Body Wash

Cetaphil cleans up best in body wash ratings

Showers aren’t just for singing while imitating dramatic music videos in our heads. It’s also a time to lather up your favourite body wash, helping your skin feel softer and smell a whole lot better. Plus, there’s an exciting variety of shower gels, creams, oils, and extra exfoliating and moisturising formulas out there. And let’s not even start on the wide range of scents.

In the second year of our body wash ratings, Canstar Blue has surveyed more than 1,700 Aussies to find out which brands are scrubbing up best – and which just stink! Brands were rated on their effectiveness, feel on skin, consistency, smell, packaging, value for money and overall satisfaction. The feedback we’ve received is reflected by the star ratings you see above.

While 16 brands made the cut, Cetaphil had a smooth win as the only brand to get five stars for overall satisfaction. It also earned five stars for feel on skin, and rated four stars on effectiveness, consistency, packaging and value for money. Although when it came to smell, the brand seemed to be a little on the nose with a score of three stars in this category.

Best-Rated Body Wash

The 16 brands in our 2019 body wash review were rated in the following order for overall satisfaction:

  • 1st Cetaphil
  • 2nd Dove
  • 3rd Aveeno
  • 4th Nivea
  • 5th QV
  • 6th Lux
  • 7th Thankyou
  • 8th Dettol
  • 9th Radox
  • 10th Original Source
  • 11th Palmolive
  • 12th Johnson’s
  • 13th Lynx
  • 14th Coles
  • 15th ALDI Juliet
  • 16th Sukin

Cetaphil is bathing in its first win, being the only brand to score five stars for overall satisfaction. Dove, Aveeno, Nivea, QV, Lux, Thankyou, Dettol, Radox, Original Source, Palmolive, Johnson’s, Lynx and Coles all received four stars for overall satisfaction, while ALDI Juliet and Sukin had to settle for three stars apiece.

But that’s not to say the other brands didn’t manage to soak up some five-star ratings success this year. QV earned a win alongside Cetaphil when it comes to feel on skin, and again joined Dove with five stars for effectiveness. ALDI Juliet was the only brand to get five stars on value for money, similar to Thankyou in terms of packaging. Aveeno and Lux got five-star ratings for consistency, with Lux also receiving top marks on smell, alongside Original Source.

Now, let’s look at what consumers found to be most important when buying body wash.

What to consider when buying body wash?

When it comes to body wash, there are several key factors to think about. Our survey identified the following drivers of satisfaction, listed in order of importance:

  • Feel on skin: 33%
  • Effectiveness: 18%
  • Value for money: 18%
  • Packaging: 13%
  • Consistency: 12%
  • Smell: 7%

Just before we unpack the above factors, this is what else our survey revealed:

Feel on skin

Body wash aims to clean your skin and in turn, helps leave it feeling soft. As it’s typically used every day, it shouldn’t make your skin dry by stripping off your natural oils or sting when you apply it. For different skin types – sensitive, dry or oily – you’ll find specific options targeting these factors.

  • Cetaphil and QV received five stars for feel on skin, with majority of brands getting four stars, except for Original Source, Lynx, Coles, ALDI Juliet and Sukin which rated three stars.


This year, effectiveness was rated as the second most important driver of satisfaction when it comes to body wash. Why bother with it if it’s not doing the job? 48% of survey respondents said they’ve tried different brands and if our review is anything to go by, there are plenty of options in the pool of body washes. So, if one brand doesn’t cut it, it’s easy to switch.

  • Dove and QV scored the highest with five stars, although most brands received three stars while Cetaphil, Lux, Thankyou, Dettol and Radox recorded four stars.

Value for money

Getting good value for money is important for a product that’s usually used every day. Our survey found that 14% of Aussies always buy the cheapest brand. Certain skin concerns might also influence whether a product is value for money, which can result in extra costs. For example, a quarter of shoppers (25%) head towards options with additional benefits, such as exfoliating and moisturising, while 15% buy a specific brand for sensitive skin.

  • ALDI Juliet was the only brand to get five stars for value for money, with the majority of brands receiving four stars. Aveeno, QV, Thankyou, Lynx and Sukin rated three stars.


Packaging can make a difference to the overall experience of using body wash. While it doesn’t directly affect the end result, having a bottle that’s easy to hold, pour and use is a plus. Even one that suits the ascetic of your bathroom can make you buy one brand over another.

  • Thankyou was the only brand to receive a five-star rating for packaging, with most achieving four stars except Coles, ALDI Juliet and Sukin which got three stars.


Body wash comes in a range of textures, so you’d want to find one that makes you want to lather up every time you shower or bathe. Whether you like formulas that are silky smooth or with exfoliating beads, there are different options out there. However, no one enjoys a consistency that feels lumpy or gritty.

  • Aveeno and Lux earned five stars for consistency, with most brands getting four stars except for Lynx, Coles, ALDI Juliet and Sukin on three stars.


Many brands offer a variety of fragrances for different scent preferences, so having the option to change it up from time to time – but being able to stick with the same brand – is a plus. After all, you’re the only one who ‘nose’ what’s best for you.

  • Lux and Original Source stood out with five-star ratings, followed by an even split between seven brands which got four stars and the remaining half were left on three stars.

We hope you’ve found this guide helpful! If your current body wash isn’t up to standard, why not try one of the brands at the top of our ratings.

