Skincare Products » Best Body Washes

Best Body Washes for All Skin Types

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We spend so much time thinking about our facial skincare that we sometimes forget about the skin on the rest of our bodies. If you want a dedicated body care routine, your body wash is the place to start. It’s one of those skincare products that everyone needs but rarely gets the attention it deserves. 

Body soaps and cleansers go above and beyond just getting you clean — they can turn your shower into a pampering experience and help treat particular skin issues. In this article, we’ve selected the best body washes for every skin type, concern, and preference, so that every shower can feel like a self-care moment

Best body soap overview:

How we chose the best body soaps

To compile this list, we spoke to dermatologists and researched ingredient lists to create a short list of the top body soaps. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best body wash for each category.

Our picks for the best body washes

1
Best overall
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Wash AP+ Moisturizing Body & Face Wash
$16.99

What we love

  • Hydrates and repairs the skin barrier
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Lathers well

What we don’t love

  • Contains sulfates

This gentle, hydrating body wash comes highly recommended by a few dermatologists we interviewed. “It has glycerin which is very hydrating, and has other ingredients to help maintain a healthy skin barrier,” Dr. Swati Kannan told Glowsly. “It’s paraben- and fragrance-free, meaning it’s safe for most sensitive skin types.” 

Reviewers also raved that even though it’s gentle and moisturizing, it still lathers well for that clean yet soft feel. The formula does contain sulfates, though, which some shoppers may wish to avoid.

Benefits: Moisturizing, cleansing, soothing | Main ingredients: Glycerin, thermal water, niacinamide, shea butter | Size: 13.5 oz

2
Best budget
Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash
$6.99

What we love

  • Great price for the size
  • Moisturizing
  • Sulfate free

What we don’t love

  • May not feel cleansing to everyone

An effective body wash doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. It just needs to clean your skin without stripping it from moisture. This body wash from Dove delivers a solid cleanse using a creamy formula tha thoroughly removes grime and sweat while keeping your skin moisturized. 

It’s free of sulfates and features a microbiome nutrient serum that may save you the need for a post-shower lotion. If you’re new to using these types of nourishing formulas, you may not feel clean after using it but rest assured it’s good for your skin. While it’s recommended for dry skin, we think this gentle formula is appropriate for all skin types.

Benefits: Moisturizing, cleansing | Main ingredients: Microbiome nutrient serum | Size: 20 fl oz

3
Best cult-favorite
Nécessaire The Body Wash
$25

What we love

  • Repairs skin barrier
  • Great for all skin types
  • Carbon neutral brand

What we don’t love

  • A little pricey

We can’t think of a body wash that’s managed to generate as much hype as Nécessaire. It reminds us more of a face wash than a body soap, which is exactly why it’s such a hit. The ingredient list features nourishing and barrier-repairing superstars like niacinamide, vitamin E, and glycerin

It cleanses gently, without sulfates or fragrances, making it a safe choice for all skin types. It still foams a little, so even those with oily skin or active lifestyles will feel clean after using it. Plus, Nécessaire is a carbon-neutral brand with fully recyclable packaging so that you can feel good about your purchase. 

Benefits: Cleansing, nourishing, softening | Main ingredients: Niacinamide, glycerin | Size: 8.4 fl oz

4
Best for sensitive skin
Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash Fragrance Free
$7.97

What we love

  • Sensitive skin-friendly formula
  • Made with soothing ingredients
  • Lathers well

What we don’t love

  • Contains sulfates

This simple formula may not feel luxurious as creamy or fragranced options, but it’s gentle on sensitive skin with hydrating glycerin and vitamin B5 and soothing calendula and aloe. It contains sodium laureth sulfate, though, which could be irritating in some circumstances, but the presence of milder cleansing agents largely mitigates the risk. 

This body wash is recommended for sensitive and dry skin types, but we think it’ll also suit those with oily or balanced skin. As many reviewers mentioned, it lathers well and rinses easily, so you don’t need to worry about a residue.

