Body Wash vs. Shower Gel: What Should I Use?

Body Wash vs. Shower Gel: What Should I Use?

Sometimes even the most extravagant luxuries can’t give you the therapeutic refreshment a simple routine shower does. You hop in the shower, set the temperature, grab a cleanser and let the water wash away impurities with day’s worries. Hold on, is the cleanser you picked up any good? because it is your skin we are talking about!

Typically, a cleanser that lathers well, smells good and makes you feel seemingly clean wins a place in the bath rack. Except, what we actually want from a cleanser is to soothe irritations, freshen up the complexion, and preserve the skin’s youthful radiance for a long time. 

This cleansing predicament has made us dive deep into understanding the differences between body wash vs. shower gel vs. soaps.

Keep reading to learn which cleanser is ideal for your skin type:

Body Wash Vs. Shower Gel Vs. Soap

The basic chemistry and purpose of body wash, gel, and soap are the sameremove dirt and promote cleanliness and personal hygiene. The difference lies in their working mechanism and ingredients list:

botanic hearth lavender body wash

  • What Is Body Wash Used For? Which Skin Type Does It Suit Most?

Body washes are made of two parts: lipophilic and hydrophilic. The lipophilic component of the body wash is fat-soluble, whereas the hydrophilic is water-soluble. The dirt itself is a lipophilic substance that does not dissolve away with water alone. Hydrophilic ingredients moisturize the skin and aim at balancing its pH levels. 

The fusion of lipophilic and hydrophilic ingredients is called a surfactant. Surfactants draw out dirt, excess oils, and impurities on skin without stripping off the skin’s natural oils. That is why body washes are gentle, hydrating, and soothing for the skin. 

In terms of their physical properties, body washes have a thin, watery, and creamy texture. They leather easily, dissolve quickly and give your skin a soft, smooth feel and refreshed look. 

Body washes are suitable for most skin types, including dry and sensitive skin.

Our choice is Botanic Hearth’s Tea Tree Oil Body Wash – A deep cleansing, hydrating and refreshing body wash made without any harmful chemicals. Just pure and natural ingredients to give you soft, smooth, and refreshed skin every day. 

Another recommendation for fragrance lovers is Botanic Hearth Lavender Body Wash. This lavender oil, shea butter extract, coconut oil, and jojoba oil formula delivers moisturization to dry, rough skin. Simultaneously, the exceptional cleansing and antioxidant action of lavender oil is there to gently wash away impurities and excess oil for clean, fresh, and rejuvenated skin all day!

  • The Anatomy of Shower Gel—Which Skin Types Should Use It?

The chemical makeup of shower gel is almost similar to body washes. The main body wash vs. shower gel difference in its consistency—shower gel is a firmer and gel-like liquid. The similarity between shampoos and shower gels is another story because they have the exact density. However, the answer to “is shower gel a shampoo?” is NO! 


A shower gel looks like a shampoo, but it isn't. Shampoos have fewer surfactants and specific hair treatment ingredients, which obviously shower gel does not. Shower gels feature mild surfactants sourced from petroleum or plants, high levels of emulsifier, and fragrances. 

Shower gels soothe, soften and smooth the skin while leaving behind a lasting scent. They create a rich foamy lather, have a slick lotion-like texture and intense aromas. 

Nevertheless, gels are less moisturizing than body washes and might leave the skin feeling dry and tight. In other words, shower gels are better at cleansing but not so much at moisturizing. Therefore, normal, combination, acne-prone, and oily skin types can use shower gels.

  • Are Bar Soaps Any Good? Is Soap Good For My Skin Type?

Soaps can be easily classified as the simplest of body cleansers. In the body wash vs. shower gel debate, we tend to forget that before the revolution of liquid cleansers, soaps were doing their job just fine. 


Traditionally, bar soap is made with fatty acids (oils) and alkali (lye). The process of soap making is called saponification. The fatty portion is meant to moisturize the skin, and lye cleans and exfoliates the skin. Other ingredients such as colors, emulsifiers, thickeners, emollients, and fragrances give the soaps its shape, texture, strength. 

Contrary to popular belief that soaps damage the skin’s health and lipid layer, soaps are actually effective cleansers, conditioners, and moisturizers if made with healthy ingredients. You have to be extra careful in reading the ingredients label of soap, though. Avoid soaps with synthetic preservatives like sulfates and parabens and soaps with a high pH level of 8 or 9.

Soaps are generally safe for all skin types depending on their ingredients list.

The Bottom Line

In the body wash vs. shower gel vs. soaps debate, the clear winner would be a cleanser that suits your skin type and covers your cleansing needs.

If you have oily and acne-prone skin, soap or shower gel is a better option, or if you have dry and sensitive skin, then body wash can be the right fit. 

Botanic Hearth has an extensive range of body care essentials crafted to meet your skin’s unique needs. From body washes, massage oils to body scrubs, we have it all under one roof. The desirable feature of our entire product line is that we only use chemical-free, pure and natural ingredients to formulate the products. Visit our shop to ensure your future skin looks as radiant, glowy, and fresh as you wish it to be!.


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