Body Moisturiser Reviews

Picture credits: Africa Studio/.com, TORWAISTUDIO/.com, showcake/.com

When it comes to skincare, winter is not the most wonderful time of year. Jack Frost tends to bring everyone—even those who aren’t typically dry—some form of unfriendly flakes and irritation. The saying is true: “Our skin is like leather,” says Jenny Liu, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota. When it’s dry, it fails to “keep good things like water in, and bad things like allergens and bacteria out.” She adds that dry skin is easily inflamed by micro-traumas or abrasion (say, minor cracks) which causes that uncomfortable itch.

“As humidity levels drop all around, our skin is not as good at holding onto moisture,” explains Tiffany J. Libby, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University. “Secondly, as we age, our natural oils in our skin decrease,” and those oils are responsible for maintaining the skin’s protective moisture barrier.

Keeping that barrier intact starts with switching up your hygiene routine. Your first step: Aim to shower for no longer than five to 10 minutes under lukewarm water during the winter, since hot water only draws moisture out of your skin, says Meghan Feely, M.D, F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New Jersey and New York City who serves as a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai. Harsh soaps can also strip the skin of protective and hydrating oils, which is why it’s crucial to use one that’s oh-so moisturizing, replenishing, and gentle.

How to choose (and use) the best body wash for dry, sensitive skin

Go fragrance-free: Your body wash might smell like a tropical paradise, but that summer scent could be wreaking havoc on your winter skin. Dr. Libby suggests looking for washes that are hypoallergenic and free of steroids, sulfates, fragrances, dyes, aluminum, phthalates, and parabens—all of which can easily irritate sensitive skin.

Look for “sensitive” labels: According to Dr. Liu, washes bearing these words are normally less drying and often contain soothing and moisturizing ingredients, like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, oils, oat, soy, and shea butter. They also typically have a creamy or milky consistency rather than a sudsy lather.

Wash, moisturize, repeat: To avoid exacerbating existing dryness, you can simply lather and wash only under your arms, buttocks, or other visibly dirty or smelly areas. “We do not need it all over the body on a regular basis,” says Dr. Liu. Then, it’s crucial to moisturize directly out of the shower. “Ideally, you want to use a thicker lotion, cream or ointment to help seal in the moisture,” Dr. Libby says. (We suggest these derm-approved body lotions.)

That concludes Body Wash 101—now it’s time to shop the expert-approved products that fit the bill.

After testing the best bar soaps, the best body wash battle royale wasn’t far off. After all, “bar soap versus body wash” is basically the “boxers or briefs” of bathing, and we’d never leave half of all guys hanging. You either like to rub a solid bar all around your angles, or you want to lather liquid on your chest-loofah and spread it around like cream cheese on a bagel. (OK, some people like them both. But for most of us, it’s one or the other.)

If you’re in the body wash corner of that debate, you need a cleanser that’s equally hydrating as it is thorough. And it’s gotta smell fresh, and turn your daily shower into a steamy oxygen bar.

For us, the testing tour of duty was far from tough: Lathering with body wash means stimulating the senses via aromatherapy, scrubbing away dead skin cells (with the grittier options), and nourishing the skin with a ton of hydrating ingredients. One thing all of our winners have in common: each leaves skin feeling healthy and soft, unlike the grip of washes we tossed aside after round one. So, from scrubs to sinus clearers, drug store to designer, here are the body washes that distinguished themselves. If you’ve yet to find a body wash that deserves your loyalty, consider the 11 below. They’ll cover all those bases, and will give body washes one big vote of confidence over the competition. (But if you’re into solids, have a look at our favorite bar soaps, too.)

The Best Body Wash for Some Aromatherapy

Necessaire sandalwood body wash

Nordstrom $25 Buy Now

This antioxidant-rich formula combines oils of marula, meadowfoam, and cacay nut oil for a luxurious lather. Of Necessaire’s three scents (one of which is a lack thereof), we prefer the sandalwood option—it smells as refreshing as a hike through the mountains, and adds an extra layer of aromatherapy to an already rejuvenating rinse.

The Best Budget Body Wash

Harry’s “Stone” body wash

Target $7 Buy Now

Harry’s sulfate-free body wash comes in a jumbo size and at an affordable price—but that high-quality value is nothing new from the brand that innovated the men’s grooming industry. We’re big into all three scents, but it’s “Stone” that wins top prize, for its citrus and mineral finish. Or, stock up on all three; they’ll probably last you a whole year.

The Best Fancy Body Wash

Jack Black “Black Reserve” body wash

Amazon $52 Buy Now

If what you fancy is a fancy wash, then add Jack Black to cart. In particular, add its newest release, a limited edition “reserve” with a layered aroma: It’s got notes of lavender, bergamot, coriander, patchouli, cedarwood, and cardamom. Better yet, it soothes and fortifies skin with aloe vera, Vitamin B5, coconut surfactant, shea butter, and jojoba. Technically, this one is a 2-in-1 body wash and shampoo, which is nice, but we can’t bring ourselves to fully endorse the duality of such products. Instead, use this one as a body wash, which will only prolong its shelf life. (And at 33 fl. oz, that’s already a long shelf life.)

The Best Body Wash to Kickstart Your Day

Kiehl’s “Body Fuel” wash

Sephora $20 Buy Now

If you haven’t experienced the skin-tingling magic that is Kiehl’s Facial Fuel assortment, then now is your chance to get acquainted. Their body fuel cleans, hydrates, and energizes skin, kind of like a buckwheat or espresso shot in the morning shower. (That’s no surprise, since it contains caffeine, as well as refreshing and soothing menthol.) It’s pitched as a shampoo, too, but just use it on everything below the neck.

