The Best Shower Gel

Posted on 12 September 2022

After 11 hours of research, a thorough analysis of 43 popular shower gels and our tests of 14 of them, it is Le Petit Marseillais Mediterranean Pomegranates that offers the best value for money.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best budget

Le Petit Marseillais (250 ml)

With its delicious pomegranate fragrance, this efficient and practical shower gel offers the best value for money in this selection. Its very classic texture lathers very well and leaves the skin hydrated.

£ 5.35 on Amazon

Le Petit Marseillais Grenade de Méditerrané

During our tests, we quickly realised that this was the gel with the highest foaming power of all those we tested. Something that surprised us considering its affordable price and practical packaging. Its only real flaw is its composition, which needs to be revised… Also, if you don’t like the fruity scent of grapefruit, it is available in different options with similar efficacy and practicality. The aloe and apple blossom one, for example, is designed for sensitive skin, and the mandarin and lime one for a neutral ph, etc.

 

Best mid-range

Avril Organic (500 ml)

This shower gel with aloe vera has a lovely fragrance, a light lather and a soft, silky texture. Its clean and certified organic composition is also attractive.

£ 12.76 on Amazon

Avril

Not only does it appeal for its lavender and orange essential oil scent, but also for its aloe vera-based texture, which leaves the skin soft, supple and moisturised. Indeed, many atopic skin types respond wonderfully to this gel. Its good composition, certified organic by the Ecocert label, is also one of its major attractions. When we tested it, we found it comfortable to use, as the bottle opened easily and did not drip. In addition, the gel produced a good foaming lather and was easy to rinse off. However, we would advise against the pear-scented version, as we found the smell too chemical.

 

Best high-end

Dr Bronner’s Organic (1 L)

This organic liquid soap has been popular in the USA for decades and has a mild and moisturising floral scent. The formula is not only highly concentrated but also very clean.

£ 19.23 on Amazon

The softness of this shower gel with lavender essential oils combined with its sweet fragrance, impeccable composition and 18 possible uses (from showering to washing) make it a very practical soap to have on hand every day. It is also available in a wide range of fragrances.

 

Mid-range alternative

So'bio étic Surgras (650 ml)

This shower cream has an almost exemplary composition. Certified organic by several labels, it is suitable for dry and sensitive skin thanks to the presence of shea oil.

See the price on Amazon

Sobio étic crème de douche surgras

We wanted to recommend this eco-friendly alternative because of its near-perfect composition, mild fragrance, and pleasant texture. Although it is a cream, it lathers better than some gels we have been using. It also moisturised our skin and left us feeling soft in the shower. We also had the opportunity to test the organic lemon verbena gel version. Equally conveniently packaged, its texture was even better. Very lemony, it appeals to both men and women. However, its availability online is scarce.

Our selection

Our choice, Best budgetBest mid-rangeBest high-endMid-range alternative
Le Petit Marseillais (250 ml) Avril Organic (500 ml) Dr Bronner’s Organic (1 L) So'bio étic Surgras (650 ml)
With its delicious pomegranate fragrance, this efficient and practical shower gel offers the best value for money in this selection. Its very classic texture lathers very well and leaves the skin hydrated. This shower gel with aloe vera has a lovely fragrance, a light lather and a soft, silky texture. Its clean and certified organic composition is also attractive. This organic liquid soap has been popular in the USA for decades and has a mild and moisturising floral scent. The formula is not only highly concentrated but also very clean. This shower cream has an almost exemplary composition. Certified organic by several labels, it is suitable for dry and sensitive skin thanks to the presence of shea oil.
£ 5.35 on Amazon £ 12.76 on Amazon £ 19.23 on Amazon See the price on Amazon

 

Honorable mentions

Le Petit Marseillais Pine & Eucalyptus (£4.87 / 250 ml upon publication): a shower gel for men. In our tests, this shower gel especially appealed to men because of its pine and eucalyptus scent. You can use it for body, face and hair, but we advise you to use a specific shampoo for the latter, as it is less effective for this task. It has a pleasant gel texture and a very strong foaming power, and is easy to rinse off. However, its composition is not so good, so we decided to place it as an alternative.

