Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Sanex Zero% Sensitive Skin Shower Gel (review)

I’ve just been shopping for skincare at Sainsbury’s. Thats not something I thought I’d need or want to share with you when I first started writing for this blog, but it’s true: I’ve been re-buying some skincare basics whilst also stocking up on porridge, light bulbs and the rest of the weeks’ shopping. First on my list was Sanex Zero% Sensitive Skin Shower Gel.

I’ll let you into a secret--I think I’m on to something here. For now, I’ve put aside my urge to buy all things luxurious. L’Occitane’s Amande Shower Oil can no longer be found on my bathroom shelf. Molton Brown’s Warming Eucalyptus Bath & Shower Therapy is no longer in my gym bag (but oh how lovely it smelt--divine!). And what’s more, my skin is better for it.

The logic behind buying more of my skincare in Sainsbury’s is a simple one: I will spend less on skincare, and therefore have more to spend of nutritious organic fruit and vegetables. I’ll thus get the benefit from more vitamins and minerals from the inside where,  I think, is where it counts the most. I’ll also get more exercise by riding to and from the supermarket (which is further away for me than Boots or John Lewis). And it’ll help to stick to my new year’s resolution of living within my means. I still intend to splash out occasionally, of course, when the purchase is justified. Otherwise, I’ll browse the supermarket’s skincare isles with pride.

What can I tell you about Sanex’s Zero% Sensitive Skin Shower Gel? Actually, not much: It  is a transparent, colouring-free gel. It doesn’t contain fragrance, parabens, phthalates or phenoxyethanol. It is probably the most unremarkable product I have ever purchased let alone reviewed, but the truth is this--it really works for me. I have been struggling for years to find a shower gel that doesn’t leave my sensitive skin taut, red and itchy. I’ve tried products from both ends of the pricing spectrum and have always been disappointed. There have been a few close contenders which have been actively soothing, but they were ultimately a letdown because while they were kind to my skin they didn’t leave me feeling properly clean. 

Those of you who have a keen eye for skincare ingredients may notice the inclusion of sodium laureth sulfate fairly high in the listing. This ingredient hasn’t got a brilliant reputation and some people find that it irritates their skin. I’m not going to let that put me off. Since I’ve been using this product, my skin has been both scrupulously clean and also - finally - healthier than it has been for years. Dry, itchy patches have disappeared. That, for me, is the important thing. That this product contains a cheap foaming agent is therefore unimportant. 

Something else I like about this product is the packaging. It is simple, effective (In the past with other products I’ve cut my finger opening them), gym-bag friendly, unobtrusive on the bathroom shelf, and holds a generous 250ml of product. Importantly, it is recyclable. While most shower gel packaging is, nowadays, not all products can boast biodegradable ingredients and minimal impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Nemo would be delighted. How could I give this product anything but five stars?

Great value
Perhaps a little boring
Simple formula

Environmentally friendly formula 


Brand: Sanex


Manufactured: Europe

Size: 250ml
Price: £2.29 (£0.92/100 ml)

Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Coco-Glucoside, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Sodium Benzoate

Alternative: Sanex Dermo Repair Dry / Sensitive Skin Shower Creams

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