I've always maintained that one of the best investments for your skin is a great cleanser. Without realizing it, I had restricted that maxim to my face and hadn't really thought about extending it to my body until JulieK reminded me of her patented neck and decollete routine with Burt's Bees Orange Essence cleanser. Mind you, body washes and shower gels haven't so much been the poor relation of skincare, but banished and cut off without a penny. Happily, that is slooowly beginning to change and a trawl through our archive turned up enough for a Five Best body cleansers roundup.

I've found that Nutra-Lift's One Step (available in the TIA shop) is great for dry winter skin, Pangea can be relied on for organic goodness and, let's not forget that body cleansers are meant to cleanse (not to mention prevent body breakouts) and Giovanni's D:tox does just that. Plus we have an exciting new find in the Red Flower brand.

Hover over the images for details and prices.

Burt's Bees Orange Essence Cleanser ($7.99). JulieK massages this into her neck and chest with every shower and says her skin is flawless. I can believe it. I have been following her lead and love what it is doing to my skin. Although designed, I believe, for the face, this comes in a large tube for a great price and is more than suitable for the body. A simple formula of oils and beta-carotene with quillaja (a south american tree) providing the soapy part with natural saponins.

Giovanni D:tox ($7.95) It’s hard to believe that the very first ingredient is acai berry and if that doesn’t make your jaw drop consider that the next three are also botanical antioxidants: goji, fig and green tea. Call me eccentric, but I get even more excited by the charcoal and volcanic ash. Charcoal is an amazing detoxifier. The volcanic ash acts as an exfolliant and its sulfur content will also help clear oily pores and prevent breakouts.

Pangea Organics Herbal Shower Gel, Egyptian Basil & Mint ($15). This brand can always be relied on to major organic botanicals as well as have more than whiff of spa-like luxury. The shower gel has an oily (virgin olive and hempseed) base that is super moisturizing. Plaintain leaf is a cleanser much used in African 'black soap'. There are two types of basil extract. Full of vitamin A, basil is used to treat skin disorders.

Red Flower Body Wash ($20). This is unusual for being honey based and infused with oils - olive, aloe and almond. As well as being moisturizing, they are antioxidant and, along with amino acids and vitamin E, they do a body good.

Nutra-Lift One Step Body Scrub ($18). Handy for those that find separate soapers and scrubbers one too many things in their shower. This is more of a shower gel that scrubs (with walnut shells). Nutra-Lift claims that delivers up to 100 times more moisture than your average shower gel. It exfoliates with walnut shells and there are 14 antioxidants in addition to seaweed extract making it good enough to really spend time massaging in.

Ingredients Pangea Organics Herbal Shower Gel, Egyptian Basil & Mint

Water (Purified), Coconut Oil (Organic), Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Organic), Hempseed Oil (Organic), Jojoba Oils (Organic), All Oils Saponified with retained Vegetable Glycerin, Vegetable Guar Gum, Aloe Vera (Organic), Vegetable Glycerin (Organic), Organic Essential Oils of:, Citrus Limetta (Lime), Ocimum Basilicum (Basil Linalol) Extract, Ocimum Basilicum (Sweet Basil) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint), Organic Herbal Extracts of:, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Seed, Tilia Europaea (Linden) Flower, Althea Officinalis (Marshmallow) Root, Plantago Major (Plantain) Leaf, Viola Odorata (Blue Violet) Leaf, Rosemary Extract

Ingredients Red Flower ($20)

Bio Dynamic Honey Infusion, Saponified Oils of Olive, Coconut, Palm and Castor, Almond Oil (*), Sugar Beet (Cocobetaine), Cocoamphodiacetate, Aloe Vera, Vegetable Glycerin, Sucrose Cocoate (Sugar Extract), Rice Bran Amino Acids, Evening Primrose Oil, Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate), Olive Leaf Extract, Fragrant Oils, Essential Oils of Moroccan Rose (Rose Damascena), Bulgarian Rose, Coriander, Patchouli, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Rosemary Extract (*)

Ingredients in Burt's Bees

Vegetable Glycerin, Olive Oil, Orange Oil, Oat Flour, Lanolin, Oat Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Vegetable Oil, Beta-Carotene, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Quillaja Extract, Rosemary Leaf Oil

Ingredients in Nutra-Lift One Step Body  Scrub

Organic aloe barbadensis gel, cocamide-betaine, walnut shells, marine algae extract, ascorbly glucosamine (vitamin C), ascorbly palmitate (vitamin c ester) sesame seed oil, rosemary, milk thistle, bilberry, butylene glyco, glycerin (vegetable), hydroxypropymethylcellose, tocopheryl linoleate (natural vitamin E), polyphosphoxylcholine glycol acrylate (sugar extract), blue-green algae, grapefruit seed extract, clover blossom extract, coltsfoot extract, calcium pantothenate, birch leaf extract, horsetail extract, nettle extract, sage extract, peppermint extract, yarrow extract, birch sap, hyaloronic acid, allantoin (natural), ethoxydiglycol, Inositol, sodium coca-sulfate and potassium cocoate and tea wheat germate, lemon-lavender-ylang-ylang-rosemary-macadamia extracts, dead sea minerals salts, citric acid, colloidal minerals.