For most of us, we wash our body at least once a day (two or three if we’ve hit the treadmill and the mat). But do we actually put much thought into the product we choose to lather up with? There are hundreds of choices. And when bombarded in the beauty aisle, it’s often the scent that seals the deal. I mean, who doesn’t want to smell like sweet vanilla and jasmine, right?
But your body wash choice is more important than you’d think. In fact, your skin is your largest organ. So just as you worry about punishing your liver with alcohol, or subjecting your heart to extra bacon, so too should you be concerned with what you’re coating on your skin.
So to determine the right body wash for you, we’ve put together a list of what to look for when you’re tossing up between lavender and lime.
5 Things To Look For When Choosing
A Body Wash
Most cleansing washes work by stripping the body of everything on the skin’s surface. While this gets rid of any sweat, dirt or bad-day build up, it also strips away the body’s natural oils. These oils keep our skin soft and hydrated, and work as a protective barrier. It’s important to choose a body wash that is ‘moisturising’, ‘non-drying’ or ‘hydrating’ as this will help replenish the oil that’s removed.
That being said, all body wash rids the skin of some oil so it’s good to apply body oil after you shower to keep the skin soft and supple. We’re currently loving the new Trilogy Pure Plant Body Oil because it contains sweet almond oil to stabilise skin pH, rosehip oil to repair and hydrate, and apricot oil to soothe inflammation.
The fruity fragrance of some body wash products is what draws us to them in the first place. But beware: these scents might not be so sweet after all. The ambiguous word ‘fragrance’ on a cosmetic ingredients listcould refer to any number of undisclosed products. And more often than not, they’re synthetic.
So choose products you know are naturally scented. If it doesn’t say so on the packaging, you’ll be able to tell from the ingredients list. Look for natural ‘fruit extracts’ and if you encounter the dubious word: ‘fragrance’, do further research.
Choosing a body wash that contains natural oils can help the skin remain balanced, as it mirrors the skin’s natural lipids. This will help to break down bacteria and other unwanted substances while retaining moisture in the skin.
If you can find one that contains rosehip oil and jojoba oil, you’re onto a winner. Rosehip oil is a superfood for the skin as it helps to repair and strengthen cells. And jojoba oil contains pro-vitamin A and vitamin E, which protects the skin from drying out while strengthening the epidermis. It also has excellent emollient properties to soothe and rehydrate without clogging pores.
Have you ever tried to wash a dirty pan solely with water? It doesn’t work. This is because dirt and grease are lipophilic, meaning they don’t break down in water. Every body wash will contain a hydrophilic (water-soluble) part as well as a lipophilic (fat-soluble) part, which is essential to rid the body of grime. Combined, these two parts are called a surfactant and are responsible for ‘cleaning’ you.
While we may not know the true effect of all these toxins we encounter every day, surely it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Harsh, abrasive chemicals may make you squeaky clean but they could also be damaging your skin cells. They certainly wipe out all the bad bacteria but they strip all the good stuff too. So if you’re basting yourself twice a day it’s best to opt for a product you know is safe, like Trilogy Botanical Body Wash, which was rated the best shower gel for 2016 in the Natural Health International Beauty Awards.
When choosing a body wash you should avoid abrasive surfactants such as lye. Instead look for cleansing agents with naturally sourced lipophilic ingredients such as Lauryl Glucoside or Sodium Coco-Sulfate, which are both derived from coconut oil.