There are many body washes on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is best for you. That’s why we put the question of “what body wash do dermatologists recommend?” to Peter Ellefson, a board-certified dermatologist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here’s what he had to say about the best body washes on the market.
Our pricing structure
We reviewed a few brands that dermatologists recommend and thought of them on three levels: affordable, mid-range level, and expensive.
The nice thing about this list is the variety – it has options for everyone without breaking the bank!
- $ = under $10
- $$ = $10–$15
- $$$ = over $15
6 Best Body Washes, According to Dermatologists:
1. Best Overall Body Wash: CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash
Four out of six dermatologists interviewed recommended that this body wash is a good choice for all types of skin. Dermatologist Peter Ellefson said, “it is a great body wash for helping to prevent dermatitis flare-ups. The ceramides and cholesterol maintain the skin’s barrier function while hyaluronic acid adds moisture.”
This body wash is an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin, and like the other CeraVe products, is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dyes, and fragrances.
- Gentle, fragrance-free formula.
- Good for sensitive skin.
- Your skin will thank you for using it.
$$ – $10.58
2. Best Exfoliating Body Wash: Dove Gentle Exfoliating Nourishing Body Wash
According to dermatologist Peter, a body wash that exfoliates is a good choice for all skin types because it removes the excess oils from the skin.
“Those with oily skin, in particular, tend to have a higher amount of useless sebum on their skin than those with dryer skin. Exfoliating the skin can help remove this excess oil and reveal more healthy-looking skin underneath,” he says.
It’s also important to properly exfoliate dead cells from the surface of your body because they block pores.
- Deep cleansing scrub.
- It makes skin softer and smoother.
- Your skin is left clean, moisturized, and healthy-looking.
$$$ – $20.91
3. Best Body Wash for Dry Skin: Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash
Dermatologist Peter Ellefson recommends this Dove body wash because its hydrating and moisturizing properties help keep skin healthy and soothe dry, itchy patches. “Dry skin is caused by several factors, including genetics, low humidity levels, and using hot water for bathing. Soap-based body washes can be harsh to delicate dry skin in the winter,” he says.
However, this body wash contains ingredients that help nourish skin and keep it hydrated. According to dermatologists, you can tell whether a body wash is appropriate for your skin within three days. Peter says that after three days of use, the way the skin feels to the touch will indicate if it’s given enough moisture and how well it feels in general.
- Gently cleanses your skin.
- Leaves you with instantly softer skin and lasting nourishment.
- Softens the rough patches.
$$ – $5.99
4. Best Body Wash for Sensitive Skin: Dove Hypoallergenic Sensitive Skin Body Wash
According to Dermatologist Peter Ellefson, “Dove is my personal brand of choice for sensitive skin. I’ve recommended it for over a decade to patients with eczema and psoriasis.”
If you have sensitive skin, it needs special care — a relief to find a body wash that does just that. This hypoallergenic Sensitive Skin Body Wash gives you instantly soft skin and lasting nourishment. It’s fragrance-free, with moisturizing Dove Moisture Renew Blend technology – a combination of natural ingredients and lipids/glycerin that get deep into your skin for long-lasting results.
- Gentle on sensitive skin.
- It’s fragrance-free.
- You’ll have long-lasting results with no irritation.
$ – $8.59
5. Best Body Wash for Acne Skin: Neutrogena Body Clear Salicylic Acid Body Wash
Dermatologists recommend both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to treat body acne, but the right one to use depends on your type of acne. Mild bumps on the skin may do well with body washes that contain salicylic acid.
“It’s always a good idea to get the opinion of a dermatologist before starting with any new skincare product,” says Dermatologist Peter Ellefson. “A strong body wash is needed for acne on the back and torso, usually containing 2.5% benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.”
In over-the-counter treatments, Neutrogena has one of the strongest salicylic acid concentrations to promote acne-free skin. “I like the Neutrogena Body Clear Salicylic Acid Body Wash because it contains the right amount of salicylic acid for treating body acne,” says Ellefson.
He adds, “This is a great choice for those with acne-prone skin and is helpful if you are trying to prevent acne from breaking out on the body.”
If you have acne-prone skin or are looking to manage existing breakouts, Neutrogena Body Clear Salicylic Acid Wash contains a revolutionary formula that treats your entire body – from head to toe! It penetrates deep into pores to deliver maximum cleaning power where you need it most.
- Clear up acne body breakouts.
- Cuts through oil to unclog pores
- Feel confident in your skin again.
$$ – $12.63
6. Best Bodywash for Eczema: Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash
Eczema can be a delicate skin condition that is painful for sufferers, but finding the right body wash to help can bring relief for those who suffer. Dermatologist Peter Ellefson says, “oatmeal soothes and protects irritated skin, plus it is a natural source of antioxidants. Oatmeal is well documented as an anti-inflammatory ingredient, and Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash contains this key ingredient.”
Ellefson says those with eczema should avoid harsh, drying soaps and harsh exfoliants. He recommends a body wash that helps add moisture and avoids irritants. “The Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash is my brand of choice for patients with eczema. I like its fragrance-free formula and the extra hydration it provides,” he says.
- None irritating to those with skin conditions.
- Gently cleanses without soap.
- It leaves you feeling refreshed and confident with a healthy glow.
$ – $9.93
What should you look for when choosing a body wash?
When shopping for a body wash, Dermatologist Peter Ellefson recommends that you look for a product with several key features, including:
Sulfate-free and paraben-free ingredients – “I recommend avoiding sulfate in body wash because it can lead to dry skin.”
Moisturizing ingredients – “Keeping your skin hydrated with natural oils like coconut oil or shea butter is a good idea for those who have dry skin.”
Fragrance-free or hypoallergenic – “Sensitive skin is prone to irritation, and fragrance in body washes can be a common irritant.”
What ingredients should you avoid in body wash?
There are many ingredients that you should stay away from, as they can cause allergic reactions and skin irritations.
Below is a list of common ingredients that you should avoid in body wash:
Parabens: A common preservative in cosmetic and body care products. It is added to prolong the shelf life of these products but is toxic to the body.
Sulfates: These ingredients strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to irritation and dryness.
Phthalates: These are used in cosmetics to add fragrance and make products last longer. However, they can be toxic and linked to hormone disruption.
Alcohol: Drying to the skin and may lead to irritation.
Do dermatologists recommend Olay body wash?
Dermatologist Peter Ellefson does, especially for those with dry skin. He says, “Olay’s Dermatologist Designed Collection contains natural ingredients that help moisturize the skin.” Products in this collection also moisturize itchy dry skin, purify rough, dry skin, and help heal eczema-prone skin.
Do body washes expire?
Yes, body wash does expire.
Body wash is safe to use for a while after its shelf life. It might not lather up like it always has and not be as effective, so use the product sparingly if you think it’s expired.
Can you use body wash as shampoo?
Although you can use body wash as a shampoo, you should not use body wash as shampoo.
Frequently using body wash as your hair shampoo can lead to excess dryness, with the consequences being that your hair will be brittle and start looking dry.
We hope this list of the best body washes, according to dermatologists, has been helpful in your quest for a new cleansing routine. If you found one that suits your needs, we encourage you to share it with us on social media! Stay tuned for our next update in 2022. What’s your favorite pick from this list?