October 16, 2020

10 Best Body Washes for Sensitive Skin

Best Body Washes for Sensitive Skin

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Taking a shower is an important daily ritual. Not only does it cleanse your body, but it can also offer some relaxation after a long, tiring day.

Despite it being a no-brainer for most, there are still some people who experience problems with their daily shower. Those with sensitive skin are more prone to allergies and irritation. This makes their experience not as satisfying as everyone else’s.

A harsh shower gel is always going to be a big hindrance to everyday cleansing. This is why we’ve listed 10 products below to help you find the best body wash for sensitive skin.

Table of Contents

10 Best Body Washes for Sensitive Skin

Our Pick

This body wash is safer than safe. That isn’t an exaggeration. Besides being dermatologist-tested and awarded by the National Eczema Association, it has absolutely no harsh ingredients as well.

It’s free from oils, soaps, and sulfates. Unlike other body washes that have essential oils and plant extracts, this contains none. It also has no fragrance, formaldehyde, and parabens.

You can be sure that it cleanses your body well while keeping it moisturized. It’s formulated to keep the skin’s pH perfectly balanced. It doesn’t strip off the skin’s natural oils as that causes dryness which is more prone to irritation.

The mild but effective formula is why we chose it as our top pick for sensitive skin. It maintains the body’s natural moisture while keeping you squeaky clean.

Pros

  • No harsh chemicals
  • pH-balanced formula
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Cleanses as well as it moisturizes

Cons

  • No active ingredients to target a specific issue like acne

Best Drugstore Body Wash

Cetaphil has been a household name for the longest time. It’s probably most known for its facial cleanser, which is a cult favorite among skin care fans.

The Ultra Gentle Body Wash proves to be a great counterpart for cleansing the rest of your body. It uses only the mildest formula to clean your skin. It’s fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic.

Apart from a gentle formula, it’s also infused with ingredients like Aloe Vera and Vitamin B5. These enrich and retain moisture. Your skin will surely feel softer and more nourished after every shower.

This body wash is also easily accessible since you can purchase one at any drugstore or supermarket!

Pros

  • Mild formula
  • Has Aloe Vera and Vitamin B5
  • Makes skin softer and smoother

Cons

  • Contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Best Body Wash for Men

Yes, much like men, men’s skin can be sensitive too. After all, everyone’s skin is unique. For men, we recommend this product by Nivea as the best body wash.

Mens skin can benefit from this body wash’s formula. Though it does have a subtle fragrance, it’s free from parabens, phthalates, and microplastics which cause long-term damage. It doesn’t contain alcohol either.

This is one of the best products for men because it nourishes as it cleans. It has Bamboo extract and Almond oil which soothe the skin from any irritation or redness.

Now, you see, there is no more room for double standards in skin care. If you’re a guy who’s been searching for the best product for you, then make sure to check this out.

Pros

  • Gentle cleansing formula
  • Has Bamboo extract and Almond oil to soothe skin
  • Formulated for men’s skin

Cons

  • Has a mild fragrance
  • Contains sulfates

The CeraVe brand is actually quite popular in the realm of sensitive skin care. Its facial products are consistent bestsellers because of their clean formulas.

This hydrating body wash was initially designed by dermatologists for dry skin types. But because of the ultra-gentle ingredients, it’s actually best for those with sensitive skin and eczema as well.

What makes this body wash even better is that it has added key components. Ceramides and Hyaluronic acid help keep the skin moisturized for much longer.

And despite this being a foaming body wash, it doesn’t remove any of the body’s natural oils. It simply balances your skin’s oil production for a healthy complexion.

Pros

  • Gentle formula
  • Contains Ceramides and Hyaluronic acid for added hydration
  • Suitable for those with eczema

Cons

  • Not fragrance-free

This body wash from Neutrogena hits two birds with one stone. Apart from having a gentle formula, it also has anti-acne ingredients mixed in.

It’s a great product to solve any acne you have since it has Salicylic acid. This ingredient unclogs your pores and exfoliates the skin to reveal a clearer texture.

