50+ Best Body Washes For Every Skin Type & Budget

Photo: Dean Drobot / shutterstock
Best Body Washes For All Skin Types & Budgets

Body wash is so much a part of our daily shower routine, we may hardly ever think about it. But it’s something we should think about, because what we choose plays a major role in not only our shower experience, but our skin health.

Those experiencing sensitivities and chronic skin conditions may find that not all body washes are created equal. But what is the best body wash for your skin type?

Says dermatologist Dr. Luigi L. Polla, founder of Forever Institut and Alchimie Forever, "I recommend body washes or soaps based on the person’s age (youthful skin versus aging skin), skin type (overall dry or not), sun damage (which includes breakdown of collagen and thinning out of the skin), and presence of any skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema."

RELATED: 20 Clean, Natural Products That Save So Much Money When You're On A Budget

In general, the skin of the body is thicker and less delicate than the skin of the face. And, typically, a body cleanser doesn't need to have any makeup removal properties, so formulations for skin versus body will vary.

"The skin of the body also can have more hair follicles and more sebaceous glands than the face," continues Dr. Polla. "In general, I gravitate towards body cleansing products that are pH-balanced to the skin and hydrating, and I generally stay away from anything that has exfoliating properties as I find that these tend to irritate the skin with daily use."

Difference Between Bar Soap vs. Body Wash

Soap is very effective at cleaning your body, as it removes all dirt and oil. But it can be a bit harsh, especially if you have sensitive skin.

“A body wash can do a good job cleaning your body, but typically will be much gentler as it can help maintain the healthy oils in the skin without potentially disrupting the moisture barrier,” advises Dr. Peterson Pierre, board certified dermatologist and founder of the Pierre Skincare Institute.

Typically, body washes are considered “softer," meaning more hydrating, as they are usually formulated with added emollients. However, adds Polla, "The advances in bar soap formulation make it such that these can also be hydrating and nourishing."

Of course, there will be the difference of texture, which is a personal preference.

Some people prefer washes, as they consider them more hygienic. But some bacteria can live on bar soap from shower to shower. Others prefer bar soap because it is considered more environmentally friendly, with no additional packaging and without any product waste.

Overall, the most important consideration (other than specific skin types and concerns) is to have a soap or body wash that will not alter your skin’s pH. This means looking for a product with a pH balance to the skin.

"Years ago, soaps were formulated with a high pH, and thus were very drying to the skin. However, formulation best practices have evolved so that most soaps are now formulated with a pH of around 5, which is very well balanced to the skin," says Dr. Polla.

How to Choose the Best Body Wash

Choosing a body wash is like choosing a face wash. If you have oily skin, you're probably better off with gel body washes; if you have dry and sensitive skin, a creamy hydrating body wash will be a better option.

Also look at the indications of what the body wash is for: exfoliation, hydration, acne, eczema. Find something formulated for you and your skin concerns.

“You want to look at the overall ingredient formulation — what are the beneficial ingredients — and also make sure there are no harmful ingredients,” suggests aesthetician Joshua Ross of SkinLab. Look up ingredients on Environmental Working Group's website to ensure there is nothing harmful in the ingredients.

Best Body Wash for Acne

If you have acne-prone skin, look for ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid and benzoyl peroxide, in a foaming or gel-based body wash. These are also good if you have oily skin.

“While no body wash can make your acne go away, these ingredients can help prepare the skin for the ensuing treatment cream or gel,” says Dr. Pierre. 

1. Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap

This body wash smells delicious thanks to the papaya and grapefruit extracts. But it’s more than smelling nice — these ingredients are good for breaking down dead skin cells. There’s also ginseng extract and oat protein, both of which help to soothe sensitive and irritated parts of the skin.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

2. Proactiv Deep Cleansing Acne Body Wash

This body wash is so gentle it can be used all over your body, including on your face. It has exfoliating beads that help get rid of dead skin cells, and contains 2 percent salicylic acid, which is good for uncloging pores.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

3. Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash

There’s something about a clear product that feels natural. And this clear body wash helps fight breakouts on your back, chest and shoulders, and has a refreshing foaming lather that won’t clog pores.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

4. Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel

A soap-free gel cleanser? Yes, really! This cleansing gel has gentle ingredients that will clean and eliminate excess oil for more balanced skin.

(Walgreens, $20)

Best Salicylic Acid Body Wash

Exfoliating body washes should never be used around fragile areas, but are great for rough skin areas.

Says beauty expert and creator of Colour Collective, Kerry E Yates, "Exfoliating body wash is ideal for women or men that experience body acne, especially for the area around the neck and back."