The Best Body Wash for All-Over Anti-Aging

Davines Oi body wash

Amazon $25 Buy Now

Davines’ body wash is loaded with antioxidant-rich roucou oil. It has a creamy consistency—kind of like a top-notch hand soap that leaves your hands feeling soft and cleansed. It helps restore your skin to its healthiest state, after a day’s worth of environmental damage and UV rays. Use it regularly as an added defense against the signs of aging, and you might look a decade younger than your friends in as many years.

The Best Upgrade-from-the-Drugstore Body Wash

Huron body wash

Huron $14 Buy Now

You might recognize Huron from our very own Best Stuff Box, or maybe your local CrossFit gym (the fitness chain is steadily stocking its bathrooms and retail shelves with this new men’s skincare line). This affordable, 100% vegan, no-frills lather is everything your college shower caddy’s goopy gel isn’t—effective without being overly drying, and a genuinely handsome addition to your shower ledge.

The Best Small Batch Body Wash

PLANT Apothecary “Calm Down” body wash

Dermstore $18 Buy Now

If you don’t have time for a head-clearing, skin-soothing soak, then stock up on PLANT’s aromatic, aptly named body wash. “Calm Down” uses ginger and lavender to permeate the senses and scrub away stresses, while a blend of coconut, olive, and jojoba oil soaps cleanse and nourish the skin.

Dr. Bronner pure-castile peppermint liquid soap

Amazon $14 Buy Now

Dr. Bronner’s claims its liquid castile soap is an “18-in-1” cleaner, renewing everything from clothes to dishes, pets to laundry, floors to food, and body to hair. That’s an impressive lineup, but it’s not the only reason this one makes our shortlist. Its peppermint blend—among many stellar scents—comes with a satisfying skin tingle like none other, and a roster of organic oils (coconut, palm, olive, hemp, and jojoba) preserve the skin’s moisture while the soap deep cleans dirt and grime.

Malin + Goetz peppermint body scrub

Birchbox $35 Buy Now

Malin + Goetz’s shower gel seems humble and unassuming, but it’s a serious multi-tasker. The gel foams on application to wash away dirt and grime, while a blend of bamboo and pumice also exfoliates dead skin. Peppermint lingers on your newly cleansed and hydrated dermis. And best of all, the formula preserves your skin’s precious pH balance.

The Best Available-Everywhere Body Wash

Target $6 Buy Now

This post-workout body wash smells like you did CrossFit in a pristine meadow.

The Best Absurdly Luxe Body Wash

Blue Mercury $68 Buy Now

Tom Ford’s neroli body gel zips you to the Italian Riviera with citrus, floral, and amber notes. It may be an investment, but it’s no letdown: The lavish lather and aromatherapy do as much for the sinuses and nerves as they do for the skin. Also, let’s face it, Tom Ford in the shower caddy means bragging rights.

7 Best Body Wash Products for Women

Why not stick with bar soap?

You can, by all means, use bar soap to cleanse your body if that’s what makes you comfortable. These tips aren’t going to convince you to make the switch to body wash. We’re far more concerned with helping you make the best choices if shower gel is already your thing – or you were already planning to change your showering habits.

That said, there are some benefits to body wash that you’re not going to get from a bar of soap. For a start, you don’t need to worry as much about the storage of body washes, as the packaging is created to be moisture impermeable and it can stand just about anywhere in the shower – whether you use a shelf, a caddy, or just the ground.

Body washes are also easier to lather, and there are plenty of women that truly enjoy that sensation. Additionally, if you’re into the fragrance side of things, shower gels tend to offer more variety.

Bar soaps tend to have a higher pH level than body washes which can make them drying, but it depends on which side of the argument you are on as to how much you believe that. The levels are usually negligible which puts it right back to personal preference.

However, that cake of soap sitting a puddle of water might possibly breed bacteria, making the cleaning aspect somewhat questionable. If you can keep the soap dish drained, however, you should be fine.

As for the big question… bar soaps won’t get you any cleaner than body wash. It’s really all about how you feel about using either product.

There are two types of body wash

You may have noticed that we’ve used the words body wash and shower gel interchangeably. As far as they’re colloquially used, people will totally know what you mean when you substitute them for each other. But there are some differences, however slight they may be.

Shower gels derive their name from their slightly more gel-like consistency that they carry. Typically speaking, these products will contain water (as just about every cleansing product does), detergent (that’s the cleansing part of the formula), and surfactants of some sort (these are the lathering agents). Many also have added colors or fragrances and some form of preservative to keep it shelf-stable.

On the other hand, body washes tend to be more watery and less gel-like. Though that often has to do with the amount of water in the formula, it may also have to do with added oils that are used to moisturize skin. Some make use of petroleum jelly rather than oils. Of course, body washes also have detergents and surfactants, and may also have fragrances and dyes added to them.

While you should expect a good lather from both products, you may find that shower gels often have a stronger concentration of ingredients which may be irritating; they may also have strong scents. Body washes are usually better for people that experience more sensitive skins. That said, they’re sometimes more difficult to wash off as the moisturizing agents are meant to cling to the skin.

For the most part, it’s fair to continue to use the words interchangeably, as the ingredients and use of both are so similar that it’s actually not worth making the distinction.

How is body wash different from shampoo or facial cleansers?

It should pretty much go without saying that shampoo is made for your hair, facial cleansers are made for your face, and body washes are made for your body. Each area requires a slightly different level of cleansers and moisturizers as each has different characteristics.

