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The Best Body Washes for Women

Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated June 2022

If your bar soap or outdated body wash isn't doing the trick, we can help you find the right blend of ingredients to target your needs, whether you need extra hydration or relief from aggravated acne. Check out our top picks for women's body washes.

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  Best for Body Acne Best Exfoliating Best Moisturizing Best Organic Best for Sensitive Skin
 
  Humane
Maximum-Strength Acne Body Wash
OGX
3-Pack Coconut Coffee Exfoliating Scrub
Dove
Naturally Nourishing Body Wash
Avalon Organics
Lavender Bath & Shower Gel
Aveeno
Fragrance-Free Skin Relief Body Wash
 
Our SummaryA body wash that targets and treats the primary cause of acne.Formulated to condition dry, rough skin.This body wash nourishes skin with its rich, creamy formula.It gently cleanses and hydrates extra-dry skin.Enriched with oats for smooth, balanced skin.
ProsAcne fighter, contains peroxide, unclogs pores, reduces inflammation, non-foaming, head to toe, cruelty-free, no perfumes, parabens, phthalates, or sulfates.Body wash and scrub, hydrates and moisturizes, contains arabica coffee and coconut oil, leaves skin glowing, three large bottles.Gentle hydration, rich and creamy formula, plant-based nutrients, dermatologist-recommended, PETA certified, 100% recyclable bottle.Includes soothing lavender and vitamin E, higher end, plant-based with essential oils, EWG certified, vegan, biodegradable, no GMOs.Soap-free, fragrance-free, targets dry and itchy skin, fights bacteria on skin, oat-based formula, allergy-tested and alcohol-free.
ConsPeroxide may stain towels and cloths.Less gritty than other exfoliators.Extra-thick formula, so apply conservatively.More gel-like in consistency than others.No artificial perfumes but contains natural scents.
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The Best Body Washes for Women

Youth female with wet hair washing body while holding loofah in hand.
Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock.com

Shower and bath time are your time to unwind and thank your skin for another productive day protecting your body from whatever’s in the air. It’s important to make the most of it, and your skin, with a quality, naturally infused body wash that helps restore skin with organic oils (and maybe a touch of benzoyl peroxide to treat angry acne). If you’ve tried brand after brand and still haven’t found the right product, you might find your new favorite shower buddy in one of these top-rated body washes.

Buying Guide for Body Washes

Close up young woman applying liquid soap on white bath loofah.
fizkes/Shutterstock.com

Why invest in a new body wash?

If you want to effectively treat extra-dry skin or clogged, acne-prone pores—from head to toe—a quality body wash could be the answer to your shower woes. Body washes featuring essential botanical oils and other natural ingredients, like hydrating oats, can take your skin from dull and dehydrated to glowing and moisturized in a single use. Add a touch of bacteria-fighting benzoyl peroxide to the mix if needed, and you’ve got an end-to-end solution for unsatisfied skin. Plus, you can use body wash as shaving cream in a pinch!

What should you know before buying?

  • Skin Demands: Choose the perfect body wash based on your skin’s needs, whether they’re hydration, deep cleansing, or both. It’s important to target problem areas to maintain calm, balanced skin that isn’t left feeling angry, thirsty, or undernourished.
  • Ingredients: It’s vital to ensure ingredients won’t harm your body, especially if you have sensitive skin. Look for products that boast natural infusions, like essential oils, coconut, or oats, and cruelty-free ingredients without GMOs, parabens, or sulfates.

What’s the most effective way to use body wash?

Every time you shower or soak, simply add a dime-sized amount of body wash (this helps save money over time) to a clean, wet washcloth or loofah—something with a little extra grit for a deeper clean—and gently scrub from head to toe in a soft, circular motion, as to not aggravate sensitive skin or delicate areas. After you’ve exfoliated your entire body, watch all of the day’s dirt and grime swirl down the drain. Post-shower, apply body lotion or oil to lock in extra moisture for super smooth, hydrated skin.

Our Picks for the Best Body Washes for Women

Best for Body Acne

Humane Maximum-Strength Acne Body Wash

A body wash that targets and treats the primary cause of acne.

Pros: Formulated with 10% benzoyl peroxide (which kills bacteria on the skin), Humane Maximum-Strength Acne Wash is a potent cleansing treatment that targets acne by helping unclog dirty pores, reduce inflammation, and combat excessively oily skin. The gentle body wash is also dermatologist-tested, so you can feel confident adding it to your daily skincare routine. It’s a non-foaming cleanser for head-to-toe coverage. Feel free to apply it anywhere, knowing it attacks everything from face breakouts to pesky, painful back acne. Humane is vegan, cruelty-free, and doesn’t include perfumes, parabens, phthalates, or sulfates.