Dry skin around the upper arms will benefit from weekly use of a salicylic acid body wash. But, adds Yates, "Be sure to look for a blend of natural hydrators and moisturizer to help alleviate any. This product should not be overused as it can cause irritation."

5. Acne Free Blackhead Removing Scrub

When it comes to oily and acne-prone skin, exfoliation is a must because it contains a key ingredient to successful exfoliation: Salicylic Acid. This acid helps gently dissolve the bonds holding dead skin cells, revealing new and healthy skin underneath. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

6. Touch Keratosis Pilaris & Acne Exfoliating Body Wash Cleanser

This body wash is made with 15 percent glycolic acid and 2 percent salicylic acid, both great to exfoliate and clear your skin. It also has a a pH of 3.5 to allow for more “free acids” to work on your skin.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

7. Solimo Clarifying Pink Grapefruit Body Wash

This one smells delicious thanks to the grapefruit, but it's also great for the skin because of the 2 percent salicylic acid, helping to avoid breakouts.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

8. Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Body Wash

This soothing body wash is made with 2 percent salicylic acid to clear up acne breakouts, as well as aloe, vitamin E and chamomile.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

9. Murad Acne Body Wash

This is a deep cleaning body wash that eliminates breakouts all over the body. It has glycolic and salicylic acids, which combine to penetrate deep into the skin to control and prevent breakouts.

(Sephora, $44)

10. Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body and Face Cleanser

This gentle cleanser is soap-free, which helps protect skin from drying out. It's also great to preserve the skin’s protective barrier.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: The Best Way To Wash Your Face, According To Your Skin Type

Best Body Wash for Dry Skin

For those with dry or sensitive skin, Dr. Pierre warns that it's best to avoid certain ingredients, instead opting for a creamy body wash with ceramides, shea butter, lipids, oils, hyaluronic acid, or glycerin.

11. Spongellé Boxed Flower Body Wash Infused Buffer

This is a fun spin on body wash, because it’s a hydrating bath sponge that helps to soothe and buff as it cleanses and exfoliates. All you need to do is run it under running water - plentiful in the shower, right?

(Anthropologie, $16)

12. BioSilk Silk Therapy Coconut Oil 3-in-1

Infused with coconut oil and silk, this wash is gentle enough for the most sensitive skin, soothing it with moisturizing oils. Besides a body wash, you can also use it as a shampoo and conditioner.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

13. Volto Urbano Cleansing Foam

The foam is super luxe, and great for purifying pores and protecting skin from moisture loss. It includes ingredients like black cumin and black raspberry, mixed with plant oils with essential fatty acids.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

14. Indigo Wild Zum Wash with Frankincense & Myrrh

This body wash is 95 percent organic oils and silk proteins, for super soft skin and great skin hydration. It includes oils of olive, coconut and jojoba, and silk proteins for extra skin conditioning.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

15. L'Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil

Made with yummy almond oil, this cleansing wash leaves you with a toasty, warm "almondy" smell. And with omega 6 fatty acids from the almond oil, you’ll be happy with just how soft and healthy your skin will look and feel

(Sephora, $25)

16. Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Dove is a well-known brand that everyone seems to love. In this case, this sensitive skin body wash is great for all skin types, leaving the skin soft, smooth, and moisturized.

“With a hypoallergenic formula, the body wash is gentle on the skin as it nourishes and protects with every use. Containing a ‘moisture renew blend technology’, your natural moisture level stays hydrated for an all-day soft and clean feel,” says Stephanie Ivonne, licensed esthetician who serves on the advisory board for Smart Style Today.

(Walmart, $5.94)

17. Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash

“Dry skin needs to be exfoliated, and the Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash has glycolic acid which is an alpha hydroxy that can help remove dead skin,” Ross adds. After exfoliating, always make sure to use and extra emollient and hydrating body lotion.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

18. Dermalogica Conditioning Body Wash

“The Dermalogica Conditioning Body Wash has a lot of beneficial essential ingredients, oils and botanicals, which are really great for overall skin health and reducing inflammation in the skin,” Ross says.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

19. Kopari Beauty Hydrating Body Wash

This body wash combines organic coconut water, sea kelp, and aloe vera juice to smooth, hydrate, and calm skin while you cleanse. The shower gel foams to perfection for that fresh feeling we all love, and is scented like sweet coconut milk.

(Ulta, $13.50)

20. Pacifica Lavender Moon Body Wash

This delicious-smelling body wash is loaded with antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, plant extracts, coconut water, and plant-powered aromatherapy. Plus, it's vegan and cruelty-free.

(Target, $9.99)

Best Eczema Body Wash

“One of the fundamental issues rooted in the development of eczema is an impaired skin barrier, which can occur from changes in weather, certain products, stress and pollution,” warns Dr. Rachel Maiman, board-eligible general and cosmetic dermatologist.