Benefits: Soothing, moisturizing | Main ingredients: Triple oat complex | Size: 16.9 fl oz

5
Best for dry skin
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash with Prebiotic Oat
$8.99

What we love

  • Intensely hydrating
  • Supports the skin barrier
  • Sulfate free

What we don’t love

  • Fragrance may be an issue for sensitive skin

This glycerin and oat-infused body wash is ideal for dry skin, with a gentle formula that nourishes the skin. 

It’s also a favorite of Dr. Rosmy Barrios. “What I like about it is that the hydration is pretty intense, so you don’t really need to apply additional moisturizing lotions after the bath,” she told Glowsly. 

Dr. Mara Weinstein Velez also recommended it because it “cleanses the body while leaving the skin barrier intact.” It’s lightly scented, too, making it more pleasant to use — but also means it may not be ideal for sensitive skin. 

Benefits: Moisturizing, barrier-supporting | Main ingredients: Prebiotic oat blend, glycerin | Size: 18 fl oz

6
Best for body acne
Replenix BP 10% Acne Wash + Aloe Vera
$27

What we love

  • Benzoyl peroxide treats acne
  • Includes hydrating aloe
  • More convenient than leave-on treatments

What we don’t love

  • Minimal lather
  • Some risk of irritation

Benzoyl peroxide is one of the most popular treatments for acne. Research shows it can be effective even in wash-off formulas, so if you have body acne, you may benefit from it in your body wash. You may even find it more convenient than having to use a leave-on cream that could bleach your clothing. 

Benzoyl peroxide can be quite drying, but the formula’s hydrating aloe balances it out. While it can’t entirely undo benzoyl peroxide’s irritating potential, it’s one of the milder formulas, offering clearer skin with minimal dryness. 

Use it on spots where you’re prone to breakouts, and consider leaving it on for a few minutes to give it time to work. Since it doesn’t foam much, you may want to use a different body wash on areas like the underarms.

Benefits: Acne-fighting | Main ingredients: Benzoyl peroxide, aloe vera | Size: 6.7 fl oz

7
Best exfoliating
CeraVe SA Body Wash for Rough & Bumpy Skin
$13.99

What we love

  • Exfoliating formula
  • Gentle and non-drying
  • Soothing ingredients

What we don’t love

  • Minimal lathering

If you’re prone to bumps or mild body acne, this body wash is worth a try. Made with salicylic acid, it exfoliates well to dislodge dead skin buildup. Just make sure to leave it on your skin for a few minutes so it can work its magic. 

Despite having exfoliating properties, it isn’t harsh or drying since it’s fragrance- and sulfate-free. It’s also moisturizing, thanks to its blend of ceramides and hyaluronic acid, while niacinamide adds a soothing touch. It doesn’t foam up easily, though, which some reviewers found disappointing.  

Benefits: Exfoliating, smoothing | Main ingredients: Salicylic acid, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide | Size: 10 fl oz

8
Best anti-aging
Olay Cleansing & Renewing Nighttime Body Wash
$7.97

What we love

  • Made with skin-smoothing retinol
  • Creamy formula
  • Easy rinsing

What we don’t love

  • May be irritating for some

If you’re building an anti-aging routine for your body, consider this retinol-infused body wash. Retinol is one of the best anti-aging cosmetic ingredients out there because of its ability to smooth the skin and fade wrinkles. This body wash also contains soothing, brightening niacinamide. 

The formula is creamy and luxurious, which is exactly what the skin needs as it gets drier with age. It still rinses away easily, though, so you won’t feel greasy after using it. That said, those with sensitive skin should approach it with caution since this formula contains fragrance — not to mention retinol can be irritating for some, too.

Benefits: Moisturizing, anti-aging | Main ingredients: Retinol, niacinamide | Size: 17.9 fl oz

9
Best cream
Fresh Milk Body Cleanser
$42

What we love

  • Moisturizing formula
  • Infused with nourishing plant milks
  • Luxurious experience

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

This milky body wash from Fresh is a dream for dry skin. It comes out of the adorable “milk” bottle, looking and feeling just like a lotion. It even foams up lightly once water is added to the mix. 