Shampoo tends to have the highest concentration of detergents and surfactants of the three. These are usually followed by shower gels and body washes (in that order if you’re a purist), and then facial washes. Body washes tend to have extra proteins that your face has a difficult time absorbing.

However, you can substitute one for the other if you’re absolutely desperate (like you’re already in the shower and getting out sounds a little like torture). But, unless you’ve just worked up a crazy sweat or participated in mud wrestling, you may be better off just rinsing off with water and waiting until you have the right product on hand.

Ingredients you want in a body wash

The ingredients you want in a body wash are a fairly simple list. Indeed, the smaller the list, the better the product is… usually.

The first on the list should be water; proportionally, it’s the largest in a good product. It’s the solvent that carries all the other ingredients.

After that, you will hopefully find some sort of detergent which is the actual soap part of the mix. Coconut is one of the most popular cleansers, but there are other plant derivatives that can get the job done. Then there are emulsifiers to thicken the formula and preservatives that keep your wash stable on the shelf (meaning it doesn’t become contaminated over time).Surfactants are used to make the formula foamy. And you’ll often find some sort of fragrance, whether it’s natural or synthetic.

The list of what could go into a desirable body wash could be just about any essential oil or plant extract and that list is long. It’s actually far more useful to consider the ingredients that have caused some controversy as they are far easier to recognize.

Ingredients you don’t want in a body wash

When it comes to ingredients you don’t want in a body wash or shower gel, you should know that many of them are in many different personal hygiene products. There are many reasons for this, largely the fact that the FDA hasn’t ruled them as unsafe – or they have restricted the quantities to levels determined to be safe.

Additionally, some ingredients (such as parabens) have black spots against their name, though the research isn’t conclusive in one direction or another.

If you’re very concerned about the products and ingredients you put on your body, then steer clear of the body washes that include anything from this list. If you’re not sold on the potential harm, the FDA is currently on your side and you can make your own decisions accordingly.

Parabens – These are the most recognizable at the moment since they have been given plenty of media attention. They’re also easy to spot as they have the word paraben at the end of them. These ingredients are used as preservatives in a lot of our grooming products – and some do occur naturally. The controversy arose when researchers found parabens in cancerous tissues, however this test (which linked parabens with cancer) didn’t test non-cancerous tissues for paraben levels and subsequent research hasn’t been able to prove a conclusive link. There is also a suspected link between parabens and hormone issues, but the FDA believes it is safe, so the decision is up to you.

Sulfates – When it comes to shower gels, this may actually be the bigger issue at hand. These are surfactants and emulsifiers and also have some cleansing properties. You may see them abbreviated to SLS or SLES (short for sodium lauryl sufate and sodium laureth sulfate). But, sulfates are a major tissue irritant. The FDA regulates the amount of these ingredients in our products, but there are some studies out there that suggest that they’re more than an irritant; they break down the skin’s moisture barrier and they may damage hair follicles, causing loss in the long run. It’s important to note that, when combined with other chemicals, SLS becomes a “nitrosamine,” a potent class of carcinogen.

Dioxane – This is a synthetic derivative of coconut and makes it confusing, as there are many shower gels with natural coconut derivatives. It’s believed to be toxic to your brain, kidneys, and liver and is currently listed as a “probable” carcinogen. This particular ingredient is a little more difficult to locate on the ingredient list. You should look for indications of ethoxylation, which include: “myreth,” “oleth,” “laureth,” “ceteareth,” any other “eth,” “PEG,” “polyethylene,” “polyethylene glycol,” “polyoxyethylene,” or “oxynol.”

Diethanolamine or DEA – When combined with nitrite preservatives, DEA creates nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), a known carcinogen. It affects the liver, kidneys, and may affect developing fetuses. You’ll find this ingredient mostly in synthetic fragrances (which you may want to avoid in any case). While individual products will not combine DEA with nitrites, the issue develops when multiple products are used in short succession (as is likely during showering routines).

Propylene glycol – You’ll also find this ingredient in antifreeze, engine coolants, and paints which should give you cause to consider whether it should be touching your skin. You’d be right. There have been studies which suggest it causes liver and kidney abnormalities as well as causing minor to troubling skin irritations. Just look for these words on the ingredient list to see if your body wash contains this ingredient.

Triclosan – While not as big an issue as some of the other ingredients listed here, this antibacterial may be one of the reasons we’re increasingly resistant to antibiotics. If that’s a concern of yours, you’d better start looking at all the soaps in your home.

And, while they may not cause you any other issue, you may want to limit the amount of artificial dyes and fragrances in your personal care routine. While they may not cause you, personally, any irritation, they aren’t necessary and based on the continued testing all products are undergoing, may one day be deemed unsafe.

Choosing the right body wash for your skin type

Okay, not that you know what you want to avoid, it’s time to start thinking about the best product for you. As much as the aroma or the lathering may be something you desire in a body wash, it’s best to consider the type of skin you have when choosing your shower gel.

Dry skin – Creamy products are usually what you’re after as they tend to have more moisturizing ingredients, such as milk proteins or petroleum jelly in the mix. Those with shea butter will usually be a little more expensive, but they can be totally worth it. It’s worth considering the use of a wash cloth or a shower puff so you don’t apply too much product to your skin.

Sensitive skin – If you’re battling itchy, flaky, dry skin, you need to steer clear of harsh products, including those with alcohol (common in artificial fragrance) and dyes. Ideally, you want something with sunflower seed oil or added vitamin E. Also look for products with glycerin or oatmeal. And, don’t forget that hot water is also quite drying; you may need to make those showers a little shorter.

