The grooming product you use most often? Chances are it’s that bottle of Radox you picked up on the way to the Tesco Metro checkout. For those who want a little more when it comes to your bodywash, we’ve picked the best available for getting your morning scrub on.
Although the terms "body wash" and "shower gel" are often used interchangeably – and we’ve included both in this round-up – there is generally a difference between the two products. While shower gels tend to be dense, body washes err on the side of a soap-like consistency. As a result they’re often gentler on your skin and can be better at hydrating it too.
Whichever body wash or shower gel you opt for from our picks below, rest assured you’ll be in for a more refreshing, fragrant experience.
Part of a remodelled upgrade to Cowshed’s iconic body collection, Active Invigorating Bath & Shower Gel (previously known as Wild Cow Bath & Shower Gel) invigorates, energises and revives tired muscles and leaves skin thoroughly cleansed and nourished. Made in England, and used in all Soho House and Cowshed spas, the vegan-friendly formulation has been developed to use as both a shower gel and a foaming bubble bath, with an aromatic and light oriental fragrance comprised of lemongrass, ginger and rosemary essential oils. £20 for 300ml. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com
Developed by the renowned chain of specialist barbershops, Murdock, Black Tea Body Wash offers an invigorating start to your day. Its sulphate-free, gently foaming formula, infused with spice and wood plus a boost of its refreshing black tea signature fragrance, has also become a popular go-to for men looking for a post-gym "lift". Don’t be fooled by its diluted (slightly watery) texture. When applied with a sponge, it develops into a rich and moisturising texture and you’ll find that a little goes a very long way. £18 for 250ml. At Selfridges. selfridges.com
Developed with the help of dermatologists, this unique cleanser (one of the very few that is recommended to use for both body and face) deep cleans without disrupting the skin barrier. Hosting three essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid (for hydration) it gently removes excess oil and dirt without stripping the skin of its natural balance. Fragrance free (so it won't interfere or fight with your signature scent), it is targeted towards those with normal to oily skins but is also perfect for anyone who struggles with sensitivity. £9.50 for 236ml. At Boots. bo ots.com
© Richard Pierce
This one-of-a-kind body cleansing oil magically turns into a light foam upon contact with water. Benefitting from gently cleansing castor oil, it rinses clean and leaves skin, soft, smooth and moisturised. Unlike most body washes that are designed to invigorate, this formula is a great way to unwind thanks to its comforting blend of vanilla and almond. Perfect for men who suffer with dry skin, finish with one of Kiehl’s iconic Creme De Corps range of body moisturisers for the ultimate hydration-boosting experience. £15.50 for 100ml. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com
This refreshing, dual-purpose, body and hand wash, infused with meadow foam seed and Jo Malone’s signature basil and neroli scent, builds into a rich and luxurious foaming lather. Its enhanced formula both cleanses and conditions, as well as adding some class to any bathroom shelf, and is a safe bet, frequenting the washrooms of some of the world’s finest hotels and restaurants. £32 for 250ml. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com
This citrus-based gel, inspired by a Spanish naranja grove, is a sparkling cocktail of Seville orange, bergamot and mandarin. Using the same pyramid structure that is common to fine fragrance (top, heart and base notes) it is as complex as any premium scent, including aromatic "supporting" ingredients such as neroli, cardamom, galbanum, musk, ylang ylang and cedarwood. Paraben, gluten and cruelty-free, it awakens the senses as well as offering a deeply luxurious experience. To properly immerse yourself in this uplifting scent follow with MB’s Orange & Bergamot body lotion and eau de toilette or its new eau de parfum fragrance after showering. £22 for 300ml. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com
Quality and reassured elegance underpins everything that Acqua Di Parma stands for, whether it’s a fine fragrance or simply a body wash. Described by its makers as conjuring up “a fresh breeze through a canopy of cypress trees”, it is invigorating, green and herbaceous. Orange, elemi and star anise accord are combined with notes of lavandin, clary sage and petit grain, but in our opinion its originality (and the stars of the show) comes courtesy of fir balsam, cypress and pine needles. As would be expected, the texture is rich and creamy and leaves skin feeling like velvet. £35 for 200ml. At Harvey Nichols. harveynichols.com
Goop, the lifestyle brand built on the success of a newsletter that started from Gwyneth Paltrow’s kitchen in 2008, has set a new standard in clean, ethically derived beauty. This plant-based body cleanser (one of the heroes of the range) refreshes and, thanks to a clever combination of botanical ingredients, also helps to clear your mind. Fresh roots of ginger, ashwagandha, spicy aromatic Japanese shiso leaf, Indian black pepper oil and pink peppercorn berries help to awaken the senses and uplift the spirit. £28 for 200ml. goop.com
Kick-start your day with one of the most invigorating and uplifting shower gels out there, our personal cure for hangovers. Cleansing, refreshing and uplifting, an active balance of cooling spearmint and peppermint essential oils (the latter has been recognised to improve circulation) with plant extracts of nettle, wild marjoram, marshmallow, camomile and thyme, in a soya, wheat and milk protein (improves skin health) base, despite its effectiveness and post shower tingly feeling, it's surprisingly gentle and skin-friendly. £26 for 300ml. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com