Throughout the past decade, baths have enjoyed a renaissance (thanks largely to out-of-this-world bath bombs and other luxurious additions), but sadly, we can’t always carve out enough time for a soak each and every day. That’s why some brands have taken it upon themselves to make showers feel a little more special, even when you don’t even have time to wash your hair.
So what’s the low-maintenance version of a super-photogenic tub full of suds? A cult-worthy body wash, of course—and chances are, you’ve probably noticed them popping up on Instagram, arranged with similarly pretty shampoos, maybe a hanging bouquet of eucalyptus, and an impressive stash of other skin-care products. For just $25 (or less!) a luxurious, nice-to-look-at gel cleanser can turn a quick rinse into a miniature spa session.
The Fancy-Feeling One
What it smells like: Sandalwood, eucalyptus, or nothing at all
Seen in the bathroom of: Julie Schott
Why everyone loves it: Created by Into the Gloss’s cofounder and an Estée Lauder alum, this cleanser wasn’t just designed to look amazing in your shower—it’s also formulated with a pH level of 5.5-6.5, which Nécessaire says keep skin balanced and healthy. As an extra bonus, the vast majority of its ingredients (like sugarcane extract and meadowfoam seed oil) are derived from natural and sustainable sources, so you can feel good about lathering up.
The Hyped-Up Hero
What it smells like: Orange blossom neroli
Seen in the bathroom of: Katie Jane Hughes
Why everyone loves it: Just as oil-based face cleansers magically melt away makeup and clear pores of dirt and grime, this body wash uses a blend of coconut, grape-seed, sesame, and four other oils to deep-clean skin, while also leaving it softer and more hydrated than before. Plus, it can be paired with a creamy lotion in a matching scent. Glossier’s products have earned major hype for their cool design and easy application, proving that elevating your shower doesn’t have to be time-consuming or overcomplicated.
The Earth-Friendly Elixir
What it smells like: Crisp woods
Seen in the bathroom of: Behati Prinsloo
Why everyone loves it: The graphic design of this gel’s container is reason enough to buy it, but its short ingredient list and carbon-neutral brand practices make it even more tempting (you can even elect to buy a reusable glass bottle). Not to mention its refreshing, earthy scent; inspired by California’s redwoods, Bathing Culture’s signature Cathedral Grove fragrance, as countless reviewers attest, is like taking a walk through a lush forest. Nourishing aloe vera and shea butter leave skin silky smooth. Who needs a tub anyway?