Best body washes and shower gel for men that are good for the skin and the planet
We’ve handpicked the best body washes and shower gel for men that are both good for your skin as well as the planet
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Click a link below to jump straight to each section:
- Best shower gel: What to look for
- What to avoid
- Shower gel vs body wash
- 7 of the best shower gels and body washes UK
W hen you’re showering every day, possibly twice a day, you’re going to want a shower gel for men that’s both good for your skin and gives you a good clean.
It’s easy to overlook ingredients in your shower gel or to just grab the closest to hand but remember your skin is your largest organ.
Your skin type will dictate which shower gel or body wash is best for you, but there are other factors you may want to consider. Seeing that you’ll probably use a shower gel more often than any other product in your bathroom, it’s a bonus if it’s sustainable and has the least impact on the environment.
Alternatively, you may want vegan options. Or you may not have realised that some shower gels aren’t vegan…many still contain animal by-products and one of the worst offenders is stearic acid, which comes from the stomachs of pigs, as well as cows and sheep.
What’s more, you no longer have to sacrifice quality, and effectiveness or pay a fortune for more eco-friendly shower gels. The best shower gels for men do just as good a job of getting rid of your BO, dirt and grime as non-sustainable alternatives.
In fact, by including more organic ingredients and natural scents in your shower gel or body wash, they may in fact be better for your skin. Therefore a more sustainable alternative could be a win for your skin and for the planet.
FURTHER READING: What skin type do I have? This skin types test reveals if you have oily, dry, combination or sensitive skin
Best shower gel for men UK
1. Best overall shower gel for men: Dr Organic Aloe Vera Body Wash – £6.49: Jump to review
2. Best cheap shower gel: Palmolive Mens 3-in-1 Shower Gel – £1.50: Jump to review
3. Best luxury shower gel: Molton Brown Re-Charge Black Pepper Shower Gel– £25: Jump to review
4. Best natural shower gel: Horace Virginia Cedar & Sage Leaf Shower Gel – £16.99: Jump to review
5. Best sustainable body wash: Faith in Nature Blue Cedar Body Wash – £9.99: Jump to review
6. Best for sensitive skin: CeraVe Foaming Cleanser – £10: Jump to review
7. Best sustinable shower gel: Sanex 0% Shower Gel – £12: Jump to review
1. Dr Organic Aloe Vera Shower Gel
£6.49 | Buy now
We’re big fans of this organic body wash from Dr. Organic because you can choose the strength, flavour, and colour you like most.
For example, you can get an aloe vera version, which helps to restore and soothe your skin. Making it a fantastic option if you have eczema or sensitive skin. It’s also vegan.
Alternatively, there are coconut oil, hemp, honey, lavender, Moroccan Argan Oil, Rose otto, Tea Tree, and Vitamin E options within the Dr. Organic shower gel range.
The coconut oil version will work great if you need to moisturise and condition your skin. The Rose otto version of this organic body wash is great for giving you a regenerating and aromatic wash.
The aloe vera option is vegan but not all versions are, so if that matters to you, you may have to check before choosing a different option.
Buy now from Holland and Barrett
2. Palmolive Men 3-in-1 Refreshing Shower Gel
£1.50 | Buy now
The Palmolive Mens 3-in-1 Shower Gel is a highly biodegradable shower gel for men that contains no microplastics, comes in recyclable packaging and has a 95% biodegradable formula.
You can also use shower gel all over your body, so your hair and face can benefit from the formula.
It’s a gentle shower gel that is dermatologically tested and is pH neutral, so kind to your skin.
It’s packed with 100% natural essential oils, as well as eucalyptus oil (which is antibacterial, moisturising, and has anti-inflammatory properties) and sea salt extract, helping to wake you up in the morning and make you feel fresh for the day. All for just £1.50.
Buy now from Palmolive
3. Molton Brown Re-Charge Black Pepper Bath and Shower Gel
£25 | Buy now
The Black Pepper bath and shower gel from Molton Brown is one of the best-smelling shower gels we’ve tried.
The fragrance is made up of black pepper, coriander, lemon, and ginger, which all together make a fresh, spicy smell.
