop of:

But since I stopped using soap so much, I rarely get dry skin, and therefore don’t need to use lotion either. My skin takes care of its moisture on its own.

There’s also some benefit to not exposing yourself to the unknown effects of whatever else is going into soap. I’m not one to say “chemicals are bad!” but it seems odd that a simple bar of Dove soap has all of these ingredients:

“Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate, Stearic Acid, Sodium Tallowate Or Sodium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Isethionate, Water, Sodium Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoate Or Sodium Palm Kernelate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Tetrasodium Edta, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).”

Do I definitively know that any of them are bad? No, but I’d prefer not to rub mystery chemicals on my body if I don’t have to.

Just because daily soap use is a common habit doesn’t mean it’s good and doesn’t mean the default behavior should be to use soap daily. Anything we’re introducing to our bodies needs a strong case for being added, and as far as I can tell, there’s no strong case for daily soap use.

I recognize that not using it grosses people out, but when you dig into it, there’s no reason to use it if you still look and smell fine without it and if you’re not getting sick. “Everyone else does it,” or “my mom said I need to do it” aren’t arguments (sorry mom).

You have to do your research and experiment and decide for yourself what makes sense, instead of defaulting to what everyone else around you is doing.

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Why am I always so late to the party?

I was still listening to Spice Girls in 2010. I may or may not still own a fanny pack on occasion. I still rock scrunchies and those stretch pants with the elastic strips on the bottom that fit under the arch of your foot.

I’m what you would call “behind the times”.

By the way, I was totally kidding on all of those things. Ahem. Sort of.

Anyway.

Maybe it’s because I’m an old soul at heart, but I always seem to be about ten years behind. Sometime around my mid thirties, I’ll finally start wearing chevron and leggings under my knee-high boots. But until then, I’ll just have to accept my constant late-arrival to all things trendy and fashionable.

And while oil-cleaning (aka Oil Washing) may not be a trend that everyone has heard of, among us DIY-ers and crunchy ladies, it’s all the buzz. At least, it was ten years ago. By now, most all have heard of, used, or at least tried this cleaning method. Except for yours truly – that was, until about a year ago.

You see, I’ve been reluctant to tell you about my oil-cleaning method. Mainly because I wanted to make sure that it worked. I mean really worked before sending it out in the world wide web as my chosen method. Secondly, I tried a variety of oils for months and months at a time so that I could really make an first-hand-experience statement about which oils did and didn’t work for my face.

My face was the guinea pig. I was the determined and cheap homesteader who wanted an easy alternative to chemically-laden facial cleansers.

Even though I gave up face cleaners years ago when I first began my chemical-detox, my castile soap (at times) left my face a wee bit dull and lifeless. Squeaky clean, no doubt. And I still love castile soap for the rest of my body! But I desired something slightly more… lush.

Lush? I don’t think that’s the right word. Moist? Glowing? Succulent?

Never mind.

But wait a second, Shaye. What the heck is oil washing?
Aww, an inquisitive bunch – aren’t ya? Good. I like people that are constantly wanting to learn. And frankly, it’s quite simple, so I shan’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. Oil washing is simple washing the face with an oil, instead of a face wash or soap. Oil dissolves oil. It also moisturizes the skin. It ain’t rocket science – people have been washing themselves this way for centuries! So I guess that REALLY means I’m behind the times…

But what another second, Shaye. What kind of oils do you use for oil washing your skin?

Coconut Oil
I first began my oil-cleaning search with coconut oil – many naturalist’s go-to oil. And I really liked it! At least… for the first few weeks. Coconut oil left my face wonderfully soft and worked wonders on makeup removal – bonus: it smells delicious! But after using coconut oil for a few weeks, I noticed that I was beginning to get small bumps on my face. Were they clogged pores? I’m not sure. But it seems as if the coconut oil was staying too heavily loaded on my face, even after using a wash cloth to remove it. I kept using it, just to be sure, and the bumps never went away. After that, I knew it was time for a different oil.

Coconut Oil Pros: Leaves skin soft, removes makeup easily, smells delicious
Coconut Oil Cons: Clogs pores in the long term

Olive Oil
My second go-to oil was olive oil because, welp, that’s what I had on hand when I’d finally had enough of the coconut oil. I used an extra-virgin, cold-pressed, organic olive oil and really loved it. The oil was thinner than the coconut oil and helped to clear up some of the clogged pores that the coconut oil had left behind. It also worked well on makeup removal and left a wonderfully soft and subtle feeling to my skin. What I didn’t like about the olive oil was that (somewhat like the coconut oil) it was a little difficult to remove from my skin, which make putting on makeup a bit difficult (since I use a powder based foundation). It also didn’t entirely clear up the clogged pores like I’d hoped. I kept with the olive oil for over six months, just to make sure that it was the right oil for me. In the end, I decided to give one more popular oil a try.