Acne-prone skin – You will need to exfoliate, which may be better accomplished with a puff or a washcloth than with beads. But, you could also consider anti-acne ingredients like salicylic or glycolic acid. If you want something that’s a little more natural, look for tea tree products which reduce inflammation and act as an astringent.

Anti-aging concerns – Most people think of facial cleansers when they hear the words anti-aging, but you can certainly help the skin cells on your body too. You’re looking for vitamin B or niacinamide, plus a fair amount of salicylic and lactic acids to keep your body’s skin looking and feeling young.

Post-workout showers – Showering more than once a day isn’t exactly recommended, and you may be saving your showers until after your workout. But, if you’re getting more than one a day, you probably should look for sodium lauroyl sarcosinate and decyl glucoside in your body wash. They’re great for washing away salts and oils without being overly drying.

What about using men’s products?

If you’re standing in a guy’s shower with only men’s products around, there’s probably a good reason for it and you should certainly use whatever soap or body wash is available. But, we wouldn’t recommend continually using shower gels designed for men. And, that’s not just because they’re typically enhanced with masculine aromas.

Men’s skin is (usually) thicker than women’s skin. Believe it or not, women have a thinner collagen layer (it’s as much as 25 percent smaller). Body washes and soaps designed for men take this into account. And, while you’ll find that many of the ingredients overlap – or are, in some cases, exactly the same, the quantities may be different. They’re likely to be a little higher on the detergent side and have a little less on the moisturizing side. Of course, there are plenty of gender neutral products – and, hey, if you find a men’s shower gel does it for your skin, you may as well use it.

How much body wash do you really need to use?

Yes, it can be quite fun to have a shower full of rich lather and bubbles – and if that’s your idea of a party, you may as well indulge in it once in awhile. But, you don’t need a lot of product to cleanse your body. If you’re using a puff or a sponge, you’ll need a quarter-sized dollop… max. Any more and you may find that your shower gel dries your skin more than it cleanses it.

If you prefer to use your hands to lather and clean, you’ll need a little more than that, but not double. A silver dollar-sized dab is more than enough. And, there’s even some schools of thought that you should mostly rinse your body with water, using cleansing agents only on dirty or sweaty areas. Whether you can handle that or not, the good news is that a single body of body wash should last you quite some time.

Do you need a poof or a washcloth?

As suggested above (and, in fact, throughout these tips), shower puffs, sponges, and wash cloths can make your shower gel work harder for you. These elements increase the lather while using less product. They’re also fantastic exfoliators, and you want that from time to time – if not every day.

But, we want to warn you about these items. If you don’t rinse them completely and allow them to dry, then they will become a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria. If you’re the only one using your shower, you hang your sponge to try, and the bathroom is well-ventilated, you shouldn’t experience too many issues. But, if your poof is sitting in a puddle of water in the family bathroom, you may want to rethink your cleansing strategy.

It’s one plus to using the old fashioned washcloth that can easily be washed and dried, though many women opt to skip the enhancer altogether. Indeed, if you sidestep the lather, you’re less likely to dry out your skin – and those that frequently battle dry skin should consider this for most of their showers.

If you use a hydrating wash, can you skip the body lotion?

No. Please don’t. You really don’t want to. You see, you put the body wash on and then you rinse it off almost straight away; it doesn’t have much of a chance to work. What it does is limit the drying aspect of your cleansing routine. That’s all that it can do. In fact, you should apply a body lotion every time you get out of the shower to maintain healthy skin and to stave off the appearance of age as long as you can.

Michael Kors For Men Hair and Body

Words by Janell M. Hickman with reporting by Camille Pegram

Sometimes a good workout means getting down and dirty—but that doesn’t mean your delicate skin has to suffer. Say goodbye to stripping bar soap and embrace a sudsy shower gels (or washes) to combat against sweat, grit, or whatever else your workout throws your way. We found 9 strong picks to upgrade your shower game. Believe us, you’ll smell as good as you look!

Why: Reward yourself after a heavy sweat session with this seriously invigorating wash, scented with signature notes of patchouli, coriander, and suede.

Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Shower Gel

Why: Say goodbye to dry, underwhelming skin thanks to this luxe, intensely moisturizing concoction that smells good enough to eat.

Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Shower Gel, $25.00

Why: Feel worn out? This cult-favorite body wash will give you a much-needed second wind. The refreshing gel is infused with key ingredients like aloe, vitamin E, and flaxseed extract.

Le Labo ‘Santal 33’ Shower Gel, $50.00

Why: Ideal for oily types, this “power wash” works overtime to eradicate clogged pores and build up caused by sweat and other environmental factors. Plus, it maintains the skin’s pH balance meaning little to no irritation.

Kale Naturals 3-in-1 Body Wash

Why: Maintain your zen and be considerate of Mother Nature with this botanical-based wash suitable for face, hair, and body. The plant pioneered product includes natural ingredients like soap bark, licorice root and myrrh (for healing/antibacterial properties).

Carven ‘Pour Hommes’ Bath and Shower Gel

Why: Perfect for fall, this woodsy wash is lightweight yet produces a luxe lather. Sensual woodsy notes like violet leaf, nutmeg, cedar and vetiver to keep you clean—and smelling simply delectable.

Carven ‘Pour Hommes’ Bath and Shower Gel, $30.00

Why: Rough skin is never in. Luckily, you no longer have to succumb to the drying effects of hard water thanks to this ultra-hydrating blend. Your skin won’t feel tight and taut—just replenished and soothed.

