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There are a few things that you can find in everybody’s bathtub or shower—body wash is one of them. Though there are some people that prefer using a bar of soap, it is pretty apparent that as of late, most people have abandoned the traditional route in favor of the liquid version. A couple reasons why: it’s more hygienic than a bar, which sits in a wet environment and it’s less likely to harbor bacteria if multiple people use it. Unlike a bar, you can squeeze the amount that you need from the bottle easily without worrying that the bar is going to slip out of your hand and, if you prefer to use a loofah or a cloth of some sort to help with your washing, it’s easier to dispense a liquid formula than rub a bar of soap on it. Here, our picks for the top body washes.
Best Overall: Rituals The Ritual of Ayurveda Foaming Shower Gel
It dispenses from the metal cannister like a gel, but upon contact with water, is transformed into a luxe foam that turns any shower into a spa-like oasis, enveloping the bathroom in a fragrant bouquet. The brand offers different scents based on a range of rituals, this one being Ayurveda, so it taps the ingredients of sweet almond oil and Indian rose, which are used in the ancient medical system’s healing practices.
You can also expect to find Hammam with eucalyptus and rosemary, Samurai with bamboo and Japanese mint and Happy Buddha with sweet orange and cedar wood. Because it’s foamy almost like a shaving cream, it can be used as one and helps a razor glide smoothly. Best of all, thanks to its double usage, it saves you space in the shower.
Best Budget: Method Body Pure Peace Body Wash
A little bit of this naturally derived gel liquid formula goes a long way and works into a nice lather. And the size of the bottle is generous, so you get plenty of bang for your buck. The Pure Peace scent is comprised of peony, rose water, and pink sea salt, which make for a lovely experience. The soothing rosewater is gentle and hydrating while the peony and sea salt give off a floral and fresh aroma. What’s more, the formula is paraben and phthalate free and the bottle is made with 65% recycled plastic.
Best for Men: Jack Black Epic Moisture Clean Cream Body Wash
One of the biggest complaints that men have about body products is that they can feel too greasy. You definitely don’t have to worry about that with this formula. Instead, you get a moisturizing cleanser that is gentle, yet effective. With super rich, skin-loving ingredients like natural oils and shea butter, you won’t even need to use a moisturizer post-shower because skin will feel smooth long after this body wash is rinsed away. Its suitable for all skin types and is especially great for those with dry skin.
Best for Women: Fresh Brown Sugar Bath & Shower Gel
The brand’s classic brown sugar line doesn’t disappoint in this yummy gel that foams up to a nice lather. Formulated with actual brown sugar and shea butter, it cleanses and smooths at the same time. The combination of evening primrose, sweet almond, apricot kernel, and jojoba oils all work to improve skin texture and is especially great for nourishing dry areas like the elbows, knees, and ankles. Its sweet (but not cloying) scent will definitely appeal to those who enjoy gourmand fragrances. It lingers on skin post-shower and plays nicely with other fragrances that you may want to layer on top.
Best for Acne: Murad Acne Control Body Wash
Though it may be pricey, it is one of the best body washes for treating and preventing body acne. If you are prone to breakouts, especially those brought on by sweat during a workout, it’s essential to get ahead of the problem by using a formula like this one after a gym sesh. So in addition to not sitting in clothes that are saturated in sweat, stash this in the locker room so that you can use it right after your workout. Known acne fighters glycolic and salicylic acid help to boost cell turnover and dislodge oil so pores don’t become clogged. Date seed powder provides exfoliation and green tea and licorice extracts address redness and irritation.
Best for Dry Skin: Curél Itch Defense Body Wash
A side effect that often comes along with dry skin is itchiness, especially in the winter months when skin is even drier than normal. This soap-free formula isn’t the least bit stripping, though it does cleanse and soothe dry skin. Use the jojoba and olive oil laced wash daily and be sure to pair it with water that's not too hot (because that can make the condition worse). Skin will feel hydrated, but it’s a good idea to double-up and slather on some lotion post-shower, too.
Best Moisturizing: Dove Dry Oil Moisturizing Body Wash
Whether you have dry skin or not, you’ll enjoy the rich lather of this luscious body wash. Laced with Moroccan argan oil that the skin drinks up, you’ll notice a smoother texture and visibly healthier looking skin. The scent is fresh (not overpowering) and the formula is dermatologist recommended, so even those with sensitive skin can enjoy using it. For a deeper clean, squeeze some out onto a loofah or shower brush and then scrub skin to gently exfoliate and cleanse simultaneously.
Best for Eczema: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash
The gentle oatmeal-enriched formula works wonders on irritated skin that’s eczema-prone. It’s also packed with rich emollients that help to moisturize and soothe even the most sensitive of skin. Sometimes even water can irritate eczema, but after using this creamy wash, your skin will feel softer. It’s important to note that it’s soap-free and dye-free, which are both known irritants. And be sure to follow cleansing with a moisturizing lotion to keep the skin barrier performing at its optimal level.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash
It has everything sensitive skin needs and nothing that it doesn’t: it’s hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and dermatologist tested, making it a great choice for those who suffer from sensitivity. It won’t strip skin as it cleanses, but instead it injects some needed moisture for skin that won’t be as irritable.
Our writers spent 3 hours researching the most popular body wash on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 15 different body washes overall, screened options from 12 different brands and manufacturers, read over 5 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 6 of the body washes. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.