This makes skin more sensitive to irritants, allergens, bacteria and other invaders. A damaged skin barrier also makes it harder for the skin to retain water, leading to chronic dry, itchy skin, which can cause eczema to flare or get worse.

21. SkinFix Barrier+ Foaming Oil Cleanser

“Like all products in the Barrier+ line by SkinFix, the science behind this body wash is a dense composition of naturally-derived oils similar to the lipids found in the skin barrier, combined with nutripeptide proteins and botanical actives that have been scientifically proven to increase the quantity of skin's vital lipids,” Maiman says.

The result is an astoundingly fast improvement in the dry and sensitive skin inherent to those suffering with eczema as well as sustained results over time that improve with continued use.

(Sephora, $28)

22. Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream Body Wash

A super entle cleanser, it's designed for sensitive, eczema-prone skin. It also has a low surfactant formula, which means it helps avoid dryness and irritation from cleansing by not stripping the skin of its natural moisture.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

23. NIVEA Nourishing Body Wash

Made with a blend of plant-derived oils and vitamins, it’s soothing and relaxing while cleansing. It contains a hint of creamy almond milk to make things feel tropical.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

24. Teadora Wild Superfood Multi-Tasking Cleanser

An exotic body wash made with a blend of Brazilian Rainforest superfruit extracts (Açaí, Buriti, Cupuaçu), it's full of antioxidants, vitamins and fatty acids for moisture and hydration.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

25. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash

Super-nurturing and loaded with moisture, it will leave skin soft and smooth, and feeling healthy, even after you rinse off the creamy lather.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

26. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

This cleanser is so gentle, you can use it with or without water. It's wonderful for hydrating and soothing sensitive skin.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: 9 Best Bubble Baths For A Decadent Evening Couple's Soak

Best Body Wash for Women

A woman’s body is different from a man's, and body washes for women were created created to help keep our “lady bits” in tip-top health.

Says Yates, "When choosing a body wash within this category, be sure to look for washes that highlight they are free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, dyes, fragrances." The key is to maintain healthy level of bacteria and pH.

27. Aveda Cherry Almond Hand and Body Wash

Gently cleanse and condition skin with this nourishing wash that includes ingredients like babassu-nut, cherry blossom and sweet almond oil.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

28. Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Foaming Shower Gel

This shower gel blends the delicate sweetness of cherry blossom with organic rice milk. It's a scent to die for.

(Sephora, $9.50)

29. Athena Club Creamy Body Wash

The creamy wash cleanses, softens and protects skin. It contains vitamins, omegas, healthy extracts and antioxidants, including Vitamin B5.

(Urban Outfitters, $13)

Best Body Wash for Men

Sometimes, a man's skin requires a more intense, aggressive form of cleansing. But you don't want one that is so harsh it causes breakouts and irritation. Hydration and cleansing without irritating is still the name of the game.

30. Disco Body Wash

Men’s body chemistry needs a different kind of cleansing power, and this one is made with good-for-his-skin papaya extract, aloe and chamomile, which will wash away dirt, stink, and sweat. It’s important to strike the perfect balance between cleansing and preventing drying.

(Urban Outfitters, $20)

31. Babor Spa Shaping Shower Gel

This mild shower gel is made with an extract of Sorbus torminalis fruit stem cells. It leaves skin feeling pleasantly cleansed and conditioned.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

32. Brickell Invigorating Mint Body Wash

This natural body wash for men will stimulate and invigorate skin as it deep-cleans to remove oil, sweat, and grime without stripping essential moisture.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

33. Jack Black Turbo Wash Energizing Cleanser

A dual-purpose, sulfate-free body and hair cleanser, it washes away dirt and sweat without overdrying, leaving the entire body feeling revitalized for peak performance.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

34. Olivina Men All-In-One Wash

All-in-one body washes make everything easier, and this one is naturally-derived, good for face, body, and hair. It has a a classic scent, too!

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

35. Kiehl's Body Fuel All-In-One Energizing Wash

Another all-in-one cleanser that is a body wash and shampoo in one! It's infused with caffeine, vitamin C, zinc, and menthol.

(Sephora, $20)

36. Paula's Choice PC4Men 2-In-One Body Wash

Free of soap, this was contains panthenol and aloe, and can be used on both hair and skin. The skin-softening formula works great for all skin types.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

Best Natural Body Wash

If your skin is prone to irritations and breakouts, going for a natural body wash is your best bet. It's better for your skin and the environment!

