Shampoo as a Body Wash Alternative?

You are standing in the shower after a hard day's work, enjoying the warm water as it runs over your head and over your shoulders. After a few moments of basking in the warmth, you reach for your body wash only to realize you forgot to replace the empty bottle with the new one underneath your sink. 

You could get out of the shower, trudge over to the cabinet under the sink, and grab a new bottle, but that all sounds like so much work. As you are mulling the idea over, tiring yourself out with the thought of the longest short walk ever, you notice the sleek, shiny bottle of shampoo. You think to yourself, "why not?" 

Shampoo and Body Wash Are Essentially the Same, Right?

Shampoo is not the same thing as a body wash. While the products share some similarities, each has a designated use, hence the different names. Body washes typically contain milder ingredients and detergents than shampoos. Shampoos can use somewhat harsher ingredients because the hair is not as sensitive as the skin.  

Depending on the type of shampoo you purchase, the product might not feel good on the skin. Many low-cost shampoos can feel slimy, oily, or greasy on the skin, and they tend to dry out or irritate active skin cells. More expensive shampoos might not be as bad because they can contain aloes and other moisturizers. 

Body washes are designed for the skin. Therefore, most products, even low-cost options, have hydrating and moisturizing ingredients and effects. That said, you will probably notice some repeating ingredients across your shampoo and body wash bottles.

Will Shampoo Cause Problems if Used as a Body Wash?

You should use body wash for your body and shampoo for your hair. However, in a pinch, you can probably use shampoo. Shampoo is not an ideal body wash because it is meant to retain your hair's essential oils and minerals, which can result in a somewhat slimy or sticky body wash.  

Additionally, shampoos are more like detergents than body washes and have a higher acidic pH level. The higher pH can irritate, dry out, and even dull the skin if you use shampoo too often. You can even find some people recommending shampoos in place of dishwashing liquids and other detergents, which should indicate their incompatibility with skin. Still, the occasional use of shampoo as a body wash is likely Ok.

Is It Best To Stick To Body Wash?

Ultimately, shampoo is not a replacement for body wash long-term. Shampoo is meant for your hair, and even then, a conditioner is occasionally recommended to prevent damage.  

Body wash is specifically created to help cleanse and treat the skin. Most washes include hydrating and moisturizing ingredients to benefit the skin, keeping it smooth and healthy. Still, there is no shame in using shampoo once in a while, especially when the bathroom sink is so far away. 

How do you feel about using shampoo as a body wash? Have you ever had to make the substitution?