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Our Tried and True Bath and Body Favorites

Now that the bathroom on the second floor is back in commission, I’ve been restocking it. I realized as I was doing so, that I have pretty strong allegiances and opinions here! Let’s talk bath and body.

I’m going to break our favorites down between me, Brandon, and the kids. I’m probably the pickiest of the family, but everyone has their needs and preferences and they vary between us. We use a mix of inexpensive drug store finds and pricier products that have proven themselves worth the added cost.

Our Favorites

So, um, do you remember when I bleached my hair and dyed it a fiery orange-red? That was fun! It also wrecked my hair. Up to that point, I had always used whatever drugstore shampoo and conditioner sounded fine, didn’t cost a lot, and was easy to find because I didn’t think it mattered much. Then I went for a haircut where they used Kevin Murphy Hydrate-Me Wash and Rinse, and my hair was fixed and soft again in a single wash. What? I hadn’t known shampoo and conditioner held that much power! In the years since, I’ve tried to stray, experimenting with other brands (because it’s a pain to get when I run out), but I keep coming back. It’s that good.

Brandon likes American Crew Daily Shampoo and Conditioner, and he’s trying out their Tea Tree 3-in-1 right now because he always shampoos but doesn’t always use conditioner (why?), so the all in one thing appeals. I don’t use them but appreciate the packaging and the scents.

My go-to face wash is Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser. It removes all of my makeup and Brandon and I both like it even though I have oily skin and his is dry. I tried to switch recently to CeraVe and have tried more expensive cleansers, but I keep coming back to my old favorite. Our body soap is a Dove Beauty Bar. It isn’t drying, it’s readily available everywhere, and so affordable. I like getting bath and body stuff as a gift and I’ll enjoy using it, but once it’s gone I go back to simple Dove soap for myself and the whole family. We also like liquid hand soap refills from Mrs. Meyers or Method for each sink, and I keep L’Occitane Shea Butter Verbana Soap by “mine” (I’m 95% the sole user of the sink in our master closet/dressing room). It smells so nice and lasts forever, but the kids do better with liquid hand soaps.

For the Kids

One of our kids has a sensitive scalp that’s prone to seborrheic dermatitis. After years of trying various shampoos for babies with cradle cap or for adults with dandruff (suggestions from hair stylists and our pediatrician), I asked for recommendations from fellow moms and found Neutrogena T/Gel. It doesn’t smell great but it works, and we pair it with a Free & Clear, a dye-free, perfume-free conditioner.

That same kid has sensitive skin too, and we love Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion most days, or the Soothing Relief Moisturizing Cream if something heavier is needed. I use the same lotion unless I’m feeling fancy and want to use something with a nice scent or that I got as a gift. I discovered it when E was a baby and it’s been a staple in our house ever since.

The other kids don’t have any specific hair or skin issues beyond occasional dryness, and they also have no preferences of their own when it comes to this stuff. I loved Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo when they were really little and didn’t have enough hair to need conditioner. As they got older, we switched to a 2-in-1 (because rinsing kids’ hair is the worst chore and I’m all for a single step) and have lately been using Suave Kids Purely Fun Sensitive 3-in-1. Like the conditioner above, it’s free of a lot of common irritants, dyes, and perfumes. Sometimes the kids like to use bar soap for their bodies, but other times they’ll just go with the 3-in-1 everywhere and call it a day.

A note on bubble bath: we skip it. The only one that didn’t irritate or dry the kids’ skin was by The Honest Company, but even that couldn’t be too often. It’s fun to fill the tub with bubbles, but if I’ve found that if I don’t offer it, they don’t ask for it. Phased out. They’re happy just to splash around in the water with toys during baths (or hanging over the side à la Calvin below).

Playing in the Clawfoot Tub

And yes, I’m bothered enough by mismatched colors and bottles that I decant a lot of these products. Amber apothecary bottles and jars everywhere and they make me so dang happy.


Kevin Murphy products are sold in salons, but here are links to our other bath and body favorites below.

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