Olive Oil Pros: Thinner than coconut oil, easily removes makeup (even mascara!), helps clear up clogged pores, leaves skin soft
Olive Oil Cons: Tends to stay on the skin’s surface instead of soaking in, still can tend to slightly clog pores

Sweet Almond Oil
The last oil that I decided to try was almond oil – a very common and well-loved oil across the board for skin care. In almond oil, I found my true love. Not only did it leave my skin soft and easily remove makeup like the other oils, but it also cleared up the clogged pores entirely. On top of that, after washing, the oil soaked into my skin (as opposed to staying on the surface) which allowed me to easily apply makeup and kept me from feeling that “greasy” feeling that can become associated with oil washing. After five months with sweet almond oil, I can easily say (without a doubt, 101%) that this oil is my permanent go-to for oil washing. Shaye + sweet almond oil = true love forever. And ever and ever and ever. Even Stuart has started to wash his face with the almond oil because it “feels like heaven”.

True dat, my homestud.

Sweet Almond Oil Pros: Leaves skin soft, removes makeup, clears up clogged pores, soaks into skin, non-greasy
Sweet Almond Oil Cons: None. It’s the cat’s meow.

How to oil-wash
Oil washing only requires two “tools”: the oil that you will be using and a wash rag. You can handle that, right? I thought so. You seemed like the brightest crayon in the box to me.
Step One: Wet face with warm water.
Step Two: Massage a nickel-size dollop of oil into your skin. Spent a minute rubbing it in with your fingertips and massaging it into your pores.
Step Three: Wet the washrag with hot water and lay it over your face. Deeply breath in and out. (This is my favorite part. The hot rag on my face feels like rays of heaven on my face!).
Step Four: Use the rag to gently rub and massage the oil off of your skin. Wet it again and repeat a few times until your skin feels clean and all dirt and makeup has been removed. Be gentle.

See? I told you. It’s pretty easy. And after the first few days, you’ll really start to notice a difference. I love this method and even though I’ve battled with acne my whole life, it’s been the best method I’ve found for keeping pesky breakouts at bay. Of course, switching to a whole-foods diet and eliminating all processed and refined food also helped greatly with that (as one would expect when garbage is removed from the diet). I’ve learned that skin care (for me) involves a few other important factors: good diet, lots of rest, and low-stress.

Attempting to control those other factors are much more difficult than oil-washing. Much, much more difficult.

So for Pete’s sake, start with the oil and a wash cloth.

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Yes, you read that right…washing your face with OIL! Sounds like it makes about as much sense as brushing your teeth with sugar….or washing your hands with mud! But something I have come to realize over the years is that sometimes the most counter-intuitive ideas turn out to be the best ideas!

For example: when my chef friend Heather told me to run my store-bought sourdough baguette under the kitchen faucet before putting it in the oven to warm up..I thought maybe she’d been sampling the cooking sherry. 😉 But sure enough…it came out perfectly. Crispy and crunchy on the outside…warm and soft on the inside.

So when I first heard about this “Oil Cleansing Method” I tried to keep an open mind. It wasn’t too hard though…because it definitely appealed to my disdain of all things over-priced, over-packaged and over-filled with stuff we can’t pronounce and to my desire to put ProActiv out of business! haha. Just kidding. I have spent a small fortune on their product over the years for my kids, and while I will admit it has been helpful, it is definitely not all those celebrity endorsers make it out to be. And it’s definitely not worth the price you pay for it. Even the facial stuff you buy at Walmart is ridiculously priced nowadays.

But despite my disgust over the high price of all the so-called skin “care” stuff we spend billions on annually as a country, the more I read about oil cleansing, the less hostile I felt and the more amazed I was. This stuff just makes sense!

I’ll try to save you all the research I did on the topic and attempt to put it in Reader’s Digest version.

Your skin naturally produces oil for a reason. Oil helps lubricate, heal, protect, and moisturize your skin. Contrary to popular belief (and contrary to what the makers of acne products want you to believe), oil does not cause acne. Hormones, bacteria, and dirt are to blame for that. So all these products we buy to get rid of the oil…cause our body to compensate by producing more oil. Oil that then pools up on skin that is already irritated and inflamed from the chemicals and fragrances in the soaps we are using…no wonder breakouts occur! It’s a vicious cycle I tell ya!

So when you think about it…replacing the dirty oil on our faces with good quality oil is the perfect solution to so many of our skin problems…including acne.

That is the whole idea “in a nutshell”…but there is a lot more information available if you .

My daughter and I got into a spirited discussion about this the other day. Despite the fact that she still battles breakouts…she swears by the pricey ProActiv she’s been using for a couple of years now. For a recent college graduate, she sure can be dumb sometimes. J/K Britta! 😉 To her credit…she agreed that if I bought her the requisite oils to try this out…she would give it the “ol’ college try”. har har.

So we are both taking the challenge and I promise to report back in a few weeks.

If you are interested in taking the challenge too….here is the “recipe” for making your own blend of deep cleansing oil from TheOilCleansingMethod.com.

