I own very few high-end bath/shower/body products because the stuff available on the high street is just so good and much much cheaper. I’ve got a few bits and pieces here that I think are worth the cash. For bath and body products (with the exception of a few Lush bath bomb treats – a post coming soon) I stick to Boots, Superdrug, Sainsburys, Tesco or M&S. I’ve spoken before about SLS – I’m not bothered if it is in bath/shower products because I don’t have overly dry skin. If you do have dry or flaky skin, eczema, easily irritated or red, itchy skin then I would avoid anything with SLS in it for baths/showers. The SLS is the chemical that makes these products foam and give a lather and it is a known irritant (IMO it should tell people this on the packaging!). The lather and foam that we all love can be achieved without SLS (OGX shampoo for example) and they are just as lovely. I’ll link a few options at the end of this post for those who want more natural, sulphate free products. Annoyingly, SLS is still in lots of baby products and is a staple in ‘soothing’ products for skin irritations, like Olaitum and E45. Check your ingredient lists carefully – it is ONLY SLS that is the irritant – other sulphates are not known to be as bad.
With regards to body products- again, even though I harp on about mineral oil/paraffin wax etc., I’m not bothered about it being on my body. I’d never, ever put it on my face or on my kids/babies. As above – if you have skin problems, eczema etc. then avoid mineral oil/paraffin wax (the main ingredients in E45 and aqueous creams usually prescribed/made for skin conditions). They will sit on the skin surface and not penetrate the skin. They may alleviate the skin condition in the short term, but no long term improvement will happen unfortunately). Try pure, cold pressed, refined coconut oil, or ordinary extra virgin olive oil – I used both of these products on Elsie when she was a tiny baby and had some dry skin. The flaky skin cleared up within a few days. Please don’t put mineral oil on your babies! I own a few high-end body creams (usually part of a perfume gift set and The Body Shop butters) and I save them for moisturising my upper body – arms and decolletage – so I can get the benefit of the gorgeous scents. The cheap body creams are for legs, bum, lower body and feet (I don’t use specific foot creams – waste of money).
The following products have all been used by me and most are repurchases.
Good Things Argan Oil Restoring Body Wash 200ml £1.99 (Superdrug) – ‘GOOD THINGS products contain no mineral oils or other petrochemicals, no parabens, sodium laureth sulphate or sodium lauryl sulphate. They haven’t been tested on animals’ – taken straight from the Good Things website. This is an amazing, completely affordable and kind-to-skin brand. Their skincare is also great and available in Boots/Superdrug – the Manuka Honey Cleanser and Mask are both really good. This body wash is designed for older skins that need a bit of extra moisture. I chose it because it doesn’t contain nasties and it smells gorgeous. I love anything coconut related, cocoa butter, shea butter etc. so this is perfect.
Mandara Spa Bali Santi Shower Gel 200ml £4.00 (Sainsburys) – This is an absolute bargain gem!! Mandara is owned by Elemis – so you’re getting an Elemis quality product for less than a fiver! Elemis shower gels RRP at over twenty pounds, so this is incredible value. This is the second tube of this for me – again the coconut scent is lush and reminds me of summer. The coconut oil in it means that it leaves skin so so silky and soft. Don’t buy Elemis products – buy this! And you can buy it whilst you’re getting your bread and baked beans! 🙂
Dirty Works Wakey Wakey Minty Body Wash 200ml £2.00 (Sainsburys) – If my bath/shower products aren’t coconut based, they are minty/zingy/lemony/lime based. I use this one in the morning as the minty freshness really wakes me up – it’s nice to breathe in too – clears the nose! Obviously, the Dirty Works range was created on the back of the retro packaging started by Soap and Glory, but who cares? They do some great value products and this is one of them. It does contain SLS though, so not one for sensitive, dry skins. It is also REALLY minty – a bit like toothpaste – so if you’re not a mint fan, this isn’t for you! They do do other scents in the range though, so check it out in Sainsburys.
Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash 500ml £6.50 (Boots – currently 3 for 2 on all S&G products) – This is a little more expensive than the others above, however, when you look at the mls – this is incredible value. This is my 5th bottle of these shower gels (I’ve had Clean Girls, Orangeasm, Foam Call and Rich & Foamas – all amazing). The one I’ve just finished – Orangeasm, lasted well over 6 months – so the value is amazing. SLS free and with amazing scents, these really are a winner. The one above, Sugar Crush, is sweet lime scent and smells a bit like a really zingy mojito! Fine by me. Lathers up well and leaves skin feeling smooth. Soap and Glory really are amazing at bath/body products, so don’t be put off my the £6.50 price tag – it will last months and months.
Sanctuary Spa Cooling Glacial Scrub £8.00 (Boots) – Again, a bit pricer than others, but again this will last ages. This particular scrub is a subtle mint scent – smells like ‘ice’ if that makes any sense?! It is sea salt, aloe vera and cucumber and really good at smoothing/polishing the skin without leaving it sore. It is very ‘scrubby’ – which I like for the body – what is the point in a wishy-washy body scrub? Usually I only scrub elbows, upper arms, backs of arms, knees, ankles, heels and lower legs. If you don’t want something quite so harsh, try the other scrub below. Other really good scrubs that I’ve tried that are similar are: S&G Breakfast Scrub £8.00 Boots; S&G Sugar Crush Scrub £8.00 Boots; Boots Extracts Coconut Body Scrub £6.50.
