Can You Use Shampoo as Body Wash?

women showering

Let’s say you forgot to buy shower gel but you can’t postpone a shower any longer. But you do have your shampoo and the temptation to use it as a body wash is big. This is one of the dilemmas that crosses more minds than you might imagine.

It is difficult to decide on the spot if replacing your shower gel with your shampoo might be a good idea. This is why a bit of research is essential before you dive into what seems to be a very good plan. But is it? Keep reading and you will learn everything about using your shampoo as a body wash.

Can You Use Shampoo as Body Wash?

The simple answer is that you shouldn’t use your shampoo as a body wash. However, you can do as you please but this might turn out to not be such a good idea and we are about to explore why this is.

First of all, if you do decide to give this strategy a try and wash your body with your shampoo, the results you obtain will be rather disappointing to you. Your shampoo will not make the same foam and bubbles as your body wash. It will interact differently with your skin as well, compared to how it interacts with your hair.

These differences regarding the results you will end up with remain regardless of the type of shampoo you use. So, even if you use a shampoo that is mostly organic, you will still not get the same type of shower you would get by using a body wash product.

Your skin and your hair are also different, so the market offers different products for them. You will need to wash your skin with a body wash that is designed to clean it and meet your needs in that respect.

Your regular shampoo will not do that. You are better using a regular soap rather than a shampoo if you do need to figure out a solution for such a crisis.

What Happens if You Use Shampoo as Body Wash?

Even if using your shampoo as a body wash is not a solution, let’s say you still want to try that. The effects of washing your body with shampoo will also depend on the shampoo but the general aspect is that your skin will be drier.

A classic body wash is eliminating natural oils from the surface of your skin in order to clean it. However, any shampoo will taker this process to an extreme so your skin will be drier and need more moisturizing afterward.

If you use your shampoo as your body wash on rare occasions, it shouldn’t be a tragedy for your skin. However, if you make a habit out of this, you will find it that much more difficult to keep your skin hydrated. So, make sure to purchase both a body wash and shampoo when you go to the grocery store, for the sake of your skin.

Also Read: Can You Use Body Wash As Shampoo?

Is Shampoo the Same as Body Wash?

You might wonder is shampoos are the same or at least similar to body wash products. There are fair similarities between the two but we can say that they are far from being the same.

Shampoos have a chemical structure that is meant to strip your hair of dirt, oils, and residue. Some of them contain different sulfates as well as other chemicals in order to leave your hair clean and smooth by the time you are done washing it.

On the other hand, a body wash is more friendly with your skin. Unless you choose a body wash scrub which might be more aggressive in order to remove the dead cells on your body.

Body wash products have their own chemicals meant to profoundly clean your skin. These chemicals will help clean your skin of everything almost, from dirt to bacteria. Shampoos will not work the same on your skin as they are not designed for it.  

Another notable difference is that you will not get the same foam from a shampoo as you would get from a body wash. Shampoos are created to generate foam in contact with water but most importantly, with your hair.

You will notice that if you use shampoo on your skin, it will run down and no matter how much you rub it in, the foam will not be as impressive as it would with a proper body wash.

What Can I Use Instead of Body Wash?

So what can you do, though, if you find yourself in the shower without body wash available? Well, first of all, you have several options. The best of them would be to use a bar of soap.

Decades ago, people used to wash their entire bodies with one bar of soap. This would work for their head, body, and face equally. So, you could do the same nowadays if the situation calls for it.

It does matter what type of soap you have. Hopefully, you will be using a less abrasive soap that doesn’t dry your skin so much. Because you have to be prepared for your skin to be drier anyway if you don’t use a body wash.

But a gentle shampoo will just reduce this side effect. And you will be clean by the end of your shower, which is the main purpose. You can also create your own body wash with ingredients you might easily find in your kitchen.

You will need a cup of liquid soap, five to seven drops of essential oil of your choice, apple vinegar, and a tablespoon of nettle oil.  Such a mixture should clean your body nicely and thanks to the oils you will avoid the dryness provoked by the liquid soap.

It might not be an ideal solution but it will sure work for exceptions if you don’t want to risk using your shampoo and not obtaining the results you are aiming for.

Can You Use Conditioner as Body Wash?

We established that using shampoo instead of your regular body wash is far from being a brilliant idea. But what about conditioner? Thew problem with conditioner is that it is a product meant to moisturize your hair. So, it will not even work for cleaning your hair, less for cleaning your body.

The good news is that the conditioner will have no side effects on your skin.

This is true if you are not allergic to any of its ingredients of course. But generally, if you use conditioner as body wash you can expect to have moisturized skin but not as clean as you would if you used a body wash.

The chemical structure of a conditioner tends to be smoother and more gentle than the one of a shampoo.

It contains no detergents or strong ingredients but it is rich in nutrients that will nourish your hair. Chances are that those nutrients will have the same nourishment effect on your skin as well.

So, even if a conditioner is not the best skin cleanser, it will still work better than shampoo if you run out of body wash. It depends on the type of conditioner you use as well.

You should go for those conditioners that are rich in moisturizing ingredients in order to avoid dry skin since this is the main risk when you use anything else but your body wash.

Also, try to find conditioners that don’t contain sulfates or other toxic chemicals so you don’t harm your skin. A wise idea is to check all the ingredients in everything you put on your skin so you see if there is one that you might be allergic to.

Final thoughts

Running out of body wash is never a pleasant experience.

Especially if you don’t have a grocery store right next to your house. And if you discover that your body wash bottle is empty when you are already in the shower, it can be that much more frustrating.

But take into account the useful tips in this guide and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about cleaning your skin with other alternatives.

Keep in mind that using a bar of soap is always the best option if you don’t have a body wash handy. Another option is to create your own body wash by using the recipe above. Your conditioner might work as well but your shampoo should really remain as the last resort.

Irina Tracy

I am a writer, journalist and nonconformist blogger. I was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania. When it comes to writing, I like to explore every topic I find to be interesting and I get out all the details about it. I published several books and wrote for national & international publications. Looking forward to share my writing with all you, readers so we can learn new things together with every post!

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