Cleansing Oil Blends

Oily Skin Recipe:
30% castor oil
70% sunflower oil

Acne Prone Skin Recipe:
20% castor oil
40% sunflower oil
40% grapeseed oil

Normal SkinRecipe:
20% castor oil
80% sunflower oil

Dry Skin Recipe:
10% castor oil (use less for ultra dry skin)
30% sunflower oil
60% avocado oil

Aging Skin Recipe:
10% castor oil
10% sunflower oil
40% evening primrose oil
40% rosehip seed oil

Basically it boils down to 4 simple steps: (I love simple steps!)

  • 1. Mix cleansing oils
  • 2. Rub/massage it in for about a minute (Bonus: it’s a great eye makeup remover too!)
  • 3. Steam face with very warm washcloth until cloth cools.
  • 4. Wash/wipe off oil

So there you have it….all the information and How-To you need to get started. Now go wash your face with some oil….I dare ya! 🙂

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

update: one week later

I said I would update after 14 days…but I couldn’t wait! I will update again in another week…but today…just a little over a week after she started using it…my daughter was raving over this new oil cleansing method! I could hardly believe it! She said her face is already much clearer and her face isn’t dry or oily…but just right.
I tried….I really, really tried not to say “I told you so!”, but I may have let one slip out. 🙂 She was a good sport about it though. She didn’t really care because she is so pleased with the results!
So there you have it. Quick update half way through our 14 Day Challenge. More in another week!

update: two weeks later

In my continuing research of this method (which I am becoming more and more sold on!) I found a wealth of information at acne.org on the highly recommended Oil Cleansing Method. I suggest you check it out if you want even more information.

Both Britta and I are sold on this method of cleansing. We have both been amazed at how much healthier our skin feels. Now if we can just be consistent, that is always the challenge for me…..

Have you tried the Oil Cleansing Method? What do you think of it?

I may include affiliate links to products sold by others, but only when they are relevant and helpful. I always offer my own genuine recommendation. Learn more.

Hi, I’m Jillee!

I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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The statement, ‘I had a bland bath’, can only come from you if you haven’t heard of the benefits of bath oils and shower oils. Or you heard, but haven’t tried one. For instance, some bath oils with frankincense will give you that pleasant smell that will make your spa angelic like it is done in paradise.

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Just like you can use bath salts and body scrubs in baths, you can use bath oils, too. They are also known as shower oils. And they have their benefits too.

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Bath oils have been used in the beauty routine of South Asian countries especially Indians. In truth, no country is exempted from its use. Why? One thing is sure, when oils are combined with water, the penetration power increases to a certain degree.

And that is what we are up to in today’s article. What are the benefits of shower oils? How do I choose the best bath oil? Which cleansing oils for body should I go for to give me the soft, goddess-like skin of my dream? This article has got all your questions and doubts covered!

Guide to Cleansing Bath Oils: Contents

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  • 15 Best Shower & Bath Oils to Buy
  • What Is Bath Oil and How Does It Work?
  • Cleansing Shower & Bath Oil Benefits
  • How to Choose the Best Cleansing Bath Oils for Your Body
  • How to Use Bath Oils for Body Cleansing

15 Best Shower & Bath Oils to Buy

Before going into details, here we present 15 of the best bath oils and shower oils that will give you the smooth skin and the pleasant bath time you have been looking for!

1. L’Occitane Cleansing & Softening Shower Oil With Almond Oil

This shower oil will bring the effects you desire – softer skin. It has ingredients like fatty acids and almond oils, while the texture is an oil-to-milk-like liquid that soothes your skin. This body oil cleanser is also great for using as a base for shaving. Get it from Sephora!

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2. Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash

Everything changes when you add water to this body oil cleanser. Inspired by facial oil cleansers, it is a blend of seven natural oils for body. It doesn’t strip the skin or disrupt the top layer, but rather cleans and hydrates for a smoother appearance. Since it contains 0% water, this bath oil won’t affect the pH of your body skin either. You can get this magical shower oil straight from Glossier.

3. Diptique Do Son Shower Oil

The floral scent of this shower oil is a remarkable one. Accentuate your sensuality and the bright skin texture using this body oil cleanser that turns into a foamy emulsion upon contact with water. The apricot seed oil contained is responsible for the skin softness and well-being. It is available through Nordstrom.

4. Too Cool For School Coconut Milky Oil Shower Moisturizing Body Wash

This product is made with 84% natural ingredients, which means you are using a body oil that is as close to its natural state as possible. The oil-to-foam texture changes the oil into moisturizing creamy milk upon contact with water, which cleans, soothes and hydrates the skin to the max. This is a two-in-one shower oil and body wash, one of the best body oils on the market, and it retails through Sephora.