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

Why: Listen, we get why you might be hesitant to to slather oil on yourself in the shower. But this one will leave your pectorals gleaming with gratitude. You’ll become addicted to this out-of-the-box body cleanser.

Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Body Cleanser

Why: Pegged as paraben-free and vitamin-rich, this no-nonsense gel thoroughly cleanses skin of dirt and impurities. Plus, key ingredients like Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B5 infuse skin with much-needed nutrients.

In this article, we will answer the question – ‘what is the best body wash for men?’.

More importantly, we’ll find the best body wash for you!

This article will:

  • Get you better looking, feeling, and smelling skin by finding the best body wash for your skin type
  • Present all the necessary information you need to know to get the most out of your body wash
  • Provide other essential tips to make your body’s skin irresistible.

QUICK OVERVIEW: Best Body Washes for Men

Best Smelling Grooming Lounge

  • Keep skin hydrated and dryness at bay
  • Sweet black pepper scent
Anthony – Invigorating Rush Hair & Body Wash

  • Unique alpine wood scent
  • Invigorates mind and body
Best For Dry Skin Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash

  • Designed and suitable for sensitive skin
  • Fragrance free and hypoallergenic
Mountain Falls Body Wash

  • Nourishing body wash for sensitive skin
  • Gives a rich, milky, creamy lather
Best For Sensitive / Acne Prone Skin Jack Black – Turbo Wash Energizing Cleaner

  • Cleanse infected or blocked pores
  • Refreshing aroma
Murad – Acne Body Wash

  • Treats and prevents body breakouts
  • All natural
Best Body Wash For Oily Skin Manscaped All-in-One ‘Crop Cleanser’ Body Wash

  • Effectively wash hair and skin
  • Lightly scented
Rocky Mountain Barber Co. – All-In-One Shower Wash

  • Safe for all skin types
  • Natural ingredients

Use the table of contents below to jump to the sections most important to you.

Table of Contents

Top 5 Best Smelling Body Washes for Men – But Really for the Ladies 😉

If you have that ‘lucky’ skin we’ve talked about (i.e no specific skin needs), you can just concentrate on smelling good!

Your ‘normal’ skin opens you up to a huge range of new body washes to try.

You’ll see the men that are heading to work each morning with good skin and smelling great; they’re the ones that seem to stand a couple of inches taller and have a bounce in their stride.

Smelling great can be thanks to a quality natural deodorant as well, so you have a think about that too.

But we’re going to start with the best smelling body washes for men.

1. Grooming Lounge – ‘Our Best Smeller’ Body Wash


‘Best Smelling Body Wash of 2017’ by The Huffington Post and a 2018 ‘Handsome Award Winner’.

Uses black pepper oil to achieve its signature base note, and has fresh tones from aloe vera and acai berry.

Plus its paraben free – a preservative which sensitive skins don’t enjoy.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

2. Anthony – Invigorating Rush Hair & Body Wash

Anthony has a great line of products. They even made our list of the best shaving gels as well as the best pre-shave oils.

Now we have reviewed their 2-in-1 hair and body wash and we were not disappointed.

Eucalyptus and Canadian Balsam give this an incredible scent that’s going to get you energized at the start of the day and wind you down at the end of it.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

3. Malin+Getz Rum Body Wash

A sweet and spicy fragrance. But subtle and warm.

A gentle clean that will leave you smelling like a sexy pirate. Contains glycerin which is a great skin moisturizer, so is also a good option for anyone with dry skin.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

4. Tom Ford – Neroli Portofino Shower Gel

The beautiful smell hits you as soon as you flick open the cap.

Cool and refreshing with that classic ‘man’ smell of years gone by.

It also has an incredibly smooth sensation when you wash, meaning you won’t want to get out of the shower.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

5. No. 63 Men’s Shower Gel

All natural stuff and smells awesome.

A real classic cologne scent, inspired by the French Provence.

A great lather and a smooth finish too.

Also does a great job at moisturizing your skin with natural body moisturizing ingredients including shea butter and Aloe Vera.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

Top 5 Best Body Washes For Dry Skin

For some people, dry skin can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing.

Some people invite dry skin by incorrectly removing body hair.

Body washes with plenty of active ingredients designed to add moisture (such a glycerin) are the way to go, and here is a list 5 of the best for your skin care routine.

1. Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash

This is the dermatologists’ choice.

Fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and full of moisturizers that will give your skin a soft and refreshed feeling.

Particularly good when you consider the low cost.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

2. Mountain Falls Body Wash

Gives a rich, milky, creamy lather.

This is packed with moisturizers that both hydrate your skin and leave it with a softness you may not have felt for years.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

3. Brickell – Men’s Invigorating Body Wash

It’s got the look of an old apothecary medicine bottle.

Which really adds to the feeling you’re getting a treatment and not just a shower.

An awesome clean without stripping the oils your skin is craving.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

4. Old Spice ‘Dry Skin Defense’ Body Wash

Old Spice has really upped their game and applied a lot of science to their well-established brand.

Great cleansing properties and it is full of moisturizers to rehydrate dry skin.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

5. 18.21 ‘Man Made Wash’

A small company you may not be familiar with – but get familiar with them.

18.21 combines nostalgia with modern technology.

It is paraben and sulfate free so it is great for sensitive skin too.

But it’s the huge levels of moisturizing ingredients that make it a great choice for dry skin.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

Top 5 Best Body Washes For Sensitive / Acne-Prone Skin (Sulfate Free & Natural)

Sensitive skin; often red, often prone to acne and often painful.

