Chances are you might be taking multiple showers a day this summer: After all, the humidity can get real. Give your skin some love with the best body wash for your skin type or skin care needs. While you can certainly pull up any old bar soap to cleanse your body, investing in a high-quality body wash or shower gel not only gets you clean but comes with additional benefits for your skin.
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann, MD, you may also be better off using a body wash as opposed to a bar of soap, because “soaps have a very high pH, are made from strong detergents, and can irritate the skin.” On the other hand, body washes can come in a number of formulations, made for different types of skin concerns, such as dry or acne-prone skin. It’s therefore so much easier to pick a body wash that can target the exact issue you’re having, getting right to the root of the problem.
What to look for in a body wash, based on your skin type
No matter your skin concern, there’s a body wash out there that can help, according to Dr. Bauman. Below, both she and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Erum Ilyas, MD, at Schweiger Dermatology Group explain how to pick the best body wash for you based on the skin issue you’re targeting.
Dry skin: Those with dry skin should look for moisturizing body washes that contain thick softening agents like shea butter, almond and jojoba oils, ceramides, or hyaluronic acid. Look for body washes free of alcohol, scents, dyes, and other skin-irritating chemicals to help combat dryness. If you have eczema, look for a body wash that has the National Eczema Association seal on the bottle, which means it doesn’t include ingredients that can cause flare-ups in patients with eczema.
Oily or acne-prone skin: For oily skin, it’s recommended to use a body wash that contains a decongestant like salicylic acid or tea tree oil, but Dr. Illyas is quick to explain that these ingredients may overdry the skin if used too often. “Ideally, two to three times a week maximum is best,” she says.
Sensitive skin: Those with sensitive skin should try soothing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, vitamin E, or aloe vera, and stay away from harsher options.
Dull skin: Brightening ingredients such as vitamin C and exfoliators like small beads or granules can often renew skin texture and keep dark, ashy marks at bay.
Mature skin: Mature skin is generally on the dryer side, so dermatologists recommend similar ingredients, such as moisturizing oils to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and shea butter to calm thirsty skin.
Ready to upgrade your shower routine? Whether you’re looking for a body wash with beads, sugar, or salt to remove dead skin or you just want to switch up to a new scent, there’s something for everyone. We spoke to several skin-care experts, sifted through dozens of options, and even tried a few of these options ourselves. Our top body wash picks include top-rated skin-care brands like CeraVe, Neutrogena, La Roche-Posay, and more. You can find them on Amazon, Sephora, and Ulta with some even available at your local drugstore. And remember that the second you step out of the shower is the best time to moisturize with your favorite moisturizer and body oil.