Shower lowdown: Best body washes for different skin types
With so many shower products on offer, where do you even start with picking which to use? It's easy to reach for the cheapest, or the best smelling, but you may not be choosing one that's suitable for your skin.
Those who suffer from dry skin should stick to shower creams, as Dr. Irshad Zaki, a Consultant Dermatologist at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, notes the benefits.
"There are several products on the market which act as moisturiser and a soap substitute," he told Cover Media of the rich product. "They will help give your skin that boost it needs to beat the dryness."
Julieann Parry, owner of Tibby Olivier skin care, knows exactly what advice to offer as she suffers from dry skin herself. So what ingredients does she suggest looking for in shower creams, and likewise, what does she recommend avoiding?
"As my skin is dry I prefer to use products that contain a rich blend of oils, butters and waxes with Vitamin E to nourish and protect my body and lips from harsh environmental conditions," she explained.
"I avoid products that aren't paraben-free, sulfate-Free, ethoxylate-free, propylene glycol-free, silicone-free, DEA-free and artificial colour-free."
Dr. Zaki also noted to avoid perfumed products if you have dry skin - or oily skin - as they could cause a reaction. For those of you who have normal to oily skin, Dr. Zaki points out soap bars are usually fine, but just take note of the ingredients. Those including the likes of sea salt or oatmeal will be gentle on your skin and clear the excess oils which can often lead to acne.
Gels are another option for normal to oily skin types as they're refreshing and you won't need to worry about any sensitivity. They offer little nourishment and are mostly made up of water and detergent to give a clean finish - just think of them as shampoo for your body (you can see why dry and sensitive skin should steer clear).
But be careful to not ruin your skin barrier, advises holistic health specialist, facialist and skincare expert Gemma Clare. She has an alternative to gels: "I prefer clay based cleansers to absorb excess oil and deeply cleanse the skin," she said. "I would recommend people with oily skin avoid petrochemical (derived from the fuel petroleum) ingredients, including mineral oil, which are reputed to be comedogenic (pore blocking)."
So now you know what to use, what's the best way to wash in the shower? Gemma has a post-shower suggestion: "Before showering I recommend body brushing a few times a week to stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic system, which will eliminate toxins and break down fat deposits," she added. "Use upward strokes starting from your feet working upwards in the direction of the heart."
"Avoid rubbing creams against the direction of body hairs as this predisposes to folliculitis -a common skin condition in which hair follicles become inflamed," Dr. Zaki said of in-shower antics. "It's usually caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. At first it may look like small red bumps or white-headed pimples around hair follicles. Otherwise no particular motion. wash twice daily."