37. Tom's of Maine Prebiotic Natural Body Wash in Lavender

This is made with the prebiotic ingredient Inulin, and offers a sulfate-free, dermatologist-tested formula that retains skin’s natural moisture and gently cleanses.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

38. Green Goo All-Natural Castile Soap

The pure castile soap is all-natural and multi-use to moisturizes and nourish skin. It’s 100 percent all-natural, plant-based, organic, and cruelty-free.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

39. Burt's Bees Citrus Ginger Body Wash

Not only does this body wash smell like citrus and ginger, it also cleanses gently to keep skin smelling and feeling delicious.

(Target, $8.99)

40. Elina Organics Skincare Herbal Body Wash

This organic mild, gentle body wash is handmade and contains a blend of herbs that nourish and strengthen skin. It uses the calming, healing properties of natural ingredients to leave skin invigorated.

(Elina Organics Skincare, $28)

41. CHI Naturals with Olive Oil Hair Shampoo & Body Wash

A body wash that's gentle and rich, its lather that removes impurities while adding essential moisture. It offers balanced care for hair and scalp while maintaining and preserving hair color.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

42. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Body Wash in Honeysuckle

“This refreshing, cool and soothing formula has a gentle ‘garden formulated scent’ created with a fresh essential oils blend, giving you a nice overall shower experience,” Ivonne adds. With flaxseed oil and aloe vera gel, skin is left feeling clean and moisturized.

(Walmart, $16.49)

RELATED: What Happened When I Exfoliated My Face With Silkworm Cocoons

Best Unscented Body Wash

Fragrance can be one of the most irritating components of any beauty product. As a result, a category of body wash eliminates most ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin, including aloe vera and chamomile.

43. Beekman 1802 Pure Goat Milk Hand & Body Wash

Imagine the soothing goodness of a milky bath, but in a convenient bottle for the shower. The skin-healing goat milk softens skin while washing away impurities for a pure and simple soft clean.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

44. CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash

This fab body wash cleanses and moisturizes, but also has ceramides that help restore and protect the skin's health.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

Best Exfoliating Body Wash

No one wants skin that feels rough and scaly! A great exfoliating body wash will help keep skin soft and smooth (and deliciously touchable).

45. Sarah Swanson Beauty Exfoliating Soap Bar

Now, this is one cool exfoliating soap! It's made with a built-in loofa made with all-natural essential infused oils.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

46. St. Ives Radiant Skin Exfoliating Body Wash

A great exfoliating body wash will gently help to polish away little imperfections, and leave you with smooth, soft, radiant skin.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

47. Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash

This body wash is so smart, it uses sea minerals to exfoliate skin. But it's also loaded with moisturizing skin nourishers to keep skin hydrated and soft.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

48. Aveeno Positively Radiant Exfoliating Body Wash

Soap-free, this body wash is made with a hydrating soy complex that kicks up skin's natural radiance. It uses crushed walnut shells and natural exfoliants to sweep away dry, dull skin.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

49. Ogx Smoothing+ Coconut Coffee Scrub & Wash

This is like brunch in a body wash! A blend of arabica coffee and coconut oil, both help with exfoliating and moisturizing to hydrate your skin.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

50. CeraVe SA Body Wash For Rough & Bumpy Skin

CeraVe does it all. It cleanses and exfoliates while helping to restore the protective skin barrier with 3 essential ceramides.

(CVS, $14.99)

Best Cruelty-Free Body Wash

Every product on the market today should not be tested on animals. And with these body washes, you don't have to worry about using an ethical product.

51. Method Body Wash in Pure Piece

Each naturally derived formula features a trio of nutrient-rich, plant-based ingredients and a delicious scent. It contains no parabens or phthalates, is cruelty-free, and packaged in a bottle made from 65 percent recycled plastic.

(Target, $6.99)

52. Pink Moon Meant Do-All Wash

A 3-in-1 shampoo, facial and body wash, it's cruelty-free, gentle for all ages, and infused with aloe vera and coconut oil with notes of bergamot and grapefruit essential oils.

(, $28)

53. 100% Pure French Lavender Shower Gel

This cruelty-free, richly foaming shower gel lifts away dirt, oil, and impurities, while rehydrating thirsty skin with aloe and rose hydrosol. It's infused with clean, calming lavender.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

54. Bathing Culture Mind and Body Wash

An organic, biodegradable, cruelty-free, all-purpose and concentrated soap, the essential oil-based scent was inspired by the Redwood canopies of northern California. It's made using organic Rainforest Alliance certified and sustainably Wild Harvested ingredients.

(Bathing Culture, $20)

55. Nubian Heritage Abyssinian Oil & Chia Seed Body Wash

This wash gently exfoliates and luxuriously moisturizes to smooth your skin, which leaves everything soft and smooth.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: 21 Best Products For Clearing Up Back Acne AKA Bacne

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her.

YourTango may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through links featured in this article.