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5. Susanne Kaufmann Oil Bath

It is time to cocker your skin with the best bath oil. You know, your body needs nourishment, smoothness and the sense of well-being. This product is formulated with ylang-ylang tree oil, patchouli plant oil and lavender oil that will give you the relaxing bath of your dreams. It is has a velvety feel and protective properties that you can get only from an essential skin victual like this one. You can get this bath oil from Nordstrom.

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6. Skin and Co Roma Umbrian Truffle Shower Oil

This shower oil is designed to remove dryness and skin dehydration. It gives the skin a silky-smooth feel and removes fine lines. Feed your skin with essential ingredients like black winter truffle extract, argan and grapeseed oils, which soften the skin, making it look younger. One of the best shower oils for aging and dry skin types, this bottle is available at Dermstore.

7. Soap Chérie Luxurious Shower Oil

Coming in three scents, this shower oil is rich in Dead Sea salt and jojoba oils, which contain essential nutrients, like minerals and vitamins. It purifies and nourishes the skin giving it a smooth texture. The scent will take you on a luxurious experience that lasts long. Pick up your favorite scent from Nordstrom!

8. Library of Flowers Honeycomb Shower Gel

For a deep penetration, this bath oil goes into the lower layer of your skin to bring out the best appearance. It is a hydrating body oil cleanser that contains shea butter and jojoba oils. The scent is unique, inspired by nature. Your skin becomes clean and well moisturized at the same time. You can get yourself a bottle from Dermstore.

9. L’Occitane Shea Shower Oil

One of the best shower oils, this product features lipid-rich shea oil to nourish your body. When you use it, it leaves your skin with a protective film that hydrates dry skin and coats it with a luxurious scent. What’s more, it also soothes skin tightness, making it feel supple. Pick it up from Sephora!

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10. Lalicious The Oil

What if you could get all your skin desire from a single product? This one bottle of bath oil is a multipurpose product – you can call it a massage oil, a hydrating body moisturizer, and a scalp treatment. You are one step to a remarkable spa experience. It’s perfect for all skin types and is just amazing for treating dryness and dehydration. You can find it for purchase at Dermstore.

11. Kiehl’s Since 1851 Creme de Corps Smoothing Oil-To-Foam Body Cleanser

For those who have dry and dull skin, there is a new, and effective remedy. This bath oil cleanser forms a soft, light foam when mixed with water. Made with castor oil and boasting a decadent smell, it will give you an effective and clean spa experience. The skin will become smooth, velvety and moisturized. Pick it up from Sephora!

12. Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil

This shower oil can de-stress after a long, stressful day. It brings mental clarity just as it restores the skin energy. After use, the coconut oil will hydrate your skin, while the rosewood is perfect for skin conditioning. Other ingredients like chamomile, petigrain, frankincense and rosemary oils all combine to give you a therapeutic experience. It’s available online at Dermstore.

13. Sheamoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Bath Body & Massage Oil

This is the right bath oil for getting an even skin tone. Not just an even skin tone, but the type that feels silky smooth to touch and radiant to the eye. It is also used as a relief after a hard day job. Relax your mind and let your skin reward you with a glow. This bath oil is available for purchase at Ulta Beauty.

14. Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil

This shower oil is a requirement for anyone who wants to intensify a luxurious appearance out of dull or dry skin. Dehydration and dryness will disappear, and you will wake up to softer skin that is resistant to environmental factors. Perfect for sensitive skin as well, this shower oil can be found at Dermstore.

15. Czech & Speake Neroli Bath Oil

This is a fragranced bath oil. It is made for everyone who wants nourished and hydrated skin. One bath with this oil results in fragranced skin. Enjoy its top-notch moisturizing benefits related to the essential oils in its ingredients. This is one of the best bath oils, and you can get it from Harrods!

What Is Bath Oil and How Does It Work?

Cleansing shower or bath oils, as the name implies, are oils, which are used in the bath to perform a similar function like bar soaps and body washes. Like facial oil cleansers, they have the properties to make your skin clean without stripping it of its natural oils.

While body oils are applied after the bath or shower to moisturize the skin, cleansing bath oils are used to clean and hydrate the skin. Once the bath oil mixes with water, it forms a milky emulsion, which the user can use with water to make the skin sparkling clean.

The origin of bath oils and shower oils is famous as India, but in all honesty, every country has at one point combined effective oils with water for one skin benefit or another. History says, during the Stone Age, humans practiced the combination of olive and sesame oils to enjoy their bath. And science backed it up that the bath oils were healthy for use.

We have capitalized on that these days. Shower oils are good thanks to the nourishing and hydrating natural substance. If oils are combined with water, they form a powerful product. The penetration effect can go deeper into the skin than before. And that idea through the test of time has become what we have in bottles and that is used for skin treatment all over the world.

Homemade bath oils should be used with caution. Their ingredients are not like the manufactured ones. While most manufactured shower oils help to maintain the skin oils, homemade recipes could lead to the loss of moisture.

