The 11 Best Body Washes of 2022 for Every Skin Concern

Our top pick overall is the Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash for its hydrating yet cleansing formula and affordable price tag.

In This Article

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Body Wash

Target

The best body wash clears the day's sweat, oils, dirt, and impurities from your skin, leaving you cleansed and fresh. While you may not consider body wash a part of your regular skincare routine, it is a crucial component of your daily regimen.

With so many options on the market, finding a body wash suited to your skin and preferences can be challenging—which is why we spent hours researching dozens of options for all skin types. The right pick for you will depend on how often you shower and whether you have skin concerns like eczema or acne.

We also consulted Suzanne Friedler, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC, about what ingredients to look for in a body wash and for the low-down on fragrance in skincare products. We also spoke to Elaine Kung, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Future Bright Dermatology, about the differences between a body wash and a shower gel, whether or not you need to use a loofah, and if it’s OK to use body wash on your face (the answer: only sometimes).

Our best overall pick is the Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash, a cleanser that locks in hydration and is gentle enough for daily use. Keep reading for the best body washes, and what you need to know when shopping for one.

Best Overall Body Wash: Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash

Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a gentle, affordable body wash that keeps skin moisturized. 

Who it isn't for: People who want a body wash that targets specific skincare concerns, like acne or eczema.

This popular body wash is sulfate- and paraben-free and contains tocopheryl acetate, a form of vitamin E that protects skin cells from free radical damage (like UV rays or pollution). Sunflower seed oil and soybean oil act as emollients to protect and moisturize your skin. Plus, the formula contains Dove’s signature Microbiome Nutrient Serum, designed to nourish your skin’s microbiome.

The packaging is made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles, and the formula is 98 percent biodegradable (meaning 98 percent of the product’s ingredients break down into carbon dioxide, minerals, and water). And on top of all that, this body wash provides a thick lather, gentle wash, and light almond scent. What else could you want?

Price at time of publish: $7

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Sunflower seed oil, soybean oil, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E)
  • Size: 12, 22, and 102 ounces
  • Scent: Almond

Best Splurge Body Wash: Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser

Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want to splurge on scented body wash. 

Who it isn't for: People seeking an affordable, unscented body wash.

If you’re looking to treat yourself, Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser provides a heavenly scent and promotes soft, supple skin. It has a lightweight gel texture that is low-foaming, although a little bit goes a long way.

This cleanser contains bergamot oil and mandarin orange peel oil, which hydrate your skin, as well as geranium leaf extract. Research suggests that geranium extract has anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce bacteria when applied topically, and can help treat acne, making this a highly impactful body wash for all sorts of purposes.

Price at time of publish: $47

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Bergamot oil, mandarin orange peel oil, geranium leaf extract
  • Size: 3.4 and 16.9 ounces 
  • Scent: Citrus, geranium

Best Moisturizing Body Wash: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an affordable body wash that combats dry skin. 

Who it isn't for: People with specific skin concerns like acne or flaking.

The Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash comes in various sizes, including a 36-ounce refill pouch option that helps cut down on plastic waste, especially if you have a big household and need to restock often.

This lightly scented body wash is free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, and alcohol. It contains oat kernel flour and oat kernel oil, both of which help to hydrate skin and strengthen its protective barrier. It also contains dimethicone, a moisturizing ingredient, to help keep skin hydrated after you step out of the shower.

Price at time of publish: $8

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Oat kernel flour, oat kernel oil, dimethicone
  • Sizes: 18, 33, and 36 fl oz (refill)
  • Scent: Lightly scented

Best Natural Body Wash: Seven Minerals Pure Castile Soap

Seven Minerals Pure Castile Soap

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a gentle, unscented soap for sensitive skin.

Who it isn't for: People who want a fragrant body wash.

Castile is an olive oil-based soap, which has natural antibacterial properties that can help with skin conditions like eczema, acne, psoriasis, or sensitive skin. This mild and unscented option is EWG-verified, vegan, and formulated with organic oils like coconut, olive, castor, jojoba, argan, and hemp.

While gentle enough for sensitive skin, this soap is more concentrated than the average body wash, so a small amount of this product goes a long way. The manufacturer also claims that you can use it as dish soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, and shave gel, making this one of the most versatile options on our list.

Price at time of publish: $17

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil
  • Sizes: 33.8 or 128 ounces
  • Scent: Unscented

Best Exfoliating Body Wash: OGX Smoothing + Coconut Coffee Body Scrub & Wash

OGX Smoothing + Coconut Coffee Body Cream

Walmart

Who it’s for: People who want an affordable body wash that will soften and moisturize skin. 

