We're all very careful about what we wash our faces with, but rarely give too much consideration to how we cleanse our bodies.
I don't know about you, but repeated use of a cheap, overly fragranced shower gel will leave my skin looking dull and feeling dry and scaly. I need to bathe in moisturiser just to rectify the damage.
If your skin is dry or sensitive, or simply in need of some TLC, avoid anything with synthetic fragrancing or products that contain dyes or colourants. Also, steer clear of washes that claim to be extra moisturising, as they may overload the skin or leave a film on it. If you're in doubt, opt for something that's 100pc natural, like Lavera's Shower Shampoo, which is a body and hair cleanser that's gentle on the skin and the scalp.
It's worth noting that most body washes that are designed specifically for sensitive skin don't tend to make much of a foamy lather. Don't worry, they're still cleaning the skin as effectively, just more gently.
Despite offering a relatively niche product, you'll be glad to know that body washes for sensitive skin, tend, mostly, to be quite inexpensive. Obviously there are exceptions, but you'll find quality products in your local grocery store or pharmacy.
My daughter suffered from bad eczema as a young baby and even though she hasn't had a flare up for a while, I still refuse to use anything other than La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Lavant at bathtime. It's designed for delicate, easily irritated skin and is safe to use on intimate areas.
If your skin is at all itchy, try Aveeno's Skin Relief Body Wash. It alleviates the urge to scratch, particularly if you follow up with an Aveeno moisturiser.
Don't be afraid of oil-based products. Just make sure to check the ingredients to ensure they're free any worrying irritants. Eucerin's Bath and Shower Oil, which is oil-based, is really kind to the skin and is a great cleanser too.
Luxury Swiss skincare brand Declaré also have a lovely body wash for sensitive skin that will leave it feeling well looked after. And it's only €12.95 for a massive 400ml container - not bad at all.
Showergel for Sensitive Skin, €12.95 (400ml)
Declare, available in selected pharmacies nationwide. Its object is two-fold: to cleanse the skin whilst maintaining a natural pH balance.
Skin Relief Body Wash, €8.09
Aveeno, available in selected grocery stores and pharmacies nationwide. Devoid of all nasties and irritants, this gently cleanses itchy, flaky skin without stripping it of moisture.
AtoControl Bath and Shower Oil, €14.25
Eucerin, available in selected pharmacies nationwide. An oil-based cleanser that is a joy to use and will leave skin feeling really nourished.
Shower Shampoo for hair & body, €9.95
Lavera, available from naturalskincare.ie A bathroom essential for men and women, this operates as a shower gel and a shampoo. It's also 100pc natural, and therefore full of guilt-free goodness. Your scalp will thank you too!
Cicaplast B5 Lavant, €8
La Roche-Posay, available in selected pharmacies nationwide. Purifies and soothes the most sensitive of skin without leaving it at all tight and dry. Great for babies. Even newborns.