Cleansing Shower & Bath Oil Benefits

For those who want to make a transition from their regular bar soaps to shower oils, these are the reasons the move is worth it:

• Shower oils are protective. They form a thin film-like moisture layer over the skin that is known to be protective against environmental factors. They help prevent bacterial infection.

• The skin cells tend to unite, and this formation can lead to what is called transepidermal water loss. Bath oils provide intense hydration. The oils would normally hydrate the skin unlike your normal bath wash or bath salt. More than that, if you have been using other forms of skincare products for long, switching to bath oils is recommended. It locks or seals moisture and humectants into your skin for long.

• The scent is amazing. This one is not what you could die for, but a good scented bath oil makes a huge difference, really. Smelling nice is necessary for good mood, and bath oils can bring such aroma and sensation.

• So you feel stressed? Worry not. When used in bath, the ingredients – herbs, for instance – of bath oils can help bring back your energy to your body, relieve your aching muscles and clarify your mind. Also, after bath you will notice that stiffness around your joints is gone, and you feel relaxed and energized like a brand new engine.

• Bath oils improve blood circulation. The application of oils during or after bath will dilate the blood vessels, and this will allow more circulation of blood in the skin.

• Your skin starts to glow. When the health of your skin is improved by consistently feeding it with essential oils form bath oils, the result is that your skin shows it all. Shower oils bring out the adorable radiance out of your skin.

How to Choose the Best Cleansing Bath Oils for Your Body

If you want the best result from the bath oils you use, you should be specific with the type of ingredients contained. Are their benefits related to what you want? Are they suitable for your skin type?

Therefore, we need to state the different types of ingredients and what to expect.

The key ingredients of shower oils are essential oils. They are concentrated and rich, and a little of the product will just be enough for you to get the result you want. Below are different types of essential oils and their benefits.

• Bergamot essential oils are best to help you de-stress, solve depression and anxiety issues.

• Eucalyptus is an essential oil used for respiratory issues and other issues like fever and headaches.

• Jasmine essential oil is a brilliant choice for a luxurious bath. It makes you feel de-stressed and reduces tension. Other sources say, it helps to ease childbirth.

• Chamomile essential oil helps to restore or bring calmness. It is antiseptic oil and could improve mood in depression.

• Lavender essential oil is used for many purposes, which include as an anti-depressant, deodorant and as a sedative. It could help with issues such as eczema, sprains, hot flashes, headaches and insomnia.

• Lemon essential oils are good for improving concentration and it could reduce the symptoms of acne.

• Peppermint essential oil can be used to improve mental alertness. It could also be used to energize, refresh and cool the body.

• Rose essential oils are good for aiding digestion, circulation, and conditions related to respiration such as asthma. And it could relieve stress.

• Sandalwood or rosewood oil has a unique fragrance. It also helps with anxiety and depression.

• Rosemary is recommended for an early morning bath when you are preparing for work or for a short bath in the evening. It relieves aches and sore muscles.

• Frankincense has a beautiful scent. And a bath with it will help improve the muscles and bones.

• Tea tree oil is a great antiseptic and can heal cuts and burns, while also soothing muscle aches.

How to Use Bath Oils for Body Cleansing

Now that you have gotten a bottle of bath oil that perfectly fits what you desire for your skin, you can focus on the right method for you to get the best result.

• Prepare your bath and rinse your body. Fill the tub with water.

• You can use the bath oil after rinsing your body. However, if the oils aren’t emulsifying oils, then, you can change the order in which you use the oil.

• It would be wise to tip the cleansing oils to your bath water. Ensure the water is warm. Add the oils to the running water.

• Light the mood with some candles or use scent lamps. Your favorite music playing a soft tune is good for your mood.

• If you didn’t rinse your body, ensure you brush the skin with a dry, bristle brush before you step into the water. You can do this before you rinse your body. It will help to exfoliate and increase penetration.

• Step in and enjoy your oil bath.

• For those that have sensitive skin, it won’t be wise to use bath oils directly in bath water. Therefore, you can use a heated scent diffuser. Alternatively you can spritz the oil on a towel and use it.

• Some cleansing oils are not good for your skin type, so read the information on the bottle of the product.

• Try your hands at different types of bath oils. You will discover the one that suits your mood best and the one that doesn’t.

• If you don’t have time for a bath, you can use your body cleansing oil while taking a shower, just like your normal body wash.

• Bath time should be quiet. If you wish, you can listen to yourself breathe. Just do away with loud noise.

Photos via @navygraceblog, @sonagasparian

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The 7 Best Clean Body Oils

There’s something undeniably decadent about a body oil: Ultramoisturizing and wildly luxurious to the touch, it leaves your skin more glowy, firm, and supple. It is also not something you smooth on and then dash off to work—even oils that sink in relatively quickly do take a minute. And that’s sort of the point: Body oils are (in part) about taking a minute for yourself.