It contains plant milks and oils that soothe and moisturize the skin. There are even niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, which are known for their long-term moisturizing and anti-aging effects. We’d say the overall experience is ultra-luxurious, thanks to the adorable packaging and a hint of clean fragrance.

Benefits: Moisturizing, soothing | Main ingredients: Centella, linseed, rice, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, niacinamide | Size: 8.7 fl oz

10
Best oil
L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil
$34

What we love

  • Thorough cleansing
  • Extremely softening and moisturizing
  • Luxurious feel

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

Oil cleansing is one of our favorite techniques for thoroughly cleaning the face, so why not do the same for your body? This deluxe body oil cleanser starts out as a fluid, but as you add water, it emulsifies into a light, easy-rinse lather. 

It’s made with almond and grape seed oils that dissolve and effectively break down sebum, sunscreen, and grime. These nourishing oils leave the skin feeling soft and nourished, helping to lock water into place. We think it’s one of the best ways to cleanse severely dry skin, but it’ll work well for all skin types.

Benefits: Moisturizing, softening, cleansing | Main ingredients: Almond oil, grape seed oil | Size: 8.4 oz

11
Best scent
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Cream-Gel
$34

What we love

  • Delicious caramel and pistachio fragrance
  • Sulfate free
  • Skin-softening effect

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

If you prioritize scent when selecting a body wash, you owe it to yourself to try this shower cream-gel from Sol de Janeiro. It’s strongly scented with the brand’s signature caramel and pistachio fragrance blend, leaving your skin smelling delicately sweet. 

The sulfate-free formula even includes coconut oil and cupuaçu butter that lock moisture into the skin, so expect to feel super soft after using it.

Benefits: Moisturizing, scented | Main ingredients: Coconut oil, cupuaçu butter | Size: 13 oz

12
Best floral scent
Philosophy Amazing Grace 3-in-1 Bath & Shower Gel
$31

What we love

  • Elegant floral scent
  • Triples as a shampoo, bath gel, and shower gel
  • Lathers well

What we don’t love

  • A little pricey
  • May be harsh for sensitive skin

If you’re more into body washes with clean or floral fragrances, Philosophy’s cult-favorite Amazing Grace might be more to your liking. The brand’s signature scent is an elegant mix of Muguet (lily of the valley), bergamot, and musk.

Designed to also work as a shampoo or in a bubble bath, it suds up quickly and leaves you feeling clean and soft. That said, if you have dry or sensitive skin, you may prefer a milder formula.

Benefits: Moisturizing | Main ingredients: Hydrolyzed silk, oat kernel oil | Size: 16 oz

13
Best soap
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
$14.99

What we love

  • Budget-friendly
  • Made with organic ingredients
  • Very concentrated

What we don’t love

  • Can disrupt skin’s pH if overused

Dr. Bronner’s castile soap is pretty much a lifestyle. It’s a natural liquid formula made of organic ingredients, with a range of essential oil-based scent options. You can use it not just on your body but also for other types of cleaning (including around the house!). 

This is actually the only real body soap on our list. By definition, soap is an oil saponified with an alkali, like lye. That means all soaps are alkaline, which can disrupt the pH of your skin. That said, if you use this concentrated body wash sparingly, it shouldn’t be too harmful.

Benefits: Thoroughly cleaning, multi-purpose | Main ingredients: Saponified coconut oil, olive oil, essential oils | Size: 32 oz

14
Best AHA
Naturium The Smoother Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Body Wash
$15.99

What we love

  • Smoothing, brightening, and hydrating
  • Exfoliator and cleanser
  • Gentle, fragrance-free and non-drying

What we don’t love

  • Sour smell

This is the perfect 2-in-1 exfoliator and cleanser, made with a blend of glycolic, lactic, and a few other alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). Glycolic acid and other AHAs are phenomenal for removing dead skin buildup. They also offer hydrating, smoothing, brightening, and anti-aging benefits.

