Can You Use Conditioner as Body Wash? Does It Actually Clean You?

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You’re in the shower and you’ve run out of your favorite body wash. Your hair is already wet and full of shampoo as the foam rinses down your body as you allow the water to run over your hair.

So, you kinda feel clean, but not quite as you’re used to.

But what about your conditioner? Can you use conditioner as body wash, for instance? Does it actually clean you?

The formula works wonders to make your hair soft and healthy-looking, so surely it can do the same for your hair!

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the trend of using conditioner as a body wash.


Can You Use Conditioner as Body Wash?

According to internet search trends, almost 320,000 searches for 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, and body washes have been made in just the past year alone. It’s a popular new category!

These 3-in-1 products have mainly been marketed toward men (and to a lesser extent kids). These products provide ease, little effort, and convenience to washing the hair and body at the same time, as well as offering moisturizing and hydration to the hair and skin as a bonus.

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Many men aren’t too bothered about what they use on their bodies, and are happy with a one-size-fits-all product.

Women, on the other hand, usually prefer to use the various products on offer and enjoy keeping up with beauty trends. It’s a lot easier to dial in your routine when you’re using separate products for separate functions.

All this means, though, is that using conditioner as a body wash won’t affect the skin in a harmful way. When the hair is rinsed under the shower, the product will coat it before you have a final body rinse.

This means that using conditioner as a body wash won’t affect the skin in a harmful way. When the hair is rinsed under the shower, the product will coat it before you have a final body rinse.

Saying that, though, there is also the chance that you could be allergic to the product’s ingredients, and you may experience itching or a rash.

In this case, you should stick to your usual body wash or shower gel and moisturizing lotion to do the jobs that they have been designed to do.

Hair conditioners contain fatty acids and/or silicones in water-based emulsions, so this is why some people have reported that using conditioner as a body wash has helped their skin become softer and smoother.

The purpose of hair conditioners is to moisturize and hydrate the hair.

However, body washes are formulated to remove dirt and cleanse the skin. This means they have completely different purposes, so you may find your skin is not as clean when you use conditioner as a body wash.


The Science Part

The kind of emulsifier used in hair conditioners is the one thing that makes it stand out as a unique product, even though it may work to help your skin feel better. Emulsifiers in hair conditions are formulated to be positively charged surfactants.

On a molecular level, this positive charge is what makes the conditioner hydrate and moisturize your hair. Without the positive charge, a hair conditioner would simply act as a body lotion to your skin, just like coating it with a layer of protection, not penetrating it.

On a molecular level, this positive charge is what makes the conditioner hydrate and moisturize your hair. Without the positive charge, a hair conditioner would simply act as a body lotion.

Your hair’s cuticles are made mostly from a protein known as keratin. Keratin is negatively charged. Shampoos are also negatively charged, so the cuticle layers lift to allow for the release of any dirt or product buildup.

The positive charge of hair conditioners is what makes the cuticle lie flat again, which causes your hair to appear shinier, and feel more healthy and smooth.

See What Happens to Hair After Keratin Treatment Wears Off? to learn about the impact of keratin and keratin treatments.


A Close Shave

Using hair conditioner as a body wash does have one big benefit — it works as a great barrier on the skin when razor shaving. Instead of using shaving foam or soap, hair conditioner does a good job of helping the razor to glide over the skin to reduce the chance of nicking your skin.

Using hair conditioner as a body wash does have one big benefit — it works as a great barrier on the skin when razor shaving.

And of course, in the case of an emergency, like you’ve gone camping and can only carry one bottle to clean yourself with, in general, you can use hair conditioner to do the job as a body wash every now and again.

It will also help to release dirt and grime, and remove any body odor.

Although most 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner and body wash products are marketed to men, meaning they contain more masculine scents, you may want to try SoCozy Kids Swim 3-in-1 Shampoo, Conditioner & Body Wash  , which has a citrus and vanilla smell.

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Formulated especially to keep hair safe from chemical damage from chlorine in pools, it is also designed to be used on kids’ hair, so is both safe and effective. It’s packed with nourishing antioxidants and vitamins and is free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, formaldehyde, and synthetic colors and dyes.

The product’s key ingredients include activated charcoal, jojoba oil, and coffee seed extract, which all work to cleanse without stripping your hair and skin of their natural oils, which results in added moisture and hydration for a softer feel.

And really, many adults love kids’ shampoos like JNJ Baby Shampoos. So it’s really not that strange to want to use a kid’s 3-in-1!


Smooth Operators

Of course, you may already be using conditioner as a body wash because you like the way it leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. And that’s fine — the final choice is up to you.

However, it’s not the reason why the product has been developed. Your hair and skin need different things to be really healthy. It’s totally fine to use conditioner as a body wash every so often, but you probably don’t want to do it all the time.

Written by Kayla Young

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