Just like conventional body lotion, conventional body oils can contain all sorts of unappealing ingredients: mineral oil and silicones infused with artificial fragrances and colorants. Slather your entire body in them and you could potentially expose yourself to larger amounts of toxic ingredients—endocrine disruptors as well as plain old skin irritants—than you would with, say, an eye cream.

The manner in which even natural, plant-based oils are extracted also makes a difference: Harsh solvents leave toxic residues in the oil that your skin readily absorbs. And oils labeled “bath” oils are often cut with solvents or drying surfactants to make them foam, or to make them less greasy on the surface of a tub.

In the same way that face oil simplified and revolutionized skin care for many people (suddenly, the centuries-old essential of indigenous women across the globe made more sense than the 17-million-ingredient conventional skin-care concoctions designed to attract with texture and scent as opposed to results), the best body oils turn out to be incredibly multipurpose. Beyond their amazing moisturizing and firming qualities, great body oils work in place of conventional perfume, as bath oil, and even hair oil in most cases. Our favorites, below, combine beautiful scents, exquisite texture, and serious skin benefits.

7 best body washes for sensitive skin

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Weleda Almond Sensitive Body Wash, 200ml: £7.95, Look Fantastic

Weleda has been a staple European brand for those with sensitive skin for a long time, and this smooth and creamy body wash is no exception. It leaves your skin soft and supple after showering. With a light, natural, almond scent, it is nourishing and great for when you’re too busy to moisturise before leaving the house. This wash also comes in travel size, which is useful if you’re travelling and can’t face hotel minis.

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Beauty Kitchen Free From Hair and Body Wash, 300ml: £7.99, Holland & Barrett

This multipurpose wash is very sensitive, and is designed to be used with essential oils – giving it versatility if you have a particular oil that is soothing for your skin. Simply mix the base product with an oil of your choice to customise your shower gel. Used alone, it is scentless and can be used on the body and hair. The wash contains algae oil, and foams without any chemicals or SLSs. A good multipurpose product if your scalp is sensitive and needs a break from harsh shampoos and conditioners. This product is useful for those who don’t like clutter in their shower – one product that washes your hair and body in one go, while looking after sensitive skin, is always useful. It leaves your scalp feeling cleansed, and produced no reaction on scalp or body.

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Aviela Shea Butter Liquid Black Soap, 200ml: £14, Aviela

Aviela’s Black Soap is a rather distinctive product, as it is not really soap, contains a high amount of raw shea butter, and is entirely free from synthetic ingredients. Baobab oil and neem extract, which are both in the black liquid gel, are known to reduce irritation and itching. It can be used on the face, body and hair – and is so moisturising that it is recommended for shaving on extremely sensitive skin also. It is scentless, and a little goes a long way. Traditionally used in Africa (it’s made in Ghana), this product is a real standalone in terms of the anti-itch qualities and natural contents.

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The verdict: body washes for sensitive skin

While all of the products tested here were great on sensitive skin and did not cause a reaction or irritation, the Best Buy for us was the Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil. As well as being reasonably priced, it leaves skin feeling soft and supple, making it an option to skip moisturiser if you’re in a rush. It goes a long way, and provides an extra layer of protection in cold weather, with the inclusion of vegetal biolipids to protect broken skin so it can heal. It foams without the use of synthetic chemicals, and reduced dry skin patches after prolonged use.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

Best body washes for all skin types

Head to any beauty aisle and you will see numerous body washes claiming to benefit your skin in a number of ways. But how to find the one that is right for you?

Well, we’ve done the hard work for you. We have sourced a range of bath and shower gels that we believe will not only leave you feeling clean (that is the whole point, right?) but refreshed and revived too.

Not only that, but with many containing natural ingredients from Aloe vera and almond oil to coconut oil, vitamin E and vitamin B, so that your skin will be treated to a good old dose of moisturisation too.

From pharmacy wallet-pleasing options to luxe splurges, we’ve gathered our favourite body washes and shower gels to leave you, and your skin, feeling great.

Rum body wash

Best for: An intoxicating woody scent

This hydrating body wash is offered in Malin + Goetz’s bestselling rum fragrance. The woody scent, alongside the natural glycerine and amino acid technology, provides a luxurious product that will transform your shower into a wellness, healing treat. It also produces a good amount of lather.

£32 | Malin + Goetz | Buy it now

Aesop A Rose By Any Other Name Body Cleanser

Best for: Feeling like you’re walking through a garden of roses

This Aesop body cleanser contains a combination of rose petal, black pepper and cardamom essential oils to create a luxurious and cooling wash with a floral and subtle spicy scent. The gentle formula is designed for all skin types to clean and hydrate, while also nourishing.

From £20 | Space NK | Buy it now

Made for All Gentle Body Cleanser

Best for: A body wash for the whole family

For a full body clean, this Kiehl’s body cleanser is gentle enough for all skin types – even sensitive skin. Composed of 95 per cent naturally-derived ingredients, it contains Aloe vera and soap tree extract for a soothing and cleansing wash from head to toe. The bottle is also made entirely from post-consumer recycled materials – yet another reason to buy.

