Fierce Nerditude: The Body Shop: Mango Shower Gel

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Body Shop: Mango Shower Gel

The Body Shop's Mango Shower Gel is a wonderfully mango-scented gel, recommended for very dry skin. The front of its label bills it as 'Exotic soap-free cleansing with moisturizing mango extract'. So how does it perform?

The scent is a very pretty, true mango scent and I can't detect any other notes to it. Some fruit scented body products smell more like fruit candy than actual fruit. This, however, is sweet (but not too sweet), fruity (but not too fruity) and fresh. In my opinion, this smells exactly like the concentrated scent of a real mango.

Using a tiny bit on a bath lily will get you a good lather to cover your whole body. Lather isn't important to me, but it is to some, so I thought I'd mention it. The Body Shop's website says that this shower gel will "soften and moisturize skin without it feeling greasy." While I didn't find this product drying, I also didn't find it moisturizing in any way. My skin did feel soft after using it, and it left no greasy film behind.

My main issue with this product is that the bottle specifically calls it 'soap-free' when the second ingredient on the list is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Perhaps I'm mistaken (you guys should tell me if I am) about the meaning of 'soap-free,' but I thought the term meant at the very least the product would be free of detergents, as those can be very irritating to dry/sensitive skin. What's more is that The Body Shop's site lists the 'Key Ingredients' to be Mango Seed Oil and Glycerin, in that order. If you look at the ingredients list, Glycerin is the third item and Mango Seed Oil is way down at number eighteen. Things that come before it? Limonene, linalool and fragrance. It's fairly clear that actual mangoes are probably completely unimportant to the formula. Just thought you should know.

The Good:
  • Smells awesome, like real mangoes (not mango candy).
  • Doesn't dry my skin out.
  • None of the weird film that many 'moisturizing' shower gels can have.
  • The bottle isn't hard to squeeze.
The Bad:
  • Soap-free?
  • The implication that mango is important to the formula feels very much like an outright lie. Don't get me wrong, I knew where 'Mango Seed Oil' was on the ingredients list before I bought it because I'm a compulsive ingredients-reader, but to someone who isn't insane like me, that would be awfully deceptive.
  • I don't find it 'moisturizing'.
The Neutral:
  • Lathers well. This goes back to the whole 'soap-free' thing again. Ultimately lather is more of a placebo. It doesn't clean you per se, it just makes you feel clean, and it can dry you out. As this is recommended for very dry skin, I might have put it under 'Bad' but wasn't sure because ultimately I didn't find this too drying. For dry skin more severe than mine, though, it might be, so be wary.
Overall,  I like this shower gel enough. It smells great and it doesn't dry me out. I think this would be fine for oily or normal skin, because it doesn't leave any greasy residues or anything. If you're very dry, though, I'd probably buy the smallest bottle to test it out and see how it fares (the pictures are from the largest bottle, 13.5 oz). I'm not sure if this is soap-free (but I don't think it is), but it contains SLS for sure and that can be irritating. Emotionally and physically, actually, because I'd really love this product if it weren't for the claims it makes about its ingredients.

This is currently sold in three sizes (2 oz, 8.4 oz and 13.5 oz) at The Body Shop, and U.S. residents can purchase it from thebodyshop-usa.com. If you live in a different country, find it through this link.
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