With hundreds of shower gels available on the market, finding the best one is nothing short of a drudging task. Shower gels offer numerous benefits, and some contain a variety of natural elements, including potent oils, scents and vitamins. Questioning the difference between using a bar of soap and a shower gel? Studies have shown that gel cleansers are less likely to unsettle your skin’s pH levels than soap, as those brick-shaped substances supposedly strip the skin of its essential oils.
So now you ask: What makes for a premium shower gel? Answer: A variety of things. For starters, it should possess high-quality ingredients like grapefruit or bergamot oil – basically, all the good stuff that does wonders for your skin type depending on its sensitivity level. Like shaving gels, observe whether it lathers well, as the suds produced from shower gels can strengthen skin cleansing. Bonus points if it carries an amazing, long-lasting scent.
These aren’t exactly the type of results you’ll get from supermarket brands, which is why we’ve compiled this collection of elite options based on consumer feedback, expert reviews and hands-on experience to help narrow things down. Here’s a look at the 10 best shower gels that deserve a spot somewhere on your shower rack.
L’Occitane L’Occitan Shower Gel
Best for: Purifying against toxins and germs
L’Occitane’s shower gel replicates the rugged scent of its Eau de Toilette with finesse – cleaning your skin with a blended touch of authentic A.O.C. lavender and the peppery, nutmeg scent of burnt wood. Deep cleansing action is expected as the shower remedy integrates Lavandin extracts into the mix, which creates a moisturising effect to keep skin infections from developing.
£16.43 at Amazon
Best for: A great scent
Lynx Black bears the sudsy mannerisms of an elite shower gel, with bergamot and frozen pear notes to inspire social grace. Lynx spared no expense in formulating this debonair wash, collaborating with fragrance icon Ann Gottlieb to develop it in conjunction with legendary fragrance house Firmenich. The history of both perfume staples alone endorses this shower gel’s elite status, and you can bask in all its opulence at an unbeatable low price.
£8.99 for a pack of 3 at Amazon
Scaramouche and Fandango Body Wash
Best for: Refreshing the skin
The UK-based Scaramouche and Fandango has one of the most revitalising and underrated body washes out there. Composed of Brazilian papaya and vitamin E, this gel delivers an enticing scent tailored for dapper dons, along with an incredible lather effect that preserves all minerals and leaves no post-shower residue. Not to mention that it’s oil, silicone and paraben-free. Combined in a double pack with the brand’s shampoo, it’s an absolute steal for the price.
£14.99 at Amazon
Dove Men+Care Cool Fresh Body And Face Wash
Best for: Hydrating your skin
Dove continues to meet the needs of flakey groomists with its solid line of grooming solutions. The brand uses its patented MicroMoisture to hydrate your skin, tackling dryness and iritation. It’s a clinically proven formula and promises to leave you exuding a cool, invigorating scent. Unlike some gels, it won’t leave any residue and washes away first time.
£3.50 at Amazon
Anthony Invigorating Rush Hair + Body Wash
Best for: All skin types
Anthony’s 2-in-1 solution functions as a three-tier cleansing system that jolts the body with energy. It starts by stimulating senses with eucalyptus extract, then your skin absorbs birch leaf properties and inflammation is calmed thanks to Canadian balsam. Avocado and wheat protein distribute moisture, leaving vitamin B5 to rejuvenate skin (and hair) when applied. Dry or oily, normal or sensitive, it can treat every skin type effectively – and wash your hair too.
£26 at Amazon
Neal’s Yard Remedies Geranium & Orange Shower Gel
Best for: Free from toxic chemicals
Neal’s Yard Remedies is one of the most ethical cosmetic ranges out there, scoring top marks for safe ingredients, sustainable production, and environmental impact. The brand uses organic products wherever possible, and this shower gel contains a refreshing burst of geranium flower and orange oils to revive your senses. Naturally, it’s also free from animal testing and suitable for vegans, which means you can smell and feel great.
£15.00 at Amazon
Molton Brown Black Peppercorn Body Wash
Best for: A soothing, relaxing wash
This one remains a favourite for its concentrated formula, distinguished appearance and intoxicating aroma. Grooming connoisseurs can take solace in knowing that the zestful body wash eliminates skin toxins, whereas fitness freaks can rely on it to boost circulation and relax muscles post workout. Amazingly cleansed and fragrant-ready, Molton Brown has created potentially the most invigorating aroma-therapeutic shower scent out there.
£20 at John Lewis
Acqua di Parma Colonia Intensa Hair & Shower Gel
Best for: Him and her
Acqua di Parma’s golden elixir just permeates luxury, from its deep scent to the traditional bottle. The combination of coconut oil and wheat protein leave your skin delicately smooth, whereas the blend of Sicilian citrus, jasmine, verbena, and Bulgarian rose create a sensual elegant, gender-neutral odour that your partner can soak herself in, too. It even doubles as a hair wash.
£33 at John Lewis
Baxter Of California Invigorating Body Wash
Best for: Softer skin
California’s most reputable men’s grooming line builds on its trendsetting lineage with a hydrating shower gel that neutralises dirt and debris without compromising moisture. A pungent aroma of Italian lime and bergamot pomegranate tantalises the senses, while skin softening agents help produce velvety results. We strongly recommend pairing it with the Baxter of California’s Deodorant for a euphoric scent-sual high.
£18 at Mankind
Old Spice Original Shower Gel
Best for: Everlasting smell
A good shower gel maintains its scent for long stretches, working in tandem with your deodorant. This urbane gel gives off a pungently masculine aroma that locks into the skin for up to 7 hours daily, so is good enough to get you through an entire workday without you resorting to the stale cologne housed in your office drawer. More surprising is how the product performs just as amazing as it smells, with a super-rich lather factor that comforts skin with gentle foam. Its inexpensive cost also means you can stock up on two (or more) without breaking the bank.
£2.99 at Boots