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Shower gel or shower cream, also known as bodywash, is the general term for liquid soap, which is used for cleaning the body. Most commercial shower gels are scented and do not contain any saponified oil, instead being products of petroleum. Shower gel/bodywash is an emulsion of water and detergent base with added fragrance used as a skin cleansing agent in the shower or bath. It has advantages over soap because it is less irritating to the skin, lathers better in hard water areas and does not leave a mineral residue on the skin or in the bathtub after usage.
Shower gel is available in different colours and scents. Practically all shower gels on the market today are pH-balanced. Some shower gels are herb-infused, and some claim aroma therapeutic benefits. Shower gels for men may contain the ingredient menthol, which gives a cooling and stimulating sensation on the skin, and many men's shower gels are also designed specifically for use on hair and body and are thus more convenient to use. Shower gels contain milder surfactant bases than shampoos and in addition to being pH-friendly to the skin, most also contain gentle conditioning agents in the formula. This means that shower gels can also double as an effective and perfectly acceptable substitute to shampoo, even if they are not labelled as a hair and body wash. Washing hair with shower gel should give approximately the same result as using a moisturising shampoo.