Mandara Spa Bali Santi Blooming Bath & Shower Oil 300ml £7 (Sainsburys) – A bit more expensive than the Good Things but this is a bit of luxury here! The product is actually quite hard to work with (could have done with a pump on the bottle) as it is so runny. I use it in two ways: firstly as a shower oil – which is a nightmare to pour out of the bottle, but worth it for the scent, texture and feel on the skin. It is an oil that emulsifies when it meets the water. It doesn’t foam at all but it is really luxurious and moisturising on the skin. It leaves a slight oil finish on the skin (which I personally really like as it saves having to moisturise afterwards). Secondly, as a bath oil – I pour under running water and it just makes the water soft and smoothing. Water is quite harsh (especially on the IOW where we have really hard water) and it can be drying – this is just lovely to make the water more forgiving. The scent is relaxing and again, skin is smoothed and coated with gorgeous oil. Like I said before, these products are formulated under the umbrella of Elemis and are used at the Mandara Spa at the Park Plaza hotel on Westminster Bridge in London – so they aren’t ‘rubbish’ products at all and a bargain for the price in Sainsburys.
Good Things Argan Oil Renewing Bath Soak 300ml £2.29 (Superdrug) – How on earth you can argue with that price, I don’t know. As above, Good Things are ‘nasties-free’ and amazing quality. This is my second bottle of this and I love it. The gorgeous creamy bath soak lathers up well, even without SLS. The smell is gorgeous and skin feels smooth and soft – never dry. I use quite a lot of this, but a little does go a long way. Definitely worth tracking down in Superdrug and a million times better than the Imperial Leather/Radox/Dove/Own brand -stuffed with SLS- stuff you get in the supermarket.
Dirty Works Glow Girl Buttery Salt Scrub £3.00 (Sainsburys) – This is the scrub for you if you want something a bit softer and more gentle than the Sanctuary one above. It is really moisturising, and does the scrubbing gently. Personally, I prefer the scrubbier one above, but when my skin is sensitive (sun burnt, for example) this is perfect. This is also a good one to use before applying fake tan – as you don’t want to use a really abrasive one that irritates. The scent is subtle but lovely – kind of fresh but floral. Great value for the price.
Garnier Body Repair 400mls £2.72 (Boots) – More beautiful bargain prices. This is a fabulous moisturiser. I slather it on my lower body and legs and it sinks in well, smells nice and does the job. Created or extra dry skin (which I don’t have) it isn’t too think or stays tacky for ages. I apply straight from the bath or shower, then do my facial skincare routine and then get dressed – so it probably sinks in in about 5-6 minutes. This is my 5th bottle of this I think and in all honestly, I much prefer it to all of my higher end moisturisers and The Body Shop body butters (which smell amazing but take ages to sink in).
Garnier Ultimate Beauty Oil 150mls £5.53 (Boots) – A bit more expensive than the one above, but if you like oils and want something even easier to apply, then this is for you. I usually use this in the summer as it smells divine. I literally just spray all over, rub in and go. It doesn’t stain clothes with oil, doesn’t run and the smell lasts a good while. They do different scents, but this is my second bottle of this particular one, which is Argan, Macademia, Almond and Rose oils. It also is excellent for giving a bit of a nice shine down the centre of the legs in the summer. It is also mineral oil/petroleum free too.
Garnier Intensive 7 Day 250ml £2.32 (Tesco) – This is basically a simple Shea Butter moisturiser. Again, it says for very dry skin, but it isn’t thick. It claims to be fast absorbing – which I think it is.The other really good thing about this one is that, as it says, ‘hydration for up to 7 days’ – and I think it does achieve this… not quite 7 days, but a good 4 or so. And I hate body moisturising – I find it a real chore – so anything that makes the job less hassle is good with me!
Other products that are free from SLS, petrochemicals, parabens etc:
Yes to range (Carrots, Blueberries, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Grapefruit, Coconut) – I’ve tried the Yes to Cucumbers body wash; Yes to Coconut Ultra Light Body Lotion Spray; Yes to Carrots Daily Moisture Body Lotion; Yes to Carrots Nourishing Body Wash. All are available in Boots, http://www.boots.com or http://www.ASOS.com.
Baby Solid Coconut Massage Oil £3.20 (Ocado/Waitrose) – This is a lovely, cheap product for moisturising. I used this on Elsie when she was little, and I still use it now on my legs after shaving. It is an oil that has solidified, so you have to warm it or scrap it out. Great value and lasts for ages – Elsie is 4 now and I still have the tub from when she was about 18 months.
Organic Surge – This is a great brand. From their website: Organic Surge products are NOT tested on animals and are 100% free of harsh chemicals – no parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate, no artificial fragrances or colourants and no genetically modified ingredients. I’ve used several of their products over the years, from skin care to body care. Their shower gels/creams and body lotions are lovely and completely free from horrible stuff. Their baby range is great too. Available from http://www.lovelula.com, John Lewis or http://www.organicsurge.com or https://www.naturisimo.com (who ship worldwide for free!).
Burts Bees – This is a great brand (with a great baby range too). The bath/shower products are SLS free and the body lotions are free from mineral oil and petrochemicals. Available in Boots, www.burtsbees.co.uk or http://www.feelunique.com.