Natural grapefruit extract is also mixed in which is high in Vitamin C. It’s what gives this body wash a light, citrus scent.

A word of caution though, dermatologists don’t recommend this for daily use because of the Salicylic acid content. Using it every day may cause dry skin because of the potent formula. Also, it’s best to only apply to specific problem areas.

Still, this really stands out among the best body washes for fighting body acne and pimples.

Pros

  • Has Salicylic acid for gentle exfoliation
  • Mild formula

Cons

  • Has a subtle scent
  • Can’t be used every day or on the entire body
  • Not for dry skin

Another veteran brand when it comes to sensitive skin care is Aveeno. Their Skin Relief Body Wash is merely one more to tick off in its long list of lauded products.

True to its name, this body wash provides relief to the skin with its gentle formula. It’s fragrance free and hypoallergenic. It also has no dyes, soaps, or harsh chemicals.

The star component is oatmeal. It’s best for soothing allergies and irritation on the skin. This popular household ingredient also relieves dryness and balances the skin’s pH levels to keep it strong.

Choose this body wash and enjoy some sweet relief!

Pros

  • Dermatologist-approved formula
  • Has oatmeal which soothes the skin
  • Maintains skin moisture

Cons

  • Has Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Dove is a popular brand for mild beauty soap so it makes sense that it offers body washes as well. This one was specially formulated for sensitive skin.

This body wash has no parabens or sulfates. It’s also hypoallergenic so it won’t aggravate any existing allergies you have.

Despite the gentle formula, it uses a technology called Moisture Renew. This deeply hydrates the skin and nourishes its upper layer to keep it strong against damage. It definitely deserves a spot as one of the best body washes for both dry and sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Moisture Renew Technology is deeply hydrating
  • Gentle formula
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons

  • Contains a mild fragrance

This body wash probably has the most unique formula among everything else on this list. Besides its mild formula, it has an interesting blend of nourishing and pH-balancing components.

The star ingredient is soapberry, which is precisely what you think it is. It’s a plant-derived ingredient that lathers up into a soap-like substance when rubbed. Not only can it clean your skin, but it can also balance its pH levels.

Other ingredients include Aloe Vera, Cucumber, Shea butter, and Chamomile. These all work together to soothe and hydrate the skin while retaining the skin’s natural oils. This body wash is surely among the best you can use for sensitive skin if you still want ample nourishment.

One thing about this is that it’s not as foamy as other body washes. You may need a little help from a body washer tool like a sponge or a loofah.

Pros

  • No harsh chemicals
  • Nourishing and pH-balanced formula
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Doesn’t lather up as most shower gels do

Another body wash that boasts a pH-balancing formula is this product by Sebamed. This makes it excellent at cleansing while still being gentle on the skin.

It contains a combination of Pentavitin vitamins that nourish and hydrate the skin while you shower. An ingredient called Allantoin calms irritation and redness as well.

This product is also hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested. It’s surely among the best body washes for sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Nourishing and hydrating formula
  • Allantoin soothes irritation
  • Gently cleanses the skin while balancing pH levels

Cons

  • Contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Not only is this body wash great for sensitive skin, but it’s also healthy for the environment. The Puracy brand has long advocated for clean and sustainable products.

This product, in particular, uses only naturally-derived ingredients. The key components are Coconut oil and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Together, they moisturize the skin while gently exfoliating impurities and dirt.

The formula was specially created by chemists so it’s safe enough even for babies and pets. This means it’s also great for basically all skin types.

Finally, this body wash contains a blend of essential oils and emollients that further nourish your skin. It’s certified to be 99.5% natural. Plus, for every bottle you buy, you get to support independent artists who designed the packaging artwork.

Pros

  • Gentle and hydrating formula
  • Safe even for babies and pets
  • Sustainable and biodegradable
  • A portion of profits goes to local artists

Cons

  • Doesn’t lather up as other body washes do

Watch Out for Harsh Ingredients

Having sensitive skin isn’t just limited to the face. Our body skin can be sensitive too.

Those with a body skin type like this may find it trickier to choose a shower gel. This is because their skin can’t tolerate certain ingredients as well as normal skin types can. Harsh and strong formulas can overly dry their skin. This can cause redness, peeling, or even (in extreme cases) burns.