Most likely you’ve heard of Molton Brown before and there’s a good reason, it’s well-known but its products are also on the pricier side.
Yet with this shower gel, you get what you pay for. It lathers up well and the smell lasts for ages. Plus as an added bonus it makes your bathroom smell decent too.
It cleanses your skin well and is also a vegan and cruelty-free shower gel while being gluten-, nut-, paraben- and phthalate-free.
Buy now from Amazon
4. Horace Virginia Cedar & Sage Leaf Shower Gel
£9 | Buy now
More than 99% of the ingredients of this Horace shower gel are of natural origin.
It has a woody smell to it and it’s kind to your skin thanks to the fact it’s paraben- and sulfate-free.
Even though it’s missing the traditional foaming agents that a lot of shower gels include, it still lathers up nicely because of the coco-betaine.
The witch hazel helps to calm sensitive skin and neutralise bacteria, which makes it good for back acne, and it’s also vegan-friendly. A great all-rounder.
Buy now from Horace
5. Faith in Nature Natural Blue Cedar Body Wash
£9.99 | Buy now
Another vegan and cruelty-free body wash, this version from Faith in Nature contains 99% natural ingredients and its fragrance is 100% natural, too.
This company also has the UK’s largest range of refill, bulk and plastic-reducing formats when it comes to its packaging.
So if you’re looking for the most eco-friendly body wash, that still performs really well, then this is the natural body wash for you.
Unlike some companies that advertise themselves as eco-friendly to boost their popularity, Faith in Nature has been using 100% recycled and recyclable plastic since 1999 and has already saved 340 tonnes of plastic going to landfills.
Buy now from Amazon
6. CeraVe Foaming Cleanser
£10 | Buy now
If you need a shower gel for sensitive skin, you need this cleanser from CeraVe in your shower.
Technically it’s a cleanser for your face, but it’s suitable for use all over your body.
The foaming nature of the cleanser is great if you have oily skin because it removes dirt and oil, without damaging your skin.
Yet the ingredients in this shower gel not only clean your skin well, but they help to retain your skin’s moisture and protect your skin’s natural barrier.
The entire range is developed by dermatologists, so if you’re wanting a shower gel that really works and is kind to your sensitive skin, then this is the option for you.
Buy now from Boots
7. Sanex Zero% Shower Gel
£6.30 (for 6) | Buy now
The bottle you get with this shower gel from Sanex is made from 100% recycled plastic and it’s fully recyclable. Even the lid, which isn’t always the case with other plastic bottles.
The shower gel inside is then 99% biodegradable and it has zero microplastics, so it makes a minimal impact on the environment.
This is a great option if you want an eco-friendly shower gel. It’s also a vegan-friendly shower gel.
We particularly like it because it leaves you feeling hydrated for the whole day meaning if you have dry skin, this is the best shower gel for you.
Plus it lasts a long time because it lathers up well from only a little bit of product. Making it good value for money.
Buy now from Amazon
Shower Gel vs Body Wash
When shopping for shower gel you may think shower gel and body wash are the same things. However, the difference between a body wash and a shower gel is that a body wash is more similar to a soap consistency, so a bit runnier, and is often more gentle on your skin.
A shower gel has a more gel-like consistency and often has a stronger fragrance, which can help you smell better for longer.
Best shower gel for men: What to look for
When buying shower gel or body wash you’re going to want to look out for natural ingredients that will help hydrate your skin and preserve its natural protective oils. Some of the ingredients to look for in a shower gel or body wash include:
- Coconut oil
- Tea tree oil
- Argan oil
- Aloe vera
- Tea tree
- Sea salt
- Green tea
- Vitamin E
For sensitive or oily skin you’re going to particularly benefit from using a shower gel with aloe vera, as it’s high in amino acids, enzymes and minerals.
What to avoid when looking for the best shower gel?
Ingredients you’re going to want to avoid that are often added to make shower gel foamier but have been linked with potentially being damaging to the skin and hair include:
- Sodium Laureth Sulphate (said to be particularly bad if you have sensitive skin)
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Propylene Glycol
- Cocamidopropyl betaine
- DMDM hydantoin
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