Revisiting Drugstore Shower Oils: A Disappointing Decline

I recently reviewed the shower oils from various drugstore brands and was disheartened to see how diluted the La Roche-Posay formula has become. It used to contain some pure oils, but now it’s mostly surfactants and fatty acids. Not terrible, but lacking for a product labeled as lipid-replenishing.

How to Distinguish a True Shower Oil from a Gel with Added Oils

Genuine lipid-replenishing shower oils are primarily made with oils, which are listed first in the ingredients (e.g., Vitis vinifera (Grape) seed oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil). Following these, you’ll find emulsifiers, surfactants, and preservatives. In contrast, shower gels mimicking oils list water, surfactants, and emulsifiers first, with oils appearing in the middle or end of the ingredients list. I examined the ingredients of four major drugstore products labeled as Cleansing Oil and found that all four are actually shower gels labeled as oils:

  • La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+ Gentle Foaming Cleansing Oil – shower gel, 0 oils in the formula.
  • Eau Thermale Avène XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil – shower gel, 1 type of oil at the end of the formula.
  • Uriage Xemose Cleansing Soothing Oil  – shower gel, 1 type of oil at the end of the formula.
  • CeraVe Hydrating Foaming Oil Cleanser – shower gel, 1 type of oil in the middle of the formula.

Why It Matters: Shower Gel with Oil vs. Pure Oil

The difference is significant. Oils are more nourishing and gentle, forming a light film that aids in moisturizing and nourishing the skin, retaining moisture, and protecting against xerosis during dry seasons.

True Shower Oils to Consider

  • L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil – Sweet Almond Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).
  • Eucerin pH5 Shower Oil – Soybean Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil Unsaponifiables, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Glycerin.

These products deliver the nourishing benefits expected from a true shower oil.


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