Have you found the best body wash or soap for your dry skin yet? If not, you’re in the right place. We sorted through hundreds of products to find the top body washes that clean and moisturize without stripping natural oils.
It’s unpleasant to have itchy, tight skin after a bath. Here are soaps and body washes that moisturize while you shower. But for best results, it’s still smart to apply lotion after bathing.
We’ve divided the best body washes for dry skin into categories. That’s because many people battling dryness also need to take care of acne-prone, sensitive skin. Let’s review the top products now.
Best Body Washes for Dry Skin (Moisturizing)
1. Dove Body Wash, Dry Oil Moisture
Dove’s Dry Oil Moisture body wash is a winner because it contains Moroccan Argan oil. This natural extract absorbs into the skin and protects it from dryness. Moreover, the soap itself lathers up pleasantly and rinses quickly.
2. Dove Body Wash, Deep Moisture
Customers who like Dove’s Deep Moisture body wash say it leaves their skin silky smooth. It works well but costs less than many competing brands.
3. Aveeno Positively Nourishing For Dry Skin
Aveeno’s Positively Nourishing body wash relies on glycerin, shea butter, and fig extract to soften and hydrate dehydrated skin. Customers report that it smells delicious and makes their skin feel supple and smooth after bathing.
4. Bliss Lemon & Sage Soapy Suds Body Wash
Fans of the Bliss Lemon and Sage body wash love its perky citrus scent. It’s packed with glycerin and aloe to moisturizes skin as it lathers away grime. Moreover, it does not contain sulfates, one of the most drying ingredients in soap.
5. NIVEA Creme Moisture Moisturizing Body Wash
Nivea’s Crème Moisture body wash contains many of the same ingredients found in their classic thick cream. As a result, this product soothes parched skin and protects it. If you’re someone who forgets to moisturize after a shower, this body wash might be the best choice.
6. Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil
Tell staph bacteria goodbye when you use the Atoderm Shower Oil from Bioderma. It keeps the bacteria from sticking to the skin. Plus, it contains natural moisturizers like glycerin and vegetal bio-lipids to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier.
7. Everyone 3-In-1 Soap, Lavender plus Aloe
The Everyone Soap with lavender and aloe is versatile in that you can use it as a shampoo and a shave cream. It uses cocoa-sulfate to create a pleasant lather. And it does not contain SLS, artificial fragrances, or parabens.
8. Kiss My Face Fragrance-Free Shower Gel
The Kiss My Face shower gel contains natural moisturizers like aloe and olive oil plus Vitamin E. It leaves skin smooth and soft. Plus, the vegan formula foams away dirt and excess oil without the need for sulfates, artificial fragrances, or parabens.
9. Dove DermaSeries Fragrance-Free Body Wash
Dove makes a fragrance-free body wash that protects sensitive skin from irritation and dryness. It’s tested to be very mild yet moisturizing. The formula contains both lipids and plant oils to nourish the skin.
10. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil’s Gentle Cleanser is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic to defend sensitive, dry skin against irritation. Persons with eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea say it cleans their skin but leaves it soft and not itchy. It’s also possible to use this body wash without rinsing.
11. Puracy Natural Body Wash
Puracy’s Natural Body Wash lacks many of the most common irritants like drying alcohols, triclosan, sulfates, parabens, and artificial dyes and perfumes. Instead, it cleanses with the power of pink grapefruit oil and Himalayan Sea Salt. Plus, it lathers up with a gentle surfactant called coco glycinate. Moreover, it’s safe for children, adults, and pets.
12. CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash
Dermatologist-formulated CeraVe body wash is a top choice for allergy-prone persons. It contains ceramides that fortify the skin and lock-in moisture. But it avoids artificial perfumes, parabens, and sulfates. Therefore, it’s mild enough that the National Eczema Association recommends it.
13. CeraVe Eczema Soothing Body Wash
CeraVe also sells a gentle and soothing body wash for persons with eczema. It’s another product with a Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association. Plus, it has both ceramides and Omega oils to heal itchy skin and prevent psoriasis outbreaks.
14. Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash
Eucerin’s Skin Calming wash lacks a synthetic fragrance to avoid irritating sensitive skin. However, it does contain sulfates. But this is not necessarily bad as they create an adequate lather to remove excess oil. And the natural lipids from castor and soy lock in moisture.
15. Oleavine Therapeutic Tea Tree Oil Soap with Neem Oil
Tea tree and neem oils are a time-tested remedy for acne and bacterial and fungal infections. They soothe inflamed skin and reduce itchiness. But this body wash doesn’t just eliminate dirt and germs; it also moisturizes with Omega fatty acids and natural extracts. Furthermore, the formula does not contain artificial dyes or fragrances, preservatives, or petroleum derivatives.
16. Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap
Mario Badescu’s AHA Body Soap contains alpha hydroxy acids derived from fruit. These acids gently exfoliate dead skin, cleanse pores, and reduce excess oil. But this body wash also has glycerin to attract moisture and soothing oat protein that diminishes irritation. Plus, there’s ginseng to rejuvenate dull skin.
17. Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar with Activated Charcoal & Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
Fans of the Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar like how it deep-cleans pores with mineral mud and activated charcoal. Eucalyptus, lemongrass, and peppermint purify the skin and add a pleasant tingle. Additionally, the soap is full of organic oils to soften the skin and protect against dryness.
18. Eucerin Sensitive Skin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
Eucerin’s Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is mild enough to use on your face. It can remove makeup just as easily as it washes away excess oil. But it leaves the skin soft and pliable.
19. Olay Age Defying with Vitamin E Body Wash
Olay’s Age-Defying body wash fights free radicals with the antioxidant Vitamin E. As a result, it restores elasticity and a younger appearance to dry skin. Additionally, the effect lasts up to 24 hours after use.
20. Cetaphil Marigold Extract Ultra Gentle Soothing Body Wash
Cetaphil offers a gentle cleanser with a stress-relief fragrance. It’s comprised of aloe and Vitamin B5 plus other moisturizers that soften the skin.
How to care for dry skin and stop the itching and cracking
As anyone who lives in an arid environment knows, it’s essential to use moisturizer. The dryer your skin, the creamier and thicker a lotion you need. But there’s more you can do to protect yourself against dry skin.
In the shower and bath
Oddly enough, washing with plain water can dry out your skin faster than using soap. That’s why it’s smart to use a body wash designed to care for dry skin.
The first step is to decide whether a bath or shower to be most beneficial to you. For example, if you are dealing with psoriasis, a 15-minute soak in warm water can soften scales for removal. On the other hand, a bath can irritate acne-prone skin.
Next, as you wash, keep the bathroom humid by closing doors and windows. Don’t use hot water because it can remove moisture from the skin.
Once you’re done, blot your skin dry, don’t scrub with the towel. Although exfoliation is helpful for removing the top layer of dead skin, don’t use abrasives.
Instead, once a week, use alpha or beta hydroxy acids to exfoliate chemically. This could mean using a body wash with these ingredients or even a moisturizer.
Then the next step is to apply moisturizer. If you have especially problematic areas like your elbows or heels, try the following.
Choose a thick cream like petroleum jelly, Nivea, or Bag Balm. Some of the best ingredients to look for are shea butter, urea, glycerin, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, and even lanolin and mineral oil.
Coat the cracked skin with a heavy layer of the product, then cover it while you sleep. It’s called occlusion, and it’s a method familiar to those battling psoriasis. This may mean wearing socks or gloves to bed or wrapping the affected part with the bandage. In the morning you should notice an astonishing difference.
If it stings or tingles, it might be drying out your skin
As pleasant as it can be to shower with a body wash that contains menthol, it might be drying out your skin. That tingling sensation is a clue that your skin is irritated although it isn’t burning or itching at the moment.
If you tend to experience rashes or acne when you try new skincare products, purchase ones that are fragrance-free. Perfumes are one of the top irritants.
Avoid soaps that list alcohol (unless it’s fatty alcohol) or retinoids because they will strip the skin’s natural oils. Even salicylic acid will do this if it’s used too frequently. In fact, it can cause hair loss.
If you want to use a gentle exfoliant, try glycolic or lactic acid.
Look for humectants on the label
Humectants are components that draw moisture into the skin. Examples of humectants are glycerin, hyaluronic acid, aloe, and honey. Some sources recommend synthetic humectants like propylene glycol, but those are problematic for some people.
Change your shampoo, too
We also investigated the best shampoos for dry scalp. Be sure to use nourishing products from head to toe for best results.
Avoid these drying ingredients
Sadly, artificial perfumes and chemical preservatives are probably the number one cause of allergies. As nice as some soaps smell, it’s not worth having red and flaky skin. Also, dry skin is often unable to defend itself from irritants. Therefore, try to avoid these ingredients when you shop for body wash. Or at least accept only soaps where these components appear lower down on the label.
First, there are drying alcohols like:
- SD alcohol
- benzyl alcohol
- denatured alcohol
- isopropyl alcohol
- ethanol or ethyl alcohol
Next, retinoids used in acne body wash can dry out skin as well.
After that, anything that contains lye or other caustic components will upset the pH balance of your skin. Lowering the pH leads to extra dryness. (Think about how your hands feel after using dish detergent. This is definitely not the ideal way to care for your skin.)
Finally, sulfates like sodium lauryl (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are made to foam up and remove oil. But they could strip away too much of the natural oil of your skin. Instead, look for safer surfactants like these:
- Methyl Cocoyl or Lauryl Taurate
- Sodium Cocyl Isethionate
- Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate
- Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate
- Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate
It may seem like a lot to remember. But just bookmark our page for when you go shopping.
We hope you found the perfect body wash for dry skin today. There are several smart choices for persons with sensitive, acne-prone, and even combination skin. You don’t need to endure itchy, flaky, or cracked skin any longer.
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