Who it isn't for: People with sensitive skin.

The OGX Smoothing + Coconut Coffee Exfoliating Body Scrub and Wash contains arabica coffee and coconut oil, exuding a coffee scent that is perfect for waking up during a morning shower. There’s also a hint of sweet coconut, but the scent is not overpowering.

This body wash contains exfoliating particles made from coffee-infused rice bran wax, a biodegradable ingredient gentle enough for daily use (and won’t wreak havoc on your septic system the way real coffee grounds would). The exfoliant removes dead skin, while coconut oil locks in moisture for a silky smooth texture.

Price at time of publish: $7

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Arabica coffee, coconut oil
  • Size: 19.5 ounces
  • Scent: Coffee

Best Unscented Body Wash: Nécessaire The Body Wash

4.5
necessaire body wash

Who it’s for: People looking for an unscented, eco-conscious body wash. 

Who it isn't for: People looking for a more budget-friendly option.

This vegan, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic body wash comes in scented and unscented formulas (available scents are sandalwood, bergamot, and eucalyptus). The gel formula contains niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that maintains your skin’s protective barrier. Plant oils from cacay, marula, and meadowfoam plants help moisturize skin.

This wash has no sulfates, silicones, or parabens. It’s on the pricier side, possibly due to the sustainably-sourced plant ingredients and the company’s commitment to sustainable production practices. More on that: Nécessaire is a Climate Neutral Certified brand, which means it calculates and offsets its carbon emissions each year while continually working to reduce them. The brand is also Plastic Neutral Certified via rePurpose Global, calculating and offsetting its annual plastic footprint.

Price at time of publish: $37

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, plant oils
  • Size: 8.45 or 16.9 ounces
  • Scent: Unscented, eucalyptus, bergamot, or sandalwood

Best Scented Body Wash: Native Body Wash

Native Coconut and Vanilla Body Wash

Walmart

Who it’s for: People who want a moisturizing body wash with a simple ingredient list and unique scents. 

Who it isn't for: People with acne-prone skin who want a body wash with salicylic acid.

The Native Body Wash contains cleansing agents derived from coconut oil for smooth, moisturized skin. It cleanses without stripping the skin of natural oils and is free from dyes, sulfates, parabens, and phthalates.

This wash comes in various scents, including classic options and seasonal specials. Options include coconut and vanilla (which feels particularly luxurious), lilac and white tea, citrus and herbal musk, eucalyptus and mint, and sea salt and cedar.

Price at time of publish: $9

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, food-grade cleansing salt
  • Size: 18 and 36 ounces
  • Scent: Coconut and vanilla, lilac and white tea, citrus and herbal musk, eucalyptus and mint, and sea salt and cedar

Best Body Wash for Acne: SheaMoisture African Black Soap Soothing Body Wash

SheaMoisture African Black Soap Soothing Body Wash

Target

Who it’s for: People looking for a body wash with simple ingredients that targets acne. 

Who it isn't for: People who want chemical ingredients to treat specific skin concerns.

SheaMoisture's antibacterial African black soap contains a blend of aloe, cocoa pod ash, and Fair Trade shea butter, and does more than cleanse your skin—it also improves skin texture, and reduces inflammation, and, yes, banishes body acne.

Coconut oil and soybean oil provide moisture to prevent your skin from drying out, and oat extract and aloe soothe irritated or inflamed skin. Plus, all SheaMoisture products are free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly.

Price at time of publish: $8

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Oat extract, aloe, shea butter, vitamin E
  • Size: 13 ounces
  • Scent: Chocolate and aloe

Best Body Wash for Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay Lipikar Wash AP+ Foaming Moisturizing Wash

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Gentle Foaming Moisturizing Wash

Amazon

Who it’s for: People with eczema or extra-dry skin. 

Who it isn't for: People who want a very budget-friendly body wash.

This body wash treats extra-dry and sensitive skin, and is even gentle enough to use on your face. It contains shea butter to moisturize dry skin and niacinamide to protect the skin barrier and combat dullness.

This wash is unscented, paraben-free, non-comedogenic, and has a National Eczema Association seal of acceptance (meaning it’s safe to use if you have eczema). According to the brand, this product is also safe for babies aged two weeks and older.

Price at time of publish: $16

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Shea butter, niacinamide
  • Size: 13.5 ounces
  • Scent: Unscented

Best Bar Body Wash: Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar

4.3
Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar

Walmart

Who it’s for: People who prefer bar soap in a simple, unscented form. 

Who it isn't for: People who want an exfoliating soap.

