As men, we're not renowned for our wholehearted embrace of self-care products. Dewy what? Nah, you're alright mate.
The notable exception, of course, is shower gel. Try cutting that out of your routine and you're likely to experience something akin to a Lynx ad in reverse, as the surrounding crowds scramble to get away from the bloke with rapidly fermenting underarms.
Not that it has to be couched in such negative terms. The right cleansing formula can set your day up perfectly, ensuring that you head out onto the street with citrus resounding in your nose, skin that radiates cleanliness and a dayful of optimism brimming in your chest. Or perhaps you'll simply find one you like and then not give it another thought for the next few thousand washes. That's fine too.
So what's the best shower gel for men? Here are a few of our top picks.
Affordable, nastiness-free and finished with a masculine cedarwood scent, what's not to love about Mancave's spin on the classic shower gel? As hydrating and moisturising as it is rejuvenating, this is a formula that's as at home in the post-gym shower as it is first thing in the morning.
We're happy to defer to Mr Beckham on most things grooming-related, with this body and hair wash being no exception. A fusion of such key ingredients as spirulina, quinoa and menthol ensures that your skin is packed full of natural nutrients in super-quick time – perfect for the man with everything to do and no time to do it in.
Nothing comes close to matching botanical solutions as far as JASON are concerned. That means a healthy dose of unrefined, virgin coconut oil, blended together with shea butter and vitamin E to support exceptionally well-hydrated, soft-to-the-touch skin. For some, the thought of a JASON in the shower evokes images of Friday the 13th's famous slasher. Thankfully, that's a long way from being the case here, as the exceptionally caring gel makes your shower experience an entirely happy one.
If the previous options weren't entirely your bag, then here's something else entirely: a shower gel with the fragrance and refinement of an exclusive eau de parfum. By distilling the aromatic refinement of Acqua di Parma's Arnacia into a shower gel, the perfume house allows the scent connoisseurs among us to carry a touch of class into everything they do.
There's a lot to admire in every one of these shower gels, but none can match the backstory of this one. Created expressly for the use of JFK (and his brother, the eponymous Bob), an element of old-world glamour is inherent in every inhalation of the aroma, aided and abetted by a skin-quenching infusion of Hidrovition PLUS active. This blend of special plant extracts has an intensely moisturising effect on the skin, restoring it to peak radiance.
Quite possibly the world's most iconic unisex fragrance, Calvin Klein's CK One's continued popularity is intrinsically linked to the scent's inherent freshness and clarity, virtues that make it the perfect fit for a high-end hair and body wash. The bottle's simple, clean lines are reflected in the facets of the aroma itself, and could be replicated a second time in the rejuvenated look and feel of your skin.
Exceptional natural ingredients are paired with a fragrance that touches first on bergamot and grapefruit top notes, before leading your senses onto aquatic facets and a woody base of patchouli and papyrus. That's a lot of luxury to start a day with, but nothing less than what you'd expect from Versace.
Of course, your shower gel doesn't have to act as an extension of your aftershave, but can also simply ramp the concentration of skin-boosting ingredients. That's certainly the case here, in a formula developed out of Athens' first homeopathic pharmacy. Featuring 87.2% natural ingredients, this Korres blend brings together aloe and wheat proteins as part of its wonderful collagen-boosting benefits.
It can take a long time to build up a reputation in the twin worlds of cosmetics and skincare, which makes Kiehl's longstanding association with quality especially impressive. It's all down to high-performing products such as this, which rely upon natural means to lift away any impurities. As if that weren't enough, an infusion of caffeine also diminishes puffiness, while a dose of zinc combats inflammation.
Not for nothing is this REN creation an award winner. Quite aside from the delicate scent spun from sage, cypress, geranium and rosemary, the formula also boasts enough sea-sourced goodness to have a transformative effect on your complexion. So there's mineral-rich kelp and magnesium, which boost energy levels, as well as plankton to alleviates any stress damage done to skin. Place it all inside a bottle made from 100% recycled materials, a fifth of which is reclaimed ocean plastic, and you're left with a formula that feels as good on your conscience as it does your skin and senses.
Shower gel shouldn't have to be complicated and, sure enough, it really isn't. Simply pick the formula that best matches your own values, budget and style, and enjoy day after day of cleansed, fragrant skin. That, of course, only provides the base, so check out our guide to bath and shower gels for more info, and our rundown of the year's best aftershave and colognes if you want to layer up your scents into an aromatic signature that boasts real depth and dimension.
Written by Alex Bryson
I write about everything and anything grooming or fragrance-related. If it smells expensive or has ‘for men’ tagged on the end, I’ve probably got an opinion on it.