The world’s first soap ever made was around 2800 B.C., by the Babylonians, it was manufactured for the textile industry and medicinal value. With time soaps also upgraded and grew in variety, from antiseptic to special aroma soaps. And for bathing purposes, there is an entirely different version of soap which is being used most commonly, nowadays, i.e., shower gels and body washes. While soap is the solid version used for cleaning, shower gels and body washes can be regarded as the liquid version of the same.

What is a body wash and shower gel?

The sole purpose of both the products is just the same, that is to create lather and to rid of oil, dirt, odor, sweat, and even makeup. All you need to do is take your body wash or gel on your loofah or the washcloth if you use it, make some good amount of lather, then apply it on your body and finally rinse it off.

Body washes and shower gels are similar to soaps but are more skin-friendly than soap. They have a mild effect on the skin, thus are gentle on skin. Moreover, their scented smell lasts longer than that of soap. Thus this is the reason why they are preferred worldwide more than soap.

Constituents of body wash and shower gel

Both of the products, more or less, have the same main ingredients. However, the proportion of the same might differ in the two

  1. Water – This is the main ingredient which is responsible for the consistency of the gel or the wash. It acts as the solvent for other ingredients to dissolve into. It constitutes almost 50% of the total wash or gel.
  2. Emulsifiers- These are the foam-forming ingredients present in the bath gels, it is the main ingredient in shower gel, which contributes to the gel-like consistency.
  3. Detergent- It is the ingredient present in both the gel and wash however, it is present in more amounts in the body washes. It is responsible for cleaning the skin and getting rid of dirt and oils.
  4. Surfactants-It is responsible for creating the lather on skin, which traps small dirt particles, germs, and oil.
  5. Preservatives- These are added to prevent the decay of the product and to ensure that it lasts long like for at least 1-2 years after its manufacture. One must always buy the product after seeing its expiry date.
  6. Fragrance- As the name suggests, this ingredient is added to the product to make it pleasant smelling, which also lasts long on the body, on which it is applied.

Difference between shower gel and body wash

When it comes to shower gel vs. body wash, both are quite similar, and one might find it difficult to decide. Both have the same function of cleaning, yet there is a slight difference between the two.

Texture and appearance

Body washes have a creamy texture, like a moisturiser, and are thicker, while the shower gel has a gel-like consistency, which is generally transparent, and minute bubbles can be seen in the shower gel.


Shower gels are gentle on the skin as compared to body washes, but the cleaning is better when we use body washes as compared to the shower gel because lather formation is more proper in body wash than the shower gels.


Body washes do not have a very strong and long-lasting fragrance, but shower gels have a strong fragrance, which lasts very long when applied on the body. Shower gels are mostly preferred if one has the sole criteria of getting rid of a bad odor than to get rid of the dirt.

Moisturising and hydrating properties.

Body washes are more moisturising and hydrating to the skin than the shower gel. Whenever your skin needs hydrating action, then heavy scented products should be avoided, and shower gel is a product with a high concentration of ingredients that are pleasing to senses.

So an individual can choose the product according to your need and preference if one needs to get rid of the bad odor of sweat rather than dirt and oil, one should go for showering gel. A shower gel has exfoliating properties that also help in getting rid of dead cells, and can be a substitute for a bubble bath. While one needs to get rid of dirt and cleaning is the main criteria than having a good smelling body, one should go for body washes. Body washes, as told earlier, also have a better hydrating effect than shower gels.


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