That’s why if you have sensitive skin, you must be wary of what’s in your body wash. Take note of specific allergens that may cause aggravation.

Stay Away from Chemicals

The most common ingredients you should watch out for are alcohols, fragrances, and parabens. These may disrupt the pH balance of your skin and lead to irritation. Also, take note that some oils are more comedogenic than others and they can clog your pores, causing acne.

Usually, sensitive skin is accompanied by other skin issues as well. Conditions like eczema and psoriasis would require gentle formulas as to not worsen irritation.

We hope our list of best body washes helped you out. But if you’re still a little skeptical, then we recommend you consult your dermatologist or doctor to be safe.

Also, if your skin is sensitive, then you should definitely stay away from strong chemicals in your every day products. Detergents, for example, are quite harsh on the hands. You can check out our article where reviewed the Best Detergents for Sensitive Skin so that you can take your pick.

Choose Nourishment

On the flip side, it’s also good to know what to look for when you need extra nourishment.

Vitamin E is usually added to formulas since it’s an antioxidant. It protects you from sun damage while revitalizing and strengthening the skin.

Glycerin is also quite common because of its softening effect. Not only is it used for body washes, but it’s also a typical ingredient for bar soaps too.

Shea butter is a popular ingredient for its strong moisturizing properties. It’s great if you need a strong boost of moisture.

Since you’ll be using your body wash every day, then it would be good to choose a formula that adds more to your skin rather than strips anything off of it.

Solving Body Acne

Though people with sensitive skin have to be wary of harsh additives, this doesn’t mean that they have to absolutely stay away from everything.

Those with sensitive skin experiencing body acne will still definitely need to use special ingredients if they want to eliminate their skin issues.

This brings us to an interesting query: What anti-acne ingredient is safe enough for sensitive skin?

Benzoyl Peroxide

You’ve probably already heard of this popular anti-acne ingredient. Benzoyl Peroxide works by directly targeting pimple-causing bacteria that sits on the skin.

It’s most effective for calming down active acne because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties.

That being said, though this ingredient is effective, it’s too strong for those with sensitive skin. It contains peroxide and this can overly dry out the skin, causing more irritation and damage.

It’s also not safe to use during pregnancy. (We talked about it in our Best Face Washes for Pregnancy article.)

If you think that you really need this though, then it’s best to consult your doctor for guidance.

Salicylic Acid

This is probably the most commonly added ingredient to body washes. This is since acne, specifically back acne or “bacne”, is the most prevalent skin concern that people have.

Between this and Benzoyl Peroxide, this one definitely takes the cake.

Salicylic Acid exfoliates the skin to remove trapped dirt and oil that clog the pores. In turn, the skin will look brighter and clearer. Any whiteheads or blackheads seated deep in the skin are also eliminated.

Since its main function is to simply unclog the skin’s pores, it’s not as drying as Benzoyl Peroxide is.

It’s still best to use this sparingly though. Just use it a few times a week and not every day.

We also reviewed the Best Salicylic Acid Body Washes. You should check it out if you’re serious about solving any body acne issues.

Conclusion

With all the many varieties of body washes these days, finding the right one for you could be a confusing process.

Some formulas may seem fun to use since they’re bubbly and foamy but they might actually be overly drying. On the other hand, others may contain unique oils meant to moisturize but are actually potential allergens.

Be sure to always check the ingredient list of your body wash, especially if you have sensitive skin. It will save you a whole lot of heartbreak. No one wants irritated skin.

If oil and acne are your dilemmas, then we’ve also rounded up the Best Body Washes for Oily and Acne-prone Skin and Best Antibacterial Body Washes

A rejuvenating shower is now within reach. Just take your pick from the list above.

Have a happy shower!

If you’d like to unwind further and relax, then a bubble bath is also a good idea! You can read through our Best Bubble Baths for Sensitive Skin article for bubble bath options.

But if your sensitivity lies in your eyes, then you can also check out our article on the Best Eye Makeup.

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.