As a cleanser, this formula is gently cleansing, non-drying, and fragrance-free, which we prefer for sensitive skin. However, that also means you can smell the sour exfoliating acids, which might not be too appealing.

Benefits: Exfoliating, moisturizing | Main ingredients: Glycolic acid, other AHAs | Size: 16.9 oz

15
Best scrub
Softsoap Coconut Butter Scrub
$6.88

What we love

  • Budget-friendly
  • Gently exfoliating
  • Delicious coconut scent

What we don’t love

  • Physical exfoliation is not as good as chemical exfoliation
  • Fragrance may be an issue for some

We generally prefer chemical exfoliants like AHA and salicylic acid for their lack of harshness, but if you just love using body scrubs, this option is budget-friendly and gentle. 

“The [biodegradable] exfoliating beads are non-abrasive, so it’s gentle enough for everyday use,” Dr. Jeannette Graf told us. “For those who can use scented washes, the scents are fresh and leave skin feeling fresh and clean.”

While we don’t recommend scrubbing on a daily basis, this could be a lovely way of removing dead skin every once in a while. Plus, the coconut oil fragrance will help you feel delicious post-shower.

Benefits: Exfoliating | Main ingredients: Coconut butter, exfoliating beads | Size: 32 fl oz

Washing with purpose

There are many different ways to wash your body, and none of them are incorrect. It’s all about choosing a body wash based on your skin’s unique needs. Our top pick from La Roche-Posay is a safe bet for almost everyone, thanks to its gentle, fragrance-free formula, but we hope you feel inspired to treat your body just as you would your face when deciding on your next body soap. 

How to pick the right body wash for you

When choosing the perfect body wash for you, consider what kind of cleansing level you need and look for the following ingredients and additional benefits. 

Cleansing level

For daily use, most of us don’t need an aggressive body wash, which is why many of the options on our list are gentle and sulfate-free. They don’t create a lot of suds, which may be off-putting for some, but they’re generally better for the skin.  

When we spoke to Velez, she recommended choosing products with a gel or foam formula only when you need a heavy-duty shower. In those cases, sulfates might be a bonus. Oil and cream cleansers are other unique choices, as they rely on oily ingredients to break down debris, leaving the skin clean yet moisturized.

Ingredients

We always suggest glancing at the ingredient list of any skincare product you want to buy. 

Many of the dermatologists we spoke to recommended looking for moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, petrolatum, or shea butter. 

Kannan and Dr. Samuel Hetz also recommended looking specifically for niacinamide, citing its soothing, brightening, and skin-repairing effects. You can find it in our recommendations from Nécessaire, La Roche-Posay, and a few other body washes. 

Benefits

Some body washes offer additional benefits beyond just cleansing. All doctors we spoke to highlighted the importance of selecting a moisturizing body wash that won’t strip the skin. This isn’t just important for those with dry skin but can be beneficial for all skin types. 

If you have specific skin concerns, look for a body wash dedicated to addressing them. If your skin is sensitive, look for soothing formulas, and if you’re acne-prone, you may want to try a medicated body wash. 

Many issues, including dullness, dead skin buildup, and signs of photoaging, can be addressed through exfoliation, which is best done with a body wash infused with chemical exfoliants, like our picks from CeraVe and Naturium. 

FAQ

What’s the top dermatologist-recommended body wash? 

The top dermatologist-recommended body wash is La Roche-Posay’s Lipikar Wash AP+ Moisturizing Body & Face Wash. It was suggested by many of the dermatologists we spoke to and is also accepted by the National Eczema Association. 

Which body wash is best?

Choose a body wash that’ll suit your skin’s unique needs. All the options on our list are fantastic for both women and men. If in doubt, our top pick from La Roche Posay is always a safe and effective choice. 

What should you avoid in a body wash?

To start, avoid any body wash that leaves your skin feeling tight after you use it — this is a sign that it’s too drying. A few of the dermatologists we interviewed highlighted the importance of avoiding scented products since fragrances can be a trigger for those with sensitive skin. Finally, keep in mind your individual needs, such as any allergies you may have.