La Provençale Shower Flower (£4.50 / 500 ml upon publication): another organic alternative. This shower gel has a pleasantly mellow scent. Its texture is not too runny and it has a rich foaming power. Certified organic by Ecocert, it contains sulphates which we would have preferred to avoid. In addition, during our tests, we realised that the size of its packaging might be too bulky and not very practical to store in the shower if you have little space on your shelf…

 

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How to choose your shower gel?

With so many different products on the market, it can often be hard to choose the right shower gel. There are so many scents, textures, finishes…

Gel douche
The different shower gels we have tested. | Source: Selectos

The first step is to differentiate between the different types of shower gels:

  • The solid soap: presents an economical and eco-friendly format. It also tends to contain fewer ingredients and is therefore less likely to contain components to which you are allergic and/or which are harmful.
  • The classic shower gel: this is the one we are interested in in this article. It is available in different textures, fragrances, effects… Its packaging is practical, and many consider it more hygienic than the solid one.
Gel douche
Solid soap is back in vogue thanks to its economic and eco-friendly format. | Source: Selectos
  • The exfoliating shower gel: helps to remove dead skin cells and smoothes the skin texture. It is not suitable for daily use but is recommended once or twice a week, depending on the sensitivity of your skin.
  • Shower oil: counteracts the effects of limescale in water by moisturising the skin, whether it is particularly dry or not.
Gel douche
Shower oil helps to compensate for the effect of limescale in the water by moisturising our skin. | Source: Selectos

As with any body care product (day cream, anti-wrinkle cream or eye cream), it is crucial to match your shower gel to your skin type. If you have dry skin, opt for enriched shower gels or oils, if you have sensitive skin, avoid overly harsh ingredients and possibly perfumes.

In any case, among the many ingredients in a shower gel, here are a few to be wary of:

  • Sodium lauryl sulphate and derivatives): widely used in cosmetics, SLS is a surfactant that allows products to foam. It is widely criticised for its drying and irritating effects on the skin and is also very harmful to the environment. Sodium Laureth sulphate (SLES), also very common in cosmetics, is milder, but its use remains controversial.
Gel douche
As with any body care product, it is essential to tailor your shower gel to your skin type. | Source: Selectos
  • Parabens: widely criticised for their harmful effects on health (they are suspected to be endocrine disruptors). As a result, more and more brands are omitting them. However, be wary of some of the alternatives on offer: phenoxyethanol, for example, is just as controversial.
  • Fragrance: this is often an integral part of choosing a shower gel. However, many of them can be allergenic and are increasingly criticised by those who prefer more natural cosmetics. Unfortunately, it is quite hard to determine whether a fragrance is harmful or not, as its origin and composition are rarely detailed in ingredient lists. Whenever possible, choose fragrance-free products or products that specify their origin.
Gel douche
Check the composition of your shower gel and avoid sodium lauryl sulphate and parabens if possible. | Source: Selectos

And while the vast majority are suitable for all genders, more feminine or masculine options can also be found in some ranges.

 

How did we test?

To test the shower gels, we used each of them daily for several days. Every product was tested by both a woman and a man to get a diversified opinion on its fragrance.

We were therefore able to judge their practicality (opening/closing, size of the bottle, flow rate, dripping…), texture (cream, gel, too much liquid…), foaming power and ease of rinsing. Finally, we check its composition, paying particular attention to sulphates, allergens and PEGs.

 

Other shower gels tested

Corine de Farme (£4.49 / 500 ml upon publication): a pronounced scent of Monoï de Tahiti. In our tests, we did not like this shower cream as much. On the one hand, it takes longer to rinse off than a classic shower gel, and its foaming power is much less convincing. On the other hand, its Monoï fragrance, although not unpleasant, is very present, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. Finally, its composition is rather deplorable since its only positive point is that it does not contain any allergens. Furthermore, there are PEGs, sulphates, quaternary ammoniums, various surfactants, etc. 

N.A.E. BIO (£4.99 / 200 ml upon publication): an unconvincing packaging. This organic gel has a pleasant texture, good foaming power and a pleasant citrus scent. It has everything to please, except for its packaging. It flows and drips out as soon as you squeeze the bottle. Little by little, you lose a slight amount of product, and given its price…

 

Translated by Ramsés El Hajje

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