£28 | Kiehl’s | Buy it now

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Cream-Gel

Best for: A holiday feel even on the darkest of winter days

Indulge with the heavenly vanilla, caramel-pistachio scent of the Sol de Janeiro shower gel. A little goes a long way with this one. The formula combines nourishing cupuaçu butter, antioxidant superpower açaí and skin conditioning coconut oil, with no parabens or synthetic colouring. Its creamy texture works to lock-in moisture.

£21 | Harvey Nichols | Buy it now

Liz Earle Orange Flower Botanical Body Wash

Best for: A light, not overpowering citrus aroma

The very moisturising Liz Earle body wash uses essential oils, soap bark, corn and coconut to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. With a heavenly citrus aroma, the delicate formula is light, refreshing and can even be used on sensitive skin as it doesn’t contain SLS.

£15 | Boots | Buy it now

Almond Shower Oil

Best for: A long lasting moisturising effect

The L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil is designed for normal to dry skin and may well become your go-to body wash. The indulgent and luxurious scent harnesses the power of almond oil to enrich your skin with a satin, sheen finish.

£19.50 | L’Occitane | Buy it now

Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Bath & Shower Gel

Best for: Full body revitalisation

Using shea butter which nourishes skin, vitamin C and E to protect it, and a medley of citrus fruits for their delicate scent, you will fall in love with the Fresh shower gel. The powerhouse of ingredients work to invigorate your skin, leaving you feeling clean and refreshed. It even counts Oprah Winfrey as a fan.

£18 | John Lewis & Partners | Buy it now

CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash

Best for: Sensitive skin

Dermatologist approved, CeraVe has become a cult French pharmacy brand for sensitive skin. The body wash is unscented and gentle, making it ideal for irritations. It also contains hyaluronic acid to help skin retain its natural moisture.

£11 | Amazon | Buy it now

Tea Tree Skin Clearing Body Wash

Best for: Acne-prone skin

Designed to tackle blemishes, this body wash contains the number one zit zapping ingredient, tea tree, which boasts anti-bacterial qualities. The daily wash works wonders, leaving your skin looking clearer and spot-free. A godsend for summer.

£7.50 | The Body Shop | Buy it now

Dove Purifying Detox Body Wash

Best for: “Normal” skin

This Dove body wash is formulated with green clay to wash away toxins and impurities and help fight against external environmental stressors like pollution. It cleans without stripping away your skin’s natural microbiome as well.

£4 | Boots | Buy it now

SANTAL 33 shower gel

Best for: Smelling as good as you look

You may already be a fan of Le Labo’s instantly recognisable Santal fragrance so why not incorporate the hugely popular aroma into your shower gel? Cleanse your body with the luxe antioxidant rich-formula that is free from parabens and is both vegan and cruelty-free.

£37 | Le Labo | Buy it now

Korres Guava Showergel

Best for: Tropical scented clean beauty

Korres takes the traditions of Greece, and the practices of the Greek pharmacist that founded the label, to create powerful formulas. Designed for everyday use, the Guava shower gel has an intoxicating tropical scent and works to maintain the skin’s protective layer through wheat proteins, healing Aloe and antioxidants.

£5.30 | Feel Unique | Buy it now

Wood Sage & Sea Salt Body & Hand Wash

Best for: Indulging yourself

Incorporate the exotic aroma of this Jo Malone body wash into your everyday routine. The antioxidant-rich wash cleans and softens skin, whilst the unisex fragrance has a subtle musk that evokes the scent of the sea on a windy day.

£15 | Jo Malone | Buy it now

Body Hero Daily Oil Wash

Best for: Feeling squeaky clean

When you first pump the hero Glossier body wash, you will notice that it comes out like oil. But once lathered onto your body, and combined with water, it transforms into a foamy wash. The formula takes inspiration from the skincare you use on your face, designed to treat your body with the same care. It contains a mix of seven oils to leave you feeling squeaky clean, refreshed and prepped for your post-wash moisturiser. It has a subtle scent and comes in the shelfie-worthy packaging that the brand is famous for.

£15 | Glossier | Buy it now

Love Beauty And Planet Majestic Moisture Shower Gel

Best for: Dry skin

Love Beauty And Planet offer quality vegan-friendly products made from organic and sustainable ingredients at affordable prices. The Majestic Moisture shower gel is one of our favourites from the label for its instant nourishing effect. Containing shea butter and creamy Australian sandalwood, the formula locks-in moisture and hydrates skin. The bottle is also made from 100 per cent recycled materials and is, itself, recyclable.

£3.98 | Superdrug | Buy it now

this works deep sleep shower gel

Best for: A pre-sleep relaxing rinse

Relax and unwind with this works’ deep sleep wash featuring a luxe lavender scent. The natural blend of vetivert, chamomile, lavender and coconut oil work to ease tensions of the day enabling a peaceful night’s sleep. The product is free from sulphates, alcohol and artificial fragrances.