As discussed, sensitive skin needs gentle natural ingredients that won’t ‘strip’ away too many of the natural oils that you need to be preserving.

So by default this category also includes ‘Best Natural Body Wash For Men’, ‘Best Sulfate-Free Body Wash For Men’ and ‘Best Body Wash for Acne’.

1. Jack Black – Turbo Wash Energizing Cleaner

Jack Black is not the cheapest on the market, because it’s one of the best body wash for men on the market.

Paraben-free, sulfate-free, alcohol-free, and dermatologist tested.

The natural anti-bacterial agents will cleanse and infected or blocked pores to help with spots, plus it smells incredible!

Jack Black is a leader in male grooming products thus it is no surprise that their products have made a multitude of our “best of” lists including best body lotion for men, best face moisturizer for men, and even our coveted list of the best safety razors.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

2. Murad – Acne Body Wash

What makes this a great body wash for acne, also makes it a great body wash for all sensitive skin.

Offers a deep clean to flush out pores, but is all natural and gets great reviews.

The Murad company slogan is ‘Murad—a connected life is a beautiful life’.

No, I haven’t got a clue what they mean either but its a damn great product!

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

3. The Seaweed Bath Co. Body Wash

Hydrating, soothing, and energizing.

Over 65 vitamins and minerals flood your skin with nutrients.

Seaweed algae naturally purifies and cleans, and the various natural oils leave a really nourished feeling.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

4. Ivory Free & Gentle ‘Cleanse & Nourish’ Body Wash

Market themselves as a ‘family brand’, protecting and cleaning generations of families since 1882.

And it’s a clean living tag that’s justified – 100% natural, very gentle, and leaves a beautifully soft and smooth finish.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

This popped on up the list for ‘best body wash for dry ‘ skin thanks to its natural body moisturizers.

But it’s the natural cleansers and strict sulfate/paraben-free formula that also make it a great choice for sensitive skin.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

Top 5 Best Body Washes for Oily Skin

Oily skin can create a few problems.

You may see a lot of blackheads, blemishes, pores, and acne.

Spots from oily skin come about differently to spots caused by sensitive skin; here the spots break out due to blockages and a poor supply of oxygen to the skin, rather than a reaction to an irritant.

So you’ll need a body wash specific to your oily skin.

TIP: what you eat and drink can help your oily skin. Try and limit caffeine, processed fats, and salts. Plus of course, drink lots (and lots) of water.

1. Manscaped All-in-One ‘Crop Cleanser’ Body Wash

To be fair, this is a good option for a lot of skin types.

But it’s particularly effective against oily skin thanks to its natural cleaning agents that cut through any build up of grease and grime.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

2. Rocky Mountain Barber Co. – All-In-One Shower Wash

It does the lot. It’s a 5-in-one (shampoo, conditioner, face wash, beard shampoo and body wash).

Totally natural but a very effective cleanser which makes short work of any oily build-ups.

Plus it could almost have earned a place on the Top 5 ‘best smelling body wash’ list too.

Rocky Mountain Barber Company’s beard oil just made our list of the ten best beard growing oil products as well.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

3. Noir – Men’s Collection Bath & Body Works

Designed for it’s cleaning properties, this body wash lathers brilliantly and helps thoroughly clean pores and remove any build up on the skin.

The smell is unique, subtle and quite adventurous.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

4. Nivea ‘Active Men’ Body Wash

Certainly not a brand you would show off by leaving lying around in the locker room, but it works.

It works really well.

Cuts through oil and grime effectively and will leave you feeling really cleansed.

More sensitive skin types might not get on with it though as it’s not all natural.

We are also a big fan of their aftershave balm which made our list of the best aftershave balms.

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

5. Old Spice ‘High Endurance Pure Sport’ Body Wash

Old Spice is cleverly playing up to that slightly, erm, ‘naff’ reputation they may have got.

But they’re combining great marketing with really great products.

This is probably not a body wash to use if you are prone to dry/sensitive skin.

But for oily skin, it’s going to get rid of a lot of stuff you don’t want!

Check out the hundreds of customer reviews here on Amazon.

Why Find the Best Body Wash for Men?

My father would use dishwashing liquid in the shower when he ran out of body wash, claiming ‘it’s all the same stuff anyway!’.

I love him a lot, but my father was (and still is) an idiot on the topic of grooming.

But there still might be a feeling that men choosing a skin-appropriate body wash isn’t in any way ‘masculine’ or necessary.

Well, in fact, it is both of those things. I mean, if using a chapstick is now an OK thing to do, then surely finding the best mens body wash is! The body wash you use has a huge influence over how your skin feels and looks.

We’ll discuss in more detail next how men’s skin differs from women’s (so if you’re using a wife or girlfriend’s product, you might want to think about getting more organized and buying your own!).

Feeling good is important. Whether you’re aware of it or not, your mood and confidence can be greatly increased by having skin that feels good, looks good and smells good.

Plus, taking a shower shouldn’t just be something you do as part of your routine, like taking out the garbage or putting gas in the car. Showering can be a therapeutic process that energizes and relaxes all at the same time – and your perfect body wash the biggest part of that.

As you’ll discover, your perfect body wash is only half the story. You really need to be applying lotion too. But more on that soon.

Additionally if you may be more of a bar soap man, check out our list of the top 5 best bar soaps for men and find why body wash isn’t the only option.

Why You Need to Use a Body Wash Designed for “Men”

The best body wash for men differs massively from the best body wash for women. And here’s why; men and women’s skin differs massively too.

