Best body wash for women

Beauty & Personal Care

It’s best to use lukewarm water when you’re cleaning with body wash. Hot water can dehydrate your skin and cause irritation.

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Which body wash for women is best?

All body washes and shower gels may seem the same, but they’re not all created equal. For women, it’s not enough for body wash to smell good and lather well; it should also leave your skin feeling supple and healthy.

It’s important to take your skin type and the formula into account when choosing a body wash. Some formulas are better suited for dry skin, while others are light enough for oily and acne-prone skin. Body washes are available in a wide variety of scents, so you can find an option that smells just right for you.

If you’re unsure how to choose a formula, our buying guide can help. We offer up a few specific product recommendations, including our top pick from Thymes, which has an uplifting eucalyptus scent and won’t dry out your skin.

What to know before you buy a body wash for women

Skin type

Not every body wash is suitable for all skin types. Take your skin type into account when choosing a body wash.

  • Oily skin does best with a light, foaming body wash. These formulas help remove excess oil from the skin to prevent clogged pores.
  • Dry skin needs a rich, creamy body wash that can lock moisture in and won’t damage the skin’s natural protective barrier.
  • Sensitive skin needs a gentle body wash that doesn’t contain any fragrance, parabens, sulfates, preservatives, or other chemicals that might trigger a reaction.

Formula

If you have specific skin issues or conditions, you may want to choose a body wash with a targeted formula to address those concerns. Acne-prone skin can benefit from a formula with ingredients that treat breakouts. A body wash with salicylic acid can help soothe acne that results from clogged pores, while a formula with benzoyl peroxide can help inflamed acne that’s caused by bacteria.

Sensitive skin does well with a body wash that contains soothing ingredients like oatmeal, lavender, or chamomile. Avoid formulas with essential oils like tea tree oil, which can irritate the skin.

Psoriasis usually responds well to a body wash that contains salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin.

You can also find some body wash formulas that feature vitamins and minerals to nourish the skin. In particular, antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E can provide anti-aging benefits.

Scent

Body washes for women are available in a huge array of scents. Choosing a scent is solely a matter of personal preference, but some fragrances may be more overpowering than others.

Some common scent options include:

  • Fruity scents are a popular option and include strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, or other more exotic fruits like pomegranate and dragon fruit.
  • Sweet scents such as sugar cookies, cake batter, gingerbread, or vanilla frosting are another common fragrance.
  • Botanical scents can feature either natural or synthetic floral or herbal scents such as rose, lavender, hibiscus, eucalyptus, mint, or chamomile. 
  • Clean scents are lighter fragrances meant to smell like clean clothes or a fresh breeze.
  • Earthy scents aren’t as common for women’s body wash, but you can find some formulas scented with cedar or sandalwood.
  • Fragrance-free formulas are best if you’re sensitive to fragrance or don’t want your body wash to compete with your perfume.

What to look for in a quality body wash for women

Residue-free

Body washes with lower-quality moisturizers or other ingredients can sometimes leave a residue on the skin that feels thick or sticky. High-quality body wash typically rinses away clean, so there’s no residue left behind.

Eco-friendly

If you’re concerned about the effect your bathing habits have on the environment, choose an eco-friendly body wash. Eco-friendly formulas are biodegradable or all natural, so there aren’t any toxic ingredients that might wash back into the water supply after your shower.

These types of body wash are also suitable for camping because you don’t have to worry about polluting natural bodies of water.

How much you can expect to spend on a body wash for women

You can pay $2 to over $20 for body wash for women. Lower-quality formulas that may irritate sensitive skin usually cost between $2-$5, but for $5-$15, you can get a higher-quality moisturizing formula. For $20 and up, you can find body washes from luxury brands.

Best body wash for women FAQ

Q. Can I only use body wash in the shower?

A. You can use body wash anytime you wash your body, so it’s suitable for use in both the shower and bath. Some body washes can even double as a shampoo or bubble bath.

Q. Can I use body wash to wash my face?

A. Some body washes are lightweight enough for use on the face, but most formulas are too rich and heavy. Their ingredients can clog the pores and cause breakouts, so acne-prone individuals should avoid using body wash on the face.

What are the best body washes for women to buy?

Top body wash for women

Thymes’ Eucalyptus Body Wash

Thymes’ Eucalyptus Body Wash

What you need to know: An invigorating but gentle body wash that cleans well and leaves no residue behind.

What you’ll love : Has a fresh eucalyptus scent. Produces a rich lather. Cleans effectively without drying the skin.

What you should consider: Scent may be too strong for some.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top body wash for women for the money

Weleda’s Invigorating Creamy Citrus Body Wash

Weleda’s Invigorating Creamy Citrus Body Wash

What you need to know: A refreshing, natural body wash that’s gentle on the skin and can also be used as shampoo.

What you’ll love: Contains natural ingredients like chamomile and sweet almond oil. Has a rich, creamy texture. Doesn’t leave behind any residue.

What you should consider: Doesn’t lather as well as other body washes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

JASON’s Invigorating Rosewater Body Wash

JASON’s Invigorating Rosewater Body Wash

What you need to know: A cruelty-free body wash that’s high in nutrients and offers a fresh scent.

What you’ll love: Contains vitamins E and B5 to nourish and soften. Doesn’t contain any parabens, sulfates, or petroleum. Only requires a small amount to wash the whole body.

What you should consider: Some users find the scent overpowering.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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