Everyone has been getting sick lately, and speaking from personal experience, I can offer this advice: the steam from your shower will give you some temporary relief when you’re positive you cannot take another breath—literally, because your breathing passages have decided to seal themselves up and give you a headache in the process. It’s also at this time that I thank the bath gods for the invention of scented shower gels. Essential oils (or any pleasant scent) + rejuvenating steam? Really, how can you not feel at least a little bit better after that?
If you simply refuse to spend into the double digits on something that a) must cover your entire body and b) gets rinsed right off, I recommend St. Ives Revitalizing Pear & Soy Body Wash. You can grab a huge bottle online at Target for a mere $4—in store, it’s a few cents more expensive, but always seems to ring in under $5. I love this stuff because it smells like real-deal juicy pear, not fruit that’s been doused in synthetic vanilla. It’s also not too strong and doesn’t linger for long on my skin after I shower, so I can proceed to spritz myself with whichever perfume I’m feeling at the moment. They also get bonus points for putting actual pear extract and soy in the ingredients list—admittedly not at the very top, but they’re both in there.
Now personally speaking, I used to be firmly anti-splurge where shower gels were concerned (I also recall a time when I thought of $14 lip balms as highway robbery). But I got my first taste of the pricey stuff last year, and I see why some don’t mind shelling out some extra cash for shower aromatherapy-in-a-bottle. My current favorite is the Agraria Lemon Verbena Bath & Shower Gel, pictured above. At $24, it’s expensive but not outrageously so. The Agraria gels lather beautifully and smell downright heavenly when they meet steam. Lemon Verbena is happy, bright and borderline candy-ish (though I stress, not in a headache-inducing, sugary way) with notes of Caribbean line, rose, jasmine and—obviously—lemon-scented verbena leaves. Another upside? These would make for a lovely hostess gift. Just saying, if you turned up at my front door with a bottle of Agraria anything, I’d happily let you in.
Shower gels, splurge or save? And if you were going to spend, what would you get?
Full disclosure: Agraria’s shower gels are a press sample from my previous job, same review policy applies.