The two biggest features of men’s skin versus women’s;

  • more oily
  • more porous

Being more porous means more stuff travels through it. Air gets in and out more easily than women’s skin.

Which would be OK if air was always 100% pure, but unless you live next to a stream on top of a Swiss mountain a million miles from the nearest village, it just isn’t.

So you’ve got dirty air, fumes and general grime getting deep into your skin.

Plus your skin is more oily than women’s.

The result? Blocked pores, more body acne, faster aging (yup, wrinkles!) and dry skin. Which is one of the major reasons you need to be using a men’s body wash.

More importantly, a men’s body wash specific to your skin type, which we’ll talk about soon.

Importance of Collagen Retention

This is not just something you hear being said on women’s skin cream commercials.

You know when you see a picture of yourself from 10 years ago? And you look different. It’s still obviously you, you just look older now?

Well, that’s because you were full of collagen back then. Now, not so much.

Collagen is the main protein in body tissue and gives it its elasticity and strength. It’s everywhere; in tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and of course skin.

It gets its name from the Greek word for ‘glue’. That should tell you the role it plays in how your skin holds up! It naturally decays over time, which is why our skin ages.

But you can slow that process and the best shower gels for men will help that.

Clever science dudes can tell you all about it. If you care for your skin, it’s definitely worth getting up to speed with.

Specific Skin Types

What type of body wash will be best for you?

Well, that’s going to depend on what type of skin you have.

Here I’ve highlighted the main skin types men are likely to identify with.

Your facial skin will give clues to your body’s skin type, but of course you will need a separate wash for your face.

Oily Skin

We already know that men’s skin is generally more oily than women’s. but some are particularly oily.

If you have particularly oily skin, you may see a sheen on your face soon after washing.

Or your body skin may have prominent pores and be prone to blackheads and other blemishes.

Dry Skin

If your skin feels tight and is sometimes itchy or flaky, it’s probably dry. You may benefit from a more gentle body wash.

But just as important, look for a body wash with a high level of moisturizing agents like glycerin.

Sensitive Skin

Similar to dry skin, but more prone to irritation. You’ll need a body wash that doesn’t strip away important oils.

So one that is free from any aggressive ingredients like sulfates and parabens is ideal.

Sulfate is one of the main offenders when it comes to skin irritants. They’re used as lathering agents in a lot of products, but they’re cheap and can be quite aggressive.

Parabens are antibacterial and fungal cleaning agents (good news) but can also aggravate skin (bad news).

So if you’ve already identified sulfates or parabens as your dermatological nemeses, avoid them at all costs.

‘Normal’ Skin

I’m not going to call this skin type normal. Mainly because there’s no such thing.

But also, I would just prefer to call it ‘lucky’.

If you are one of the few people whose skin isn’t dry, isn’t oily, isn’t flaky or isn’t shiny, then enjoy it!

You should get on with any of the best men’s body washes that’s been made with good quality, natural ingredients.

Other Stuff You NEED to Know

How to Correctly Apply Body Wash

I’m not patronizing you with this, trust me.

It’s just that some men are way too slap-dash with how they wash.

Why invest in your perfect body wash if you then don’t get the benefits?

Be sure to use some kind of sponge, wash scrunchie or washcloth.

This is for two main reasons for this men care routine;

  1. You get a way better lather and your nice (and potentially not cheap!) body wash goes further and lasts longer.
  2. Your body wash works better. It is worked into the skin in a way that your hand couldn’t ever do. You’ll feel so much more clean, revitalized and your skin will reward you.

Use Warm, Not Hot, Water

Getting that water temperature as high as it can go before you can’t take it, isn’t a good idea.

A warm shower feels great.

A hot shower will dry you out, and leave your skin thirsty, raw and exposed.

You’ll be applying lotion after each shower (I’ll come on to that!) but give your skin the care it deserves.

Use a Body Scrub Every So Often.

Depending on how gentle your body wash is, you will benefit from a more ‘thorough’ clean with a body scrub once to twice a week.

It will better rid your body of the old skin cells which exposes your young vibrant looking new skin cells as well as allow for greater absorption of moisturizing agents.

It’s like putting your towels in the washing machine on a deep wash versus just sticking them in for a quick spin the majority of the time.


After using a natural body wash, especially if you have just used a scrub, you should use lotion.

Pat yourself dry with your towel (don’t rub, because that takes away your skin’s moisture) and apply your preferred moisturizing product.

Take a look at our great guide on the best body lotions for men.

Even oily skin types should be moisturizing after showering.

Why moisturize? It’s simple.

Using a good body lotion after every wash will put back the essential oils and moisture which can be lost during showering.

Moisturizing provides that all-important collagen the water and nutrients it needs to remain strong and healthy, so your skin is strong and healthy too. (see the ‘Significance of Collagen Retention’ section a few paragraphs up!)


There is a lot of great body washes for men out there.

You may need to do a bit of trial and error to find your perfect one.

And when you do, enjoy the awesome feeling it gives you.

If problems with sensitive skin and acne persist, do see your doctor.

They may be able to sort the issue pretty rapidly, leaving you only needing to manage it rather than ‘cure’ it.

So please don’t be shy about that if you are.

In the meantime, for advice, guides and tips on all things to do with male grooming, be sure to give the Prim & Prep team a shout!

More Helpful Information

Be sure to check out these surveys and vetted lists of the best products to keep your skin looking and feeling its best, along with detailed guides on selecting the best one for your specific needs.

Best body wash for sweat

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