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Is your shower gel having a negative affect on your skin?


by Aisling Keenan
15th May 2019

Shower gel or body washes can wash away the day, leave you feeling fresh and help keep your skin healthy. But in some cases, they might be stripping your skin of natural oils and causing more harm than good…


For a while recently I’ve noticed my skin reacting a bit after a shower – feeling drier than normal. I hadn’t changed my moisturiser, my water was the same, my towels were the same, so I thought it might be my shower gel that didn’t agree with me.

In general, things that foam up when applied to your skin contain surfactants. These things are inherently drying, and so where possible, it’s good to use as little as you can. But we need to get a good scrub on, so most of us use far too much shower gel than we need.

Sensitive saviours

For anyone feeling like their shower gel is too harsh, too drying or not suiting their sensitive skin, here are some recommendations for more a natural approach.

Dr Bronners Peppermint Castile Liquid Soap, €10.50 – €24.50

PAI Gentle Genius camellia and bergamot body wash, €24

Jasön Soothing Aloe Vera Body Wash, €11.99

Could it be something else?

There are a whole list of things you might be doing wrong when it comes to your showering habits. The following are some of the things you might look at if your skin seems to be reacting badly to your shower.

  •  Your water could be too hot, which can leave the skin parched
  • Your loofahs or sponge could be collecting bacteria due to the damp, which can lead to skin issues. Ideally you should change your loofah once a month or so, and store it in a dry place after use, as opposed to in the shower
  • If you vigorously rub your skin with your towel, it could lead to irritation. Gently pat your skin dry instead