Soap Vs Shower Gel: What Is Better For Your Skin?
From soap to shower gel, multiple options are available in the market for bathing purposes. Though all of them serve the same purpose i.e., to cleanse our skin, it’s important to understand which one suits you best for making an informed decision.
But before getting into ‘What is better- Soap or Shower gel’, let’s first understand the difference between the two.
Soap vs Shower Gel
Fundamentally, there is not much difference between a soap and shower gel as both are supposed to lather you up for a thorough cleaning. However, structurally they are two different things. Soap is a solid cleansing agent made up of a combination of liquid fats (like animal fat or vegetable oil) with an alkaline substance like sodium hydroxide. Shower gel, on the other hand, is a liquid body cleanser which consists of water and foaming agents like Sodium Laureth Sulphate and Betadine for binding.
What do dermatologists recommend?
As per Dr Rinky Kapoor, the director of The Esthetic Clinics, it’s better to cleanse your body using shower gels as they are milder, contain less surfactants and are more gentle on the skin. (A surfactant is a substance which tends to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved.)
The dermatologist further suggests using shower gels with pH around 5.5 which is that of a normal skin. Such shower gels are less harsh as their pH value is similar to that of skin. Moreover, they keep your skin hydrated, moisturised and protected. Your skin also feels silky smooth right after the shower.
But if you want to remain stick to soaps, Dr Kapoor advises to use Syndet bars as they are skin friendly and far more gentle than traditional soaps. Their pH is also similar to that of skin. People with dry or sensitive skin should use soaps which are fragrance free and have very low concentration of surfactants like sodium laureth sulphate as they tend to strip off the natural oils from your skin.
Why is it better to use shower gels?
Following are the reasons why you should switch to a shower gel.
1. Hygienic: Unlike soap bars, shower gels are more hygienic in nature as they are stored in tubes or bottles. Even if you use a portion of them, the remaining liquid stays protected from the air and physical contact and doesn’t have any bacteria build up.
2. Good for exfoliation and nourishment: Shower gels are often infused with granules that make them perfect for exfoliating. Moreover, the thick lather that they form, leaves your skin feeling soft. Also, if you are a fan of mild cleansers and shampoos, a shower gel can be your safest bet for everyday use.
3. Suit all skin types: There is nothing better than a shower gel made from plant-based ingredients as it is safe to use on all skin types, even sensitive. There are also shower gels made for dry skin that deeply moisturise and nourish the skin cells to restore hydration.
Whether you choose a soap or a shower gel, ensure that it is safe and nourishing for your skin and its pH is around 5.5. If it contains natural ingredients, it would be a plus. The harsh chemicals used in these cleansers can strip off the natural oils from your skin and make it dull and dry. Also, if you sweat a lot or are exposed to dirt and dust often, you must go for a soap, considering that you need more than just lather to cleanse the collected dirt and grime. However, for a normal lifestyle, a shower gel is the best option.
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