£18 | Boots | Buy it now

Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Creme Body Wash

Best for: A divine wash

There is a reason why the Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée body wash is one of the most popular. First and foremost the buttery caramel scent is nothing short of heavenly and lasts throughout the day. And secondly, the natural-based wash is super moisturising, offering a creamy lather that protects your skin.

£32.50 | Space NK | Buy it now

ESBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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11 best organic body washes

Certification: Soil Association Cosmos natural with organic ingredients, Vegan Society, BUAV cruelty free.

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The Organic Pharmacy rose shower gel 200ml: £25.96, The Organic Pharmacy

Contains Persian rose extract, which smells as beautiful as it sounds. Ingredients also include an olive oil detergent from Italy to cleanse without drying, plus conditioning extracts of aloe, propolis, St John’s wort, and healing marigold and rosehip. The combination leaves you feeling fresh, clean and subtly fragrant and is gentle enough to use on the face, too.

Certification: 63 per cent organic certified by Ecocert

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Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 pure-castile liquid soap peppermint 946ml: £19.49 for 946ml, Dr Bronner’s

Something of a cult beauty product, the Dr Bronner’s range of liquid castile soaps is known and loved for its quirky packaging and the claim of 18 different uses (from washing the dishes to freshening up your pets). The peppermint was the original formulation, although it’s now available in seven more scents and colourful, Instagrammable bottles. It certainly contains a generous amount of organic essential oil, the peppermint is super tingly on the skin and has a sinus-clearing, almost eye-wateringly potent effect (tip: avoid it on your nether regions). As a liquid soap it’s runny so best applied on a sponge, which helps create a foamy lather, and a small squirt will cover your whole body. Afterwards, skin feels squeaky clean – but this does mean it’s not ideal for those with dry or reactive skins.

Certification: the Dr Bronner’s range as a whole is USDA certified (95 per cent organic); the soaps are 90 per cent organic, vegan, Fairtrade and cruelty free

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The verdict: organic shower gels

Neal’s Yard Remedies seaweed and arnica shower gel is a therapeutic product that would look good on any bathroom shelf and brings a host of body benefits. But, importantly, it was the only product we found with full Cosmos organic gold standard certification. For a cheaper, no-nonsense product with reliable, natural ingredients and ethical credentials, Urtekram’s no perfume shower gel is our budget choice for sensitive skins.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

These so-cold-your-face-is-numb temps aren’t too kind to your skin. But considering winter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, your dry-skin checklist is still very much a necessity. Because truckloads of moisturizer alone isn’t going to cut it, there’s one more thing you should be doing to make a flaky, itchy complexion baby-soft once again: grab a shower oil.

Everyone knows what body washes are. Shower oils aren’t as well-known, but they certainly should be on your radar. Experts say they’re a much better option than typical cream-style body washes when it comes to fighting off dryness. According to dermatologist Lily Talakoub, MD, of McLean Dermatology and Skincare, that’s because oils more effectively moisturize your skin when you’re in the shower due to their chemical makeup. “Anything that’s lipophilic is going to penetrate the skin better, so in general, the penetration of products that works best is an oil,” she says.

For your silkiest skin yet, try one of these shower oils. In the season of flakiness, you’ll be feeling smooth as ever.

The 6 best shower oils for your dry skin

1. Bioderma Atoderm Moisturizing and Cleansing Oil, $20

This shower oil—which contains vegetal biolipids and niacinamide to protect your skin barrier—is Dr. Talakoub’s favorite. “It’s the best moisturizing body wash I’ve ever used in my life,” she says. “I give it to every single patient. It’s so inexpensive, and I use it to wash my body as well as to shave my legs.”

2. Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash, $18

The seven-oil blend in this option is great at frothing up and ridding your skin of grime and sweat. Afterward, you’re left with clean, moisturized skin that smells amazing.

3. Cetaphil In-Shower Moisturizing Oil, $16

You can always trust skin-loving Cetaphil to come through with a great product. This shower oil is great for sensitive skin, as it’s fragrance- and paraben-free. It uses five moisturizers, as well as vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5, to help lock in moisture for up to 24 hours.

4. L’Occitane Cleansing & Softening Almond Shower Oil, $25

Right after applying this shower oil, you’re left with a feel-good milky lotion that coats your skin with nourishing almond oil.

5. Kopari Sudsy Shower Oil, $28

This shower oil foams up, allowing you to cleanse your skin without stripping away moisture. It also makes you feel like you’re on a tropical island, thanks to the sweet coconut milk scent.

6. Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Shower Oil, $10

Once applying it to your wet skin, this cherry blossom and organic rice milk-based shower oil turns into a silky-soft foam that hydrates your skin.

These are a derm’s best tips for dry skin:

Derms say these super-common shower mistakes are the reason your skin gets so dry. Then find out the absolute best ingredient to hydrate dry skin.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

Body wash with oil

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