Cons: Hydrogen peroxide contains mild bleaching properties, so be sure to rinse thoroughly before using your nice towels to dry off.

Bottom Line: When it comes to OTC body washes for acne, you can’t beat Humane. It can help target and relieve body acne anywhere on your body and leave skin feeling clean and refreshed.

 

Best Exfoliating

OGX 3-Pack Coconut Coffee Exfoliating Scrub

Formulated to condition dry, rough skin.

Pros: This smoothing body scrub and wash from OGX is packed with hydrating ingredients that help moisturize and soften dry skin. It features exotic arabica coffee and coconut oil that exfoliate your entire body, removing dead skin cells and opening pores to help lock in long-lasting moisture. And who doesn’t love the smell of coffee in the morning? This body wash’s natural ingredients work to keep your skin supple and glowing, and its unique formula adds a glow to dull skin and gives your skin a jumpstart to your day. You’ll get three large bottles of your new favorite body wash for a low price.

Cons: Since this is a body wash and scrub in one, it’s less gritty than other exfoliators on the market.

Bottom Line: Looking for an elevated morning skincare routine? Add an exotic blend of coffee and coconut to help awaken your skin (and your senses) first thing in the morning.

 

Pros: Dove is known for gentle, hydrating skincare products, and its Naturally Nourishing Body Wash for dry skin is a great example. It includes Dove’s rich, creamy “moisture renew” blend featuring a combination of natural nourishers (nutrients already produced by your skin) and plant-based moisturizers that absorb deep into the top layers of your skin, providing much-needed, lasting hydration throughout the day. It’s also dermatologist-recommended, PETA-certified, cruelty-free, and comes in a 100% recycled bottle, so no hard feelings when switching from your everyday bar soap.

Cons: This body wash is extra thick. Only apply what you need to avoid having to rinse off (and waste) product.

Bottom Line: It’s a quality body wash from a renowned brand known for softening and moisturizing extra-dry skin, so you can feel confident in your purchase right off the bat.

 

Best Organic

Avalon Organics Lavender Bath & Shower Gel

It gently cleanses and hydrates extra-dry skin.

Pros: If you love the naturally soothing effects of lavender and ever-important vitamin E, Avalon Organics Bath and Shower Gel could be the perfect fit. This higher-end body wash gently cleanses and hydrates all skin types with certified organic, plant-based ingredients, like gentle flower botanicals and essential oils. Its gentle blend is also verified by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which adheres to the strictest criteria for ingredients, transparency, and health, so you can feel super safe using your new shower gel. It’s also vegan, biodegradable, and contains zero GMOs.

Cons: This body wash is more gel-like in consistency and doesn’t lather as much as others on the market.

Bottom Line: This effective blend of vitamin E and other plant-based ingredients is a gentle way to start or end your day. And you’ll feel no guilt cleaning up with its EWG-friendly ingredients.

 

Best for Sensitive Skin

Aveeno Fragrance-Free Skin Relief Body Wash

Enriched with oats for smooth, balanced skin.

Pros: Another well-known skincare brand, Aveeno has a fragrance-free body wash that targets dry, itchy skin and retains tons of moisture for an extra-smooth afterglow. This is another wash that fights skin bacteria for a happier, healthier complexion using a gentle, oat-based formula that cleanses your body and helps maintain the integrity of your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Aveeno body wash is allergy-tested and dye- and alcohol-free, making it a welcome addition to your daily routine without drying out or irritating sensitive skin.

Cons: In this case, “fragrance-fee” means no artificial perfumes or scents. You may be able to smell its natural oils, like coconut and Myrrha.

Bottom Line: If you struggle with itchy, irritated skin, this naturally inspired body wash can help keep your entire body feeling cool, calm, and happily hydrated.

Final Thoughts

Is your skin dry and itchy? Dull and dead? Are your pores begging for some exfoliation? You’ll add extra nutrients and much-needed moisture to your next shower or bath with one of these top-rated body washes. They’re popular for a reason.

Liana Whitehead Liana Whitehead
For the past 10 years, Liana has worked as a writer and editor for several industries, including newspapers, magazines, ghostwriting, and corporate B2B advertising—she loves it all. Always pushing and challenging herself, Liana has written for grand-scale companies, like Fortune 500’s CoreLogic and 100-year-old Herald Publications based in Los Angeles. Read Full Bio »
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