Le Labo's Santal 33 Shower Gel Is $60—This Is the $12 Dupe I Swear By

Woman in a shower

Photo:

@emmahoareau

Generally speaking, there are two types of people in this world: those who prefer scented bodywash, and those who prefer unscented bodywash. I used to belong to the latter camp. Actually, most of the time, I still do. I'm picky when it comes to fragrances, and most of the time, I'd rather leave strong aromas to my perfume—not my body cleanser. 

There are a few exceptions, though. Most notable is Le Labo's signature Santal 33 Shower Gel ($33). As is obvious from the name, it contains the same iconic fragrance we all know and love—that warm, woody, and floral scent containing notes of violet accord, cardamom, iris, papyrus, ambrox, cedarwood, leather, and sandalwood. It's not overpowering. It's not irritating. It just wafts through the misty air of my shower and subtly scents my bathroom with a luxurious, spa-like scent. What's not to love? 

Recently, however, I was introduced to another, more affordable brand, and I learned that one of its best-selling products just so happens to be a santal-scented bodywash. So I gave it a try, and let me tell you I think I found an extremely close $12 dupe for the $60 Le Labo one. Keep scrolling to see what product it is and learn how it measures up. 

First, here's the Le Labo Santal 33 Body Wash. If you love Santal 33 as much as, well, the rest of the world, it's totally worth investing $60. You'll get the exact same fragrance as the iconic perfume, and you'll also get skin-loving benefits; the formula contains vitamin E, olive oil, aloe vera, and flaxseed extracts. It explains how it keeps the skin so soft, smooth, and moisturized. 

Now, here is the $12 product that I'm convinced is a good, all-around dupe. It's from a brand called Saltair, which specializes in bodycare and haircare products. (If you haven't seen it already, you're sure to see it everywhere soon; the brand just launched at Target, but I digress.)

Not only does it contain good-for-skin ingredients like monoi oil, cupuaçu butter, and kukui oil to moisturize the skin, but it also contains ascorbyl glucoside and niacinamide to help brighten the skin. Then, there's the scent, which the brand calls Santal Bloom. Sure, it's not a perfect match for Santal 33 (the scent is ever-so-slightly brighter and more floral, like a beachy take on Santal 33), but it has a similarly intoxicating scent. When I use it, it feels just as luxurious and spa-like as the Le Labo pick, only I know it's a fraction of the cost. 

More Santal Products From Le Labo and Saltair

This is a limited-edition shampoo (so act fast if you're a Santal 33 superfan). With vitamin B5 and aloe vera, it promises to cleanse hair without stripping it of moisture or smoothness.

The same goes for this conditioner, except it contains a blend of vitamin B5, olive oil, and chamomile extract. In my experience, this conditioner is really what keeps that warm, spicy, and comforting scent lingering in your hair. 

Saltair's Santal Bloom Shampoo features a blend of plant oils to moisturize the hair while it imparts the scent of rose, jasmine, and creamy sandalwood on each strand.

The same goes for the brand's matching conditioner.

Saltair also makes a natural deodorant with the Santal Bloom scent. It's formulated with salicylic acid and zinc ricinoleate to improve underarm tone and texture, and there's no detox period like there is with other natural deodorants. 

Shop 8 Other Bodywashes I Love

This bodywash is one of my favorites. It lathers into a silky froth that cleanses the skin without drying it out.

It's difficult to find good bodycare products with vitamin C. That's why I keep a bottle of this brightening bodywash in my shower at all times. 

A chic anti-body-acne bodywash? It does exist. It uses exfoliating acids and fruit enzymes to unclog pores. 

This budget-friendly bodywash is the one I recommend to anyone looking to smooth bumpy skin and unclog pores. Ceramides help protect the skin barrier. 

I also like the hydrating option, which simultaneously cleanses and moisturizes. 

This fragrance-free bodywash contains soothing oats to cleanse the skin while sidestepping irritation. It's even accepted by the National Eczema Association. 

The experience of using a cleansing oil might take some getting used to, but there's nothing better for cleansing your skin while maintaining moisture. (My winter skin loves it.)