I am not a bar soap kind of girl. Besides often leaving my skin bone dry (or with a gross film – I’m looking at you, Ivory), bar soaps always manage to slip out of my hands, which makes for a frustrating shower experience. That’s why for as long as I can remember I’ve bought liquid body washes. In the past, I hadn’t been so picky (most any drugstore brand would do – as long as it lathered well and moisturized well). Then I was introduced to better-for-your-skin brands, such as Mukti, which are packed with hard-working antioxidants and natural cleansing agents rather than harsh synthetics and potentially cancer-causing sulfates.

Enter Max Green Alchemy’s Skin Rescue Shower Gelee ($15). As the “Skin Rescue” tag implies, this body wash is formulated for dry, flaky, or itchy skin. And the ingredients are convincing: it contains skin-conditioning essential oils from palmarosa, geranium, frankincense, petitgrain, and orange blossom; and anti-inflammatory botanicals, such as aloe vera, burdock root, borage, calendula, chickweed, and mahonia (an evergreen shrub that has been used to treat psoriasis).

I can’t say I have itchy or flaky skin, so I couldn’t test the product’s calming properties – but I do have very dry skin on my arms and legs (especially elbows and feet) that predictably get more and more parched as the temperature drops. I started testing the Max Green Alchemy shower gel at the end of summer (so I haven’t yet had the chance to put it through its paces), but I can say that so far my skin feels soft and nicely hydrated post-shower.

And the lather is superb! Call me spoiled, but I have trouble adjusting to natural or organic body cleansers that are underachievers in the suds department. The Max Green Alchemy shower gel contains three coconut-derived surfactants, which might be why it foams up so nicely.

I have just one small gripe… regarding the scent. It smells, as the ingredients list states, like a total “herbal infusion.” Very, very earthy, woodsy, spicy even. I’m nearing the end of the bottle, so I’ve gotten a bit used to the fragrance. But perhaps Max Green Alchemy could somehow tweak the formula to make citrus the dominant scent? Just a suggestion.

Also worth noting: My fiancé, a manly man who likes his bar soap, has been happily using my Max Green shower gel. Perhaps I’ve converted him to my body-wash-loving ways.

Ingredients: Herbal Infusion (Purified Water, Berbaris Aquifolium+ (mahonia), Arctium Lappa* (burdock) Root, Borago Officinalis* (borage), Stellaria Media+ (chickweed), Calendula Officinalis* (calendula) Flower), Aloe Barbadensis* (Aloe Vera) Leaf Gel, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate (coconut derived surfactant), Coco-Betaine (coconut derived surfactant), Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine (coconut derived surfactant), Coco Glucoside and Glyceryl Oleate (plant derived moisturizer), Glycerin (vegetable), Sucrose Cocoate (sugar/coconut emulsifier), Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Guar Gum conditioning agent), Cymbopogon martinii* (palmarosa), Pelargonium graveolens* (geranium), Styrax benzoin, Boswellia carterii (frankincense), Citrus Amara (petitgrain), Citrus Amara (neroli) Flower, Panthenol (pro vitamin B5), Phytic Acid (from rice), Parfum (fragrance of plant origin), Xanthan gum, Mixed Tocopherols (plant derived GMO-free vitamin E).

*Organic; +Wildcrafted