If you prefer to keep things totally fuss-free, you can use this hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic cleansing bar on your body and face. It contains sodium cocoyl isethionate, a mild cleanser derived from coconut and petrolatum (petroleum jelly) to seal in moisture, and is suitable for all skin types.

The Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar cleans and moisturizes without stripping or drying out your skin. The bar is unscented, making it a good choice for people who want to avoid fragrances, and can be purchased in bulk so you’re set with body wash for the whole family for quite awhile.

Price at time of publish: $6

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Glycerin
  • Size: 4.5 ounces
  • Scent: Unscented

Best Oil Body Wash: Bioderma Atoderm Cleansing Oil

Bioderma Atoderm Cleansing Oil

Amazon

Who it’s for: People with very dry skin who want a more luxurious yet still moisturizing body wash. 

Who it isn't for: People with very oily skin.

This oil body wash works just like a gel: You apply it to wet skin, work it into a lather, then rinse. The Bioderma Atoderm Face and Body Cleansing Oil is a super versatile cleansing oil that’s safe for your body, face, hands, and nails.

Designed for dry and very dry skin, it contains coconut and sunflower esters, niacinamide to protect the skin barrier, and Bioderma’s patented Barrier Skin Therapy ingredients. Even if you don’t have incredibly dry skin, oil washes are also great for removing stubborn makeup and for giving your daily shower a more luxurious vibe.

Price at time of publish: $29

Product Details:

  • Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, tocopherol
  • Size: 3.4, 6.7, and 33.8 fl oz
  • Scent: Light, clean fragrance

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash, an affordable drugstore body wash that offers a thorough but gentle clean. The plant oils keep skin moisturized for a smooth, silky feeling, while tocopheryl acetate protects against free radicals, and a patented serum keeps your microbiome healthy. Plus, the wash is 98 percent biodegradable and comes in packaging made from recycled plastic.

How to Shop for Body Wash Like a Pro

Ingredients

Dr. Kung recommends body wash ingredients that “help repair and protect the skin barrier.” These include hydrogenated vegetable oil (glycerin), sunflower seed oil, soybean oil, colloidal oatmeal, vitamin B3 (panthenol), and vitamin E.

Purpose

Dr. Friedler recommends selecting a body wash based on what you want it to do.

  • If you want a hydrating body wash, look for one that contains dimethicone, glycerin, petroleum, or plant oils.
  • If you have oily skin, you might prefer a body wash with salicylic acid.
  • Dealing with sensitive skin? Pick a body wash without fragrance or other irritants.

Scent

Dr. Friedler says that scents and fragrances aren’t the most skin-friendly ingredients. “Some people have fragrance allergies,” she says. “People with naturally sensitive skin or eczema can also experience negative effects from body washes with fragrances, as they will be more sensitive to allergens.” So, if you have super sensitive skin or are prone to eczema, Dr. Friedler recommends avoiding scented skin products.

Questions You Might Ask

What’s the difference between body wash, shower gel, and soap?

Dr. Kung explains that many people think body wash and shower gel are the same because “they are both liquids we wash our bodies with.” However, they have different formulas. Dr. Kung says that while body washes are usually like liquid soap with a thin, creamy consistency, shower gels are typically thicker and more jelly-like. They also target different concerns. “Body washes tend to work better in moisturizing and hydrating the skin, while shower gels may feel tight on dry skin,” she says.

So, which should you use? It depends on your skin type—and what the weather is like where you live. “Body washes are my go-to recommendation for people with normal to sensitive skin living in dry climates,” Dr. Kung says. “People with oilier skin, or people living in humid conditions, may prefer a shower gel or soap because they don't leave a creamy finish or residue.”

Should you use a loofah to apply body wash?

Dr. Kung discourages using loofahs, exfoliating gloves, or shower brushes. “There is simply no need to scrub our skin or rush our skin's natural exfoliating timeline,” she says, explaining that human skin cells shed naturally every four to six weeks. “Scrubbing tools can harbor bacteria and mold. Plus, scrubbing the skin daily can cause skin changes like discoloration and skin thickening.”

Can you use body wash on your face?

Some body washes are suitable for sensitive facial skin, while others are better suited for your body only. Cleaners for the face are typically non-comedogenic and gentler on the skin, while body washes may irritate or dry out your face. If a body wash says it’s suitable to use on your face, go for it. Otherwise, use a separate facial cleanser.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Nina Bahadur, a writer with over a decade of experience covering health, beauty, and home. She researched dozens of body washes, considering active ingredients, scents, and price points. She also consulted Suzanne Friedler, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC, and Elaine Kung, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Future Bright Dermatology, for expert input.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles