Soap or shower gel — that is the question. Either work as the answer, but it depends on what you are looking for.
While taking a shower, how often do you wonder what’s best for your skin — soap or shower gel? While both products are designed to cleanse, they have different usage and effects. Soaps are made with either animal or vegetable fats, and they can be unscented, contain essential oils, or have synthetic fragrance. Whereas, shower gels have a liquid consistency and they are generally foam when applied to the skin. Most gels contain foaming agents such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Coco Sulphate (SCS) that help create the lather.
The skin benefits of shower gels and soap bars vary depending on the formulation. Seema Nanda, a cosmetologist, says, “Traditional soap bars tend to be made with harsh, skin-drying ingredients, and while plant-based formulations are available, soap bars usually have a high pH. It is drying in nature; people who are prone to eczema or those with slightly acidic skin should avoid using it. On the other hand, shower gels have a liquid format. Their quick-foaming formulations are highly effective at cleaning the body, without stripping the skin of its protective barrier. SLS has a small molecule size, so it can aggravate delicate skin and skin prone to dryness, eczema, and psoriasis. SCS is coconut-based and has a large molecular structure, or a gentler interaction with the skin, as it cannot penetrate so deeply. Care for sensitive skin with an SLS-free shower gel that will gently cleanse the skin. Products that are pH balanced and have a pH level that between 4 and 6, depending on the area the product is designed for, are usually preferred.”