Caring for dry skin goes beyond body lotion. To keep your skin from feeling tight and irritated, you’ll want to start laying down moisture in the shower. Key words like “fragrance-free” or “for sensitive skin” can help, as can certain ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
Need help navigating other nuances like a preference for lather or natural ingredients? We’ve got you covered there as well. Here, 15 top rated body washes for soothing dry skin and more.
Best for Extremely Dry Skin
If you have the type of skin that flakes at the notion of air, this creamy cleanser is for you. Loaded with a blend of plant oils and lipids, this soap- and fragrance-free formula cocoons your skin in moisture, while gently whisking away any grime. Note that it has a thicker consistency than what you might be used to with body wash, but once you get accustomed to that, the creamier texture feels quite pampering. As one reviewer shared, “When I wash with this, I feel clean and don’t have to [use] lotion during the day.”
Though it’s not the cheapest option on the list (it comes in a close second), it wins this superlative because it doubles as a face wash. Beloved by dermatologists, this mild cleanser can be used from tip to toe without leaving behind any residue or causing irritation. The soap-free and non-comedogenic formula cleans while preserving the all-important skin barrier and won’t clog your pores. As one reviewer points out, “it’s safe for my incredibly sensitive facial skin” and “the bottle lasts a long time.”
Best for Itchy Skin
Another derm (and Jen Aniston) favorite: Aveeno, which might as well be synonymous with skin relief at this point. Made with its signature oats, this creamy wash gently cleanses and soothes dry, itchy skin, while imparting a light coconut scent. As one mom sums up, “My son has really sensitive skin that gets itchy and bothersome when he uses any other soap. This body wash was a game-changer for him and keeps him comfortable in all seasons. The day after my son smells GREAT! I’m saying GREAT! Which can be hard for a 4th-grade athlete.”
Best for Baby
This natural pick is loaded with plant-derived ingredients like chamomile, calendula and oat milk, which, in addition to being an excellent companion to your morning coffee, is nourishing on dry skin. Use it to wash your baby’s hair (calendula helps soothe cradle cap) and use it on yourself while you’re at it. One mom even uses it as a hand soap because it helps with the constant cracking and itching. (We’d also like to take a moment to acknowledge the little bunny on the label. Unrelated to dry skin, yes, but what a delight nonetheless!)
Best All Around
It’s the kitchen sink of hydrating ingredients. Bladderwrack, which is the namesake seaweed in this body wash has over 65 vitamins and minerals in it. Add to that neem oil, a natural antimicrobial, and nourishing kukui and coconut oil, and you’ve got yourself a moisturizing body wash that cleanses and calms skin. “My irritated skin is always soothed by this product. It’s great for daily use and leaves my skin soft and moisturized,” says one fan.
Best Cleansing Oil
A shower oil may sound odd if you haven’t tried one before, but we assure you it’s a pleasant experience. This one has the most incredible oil-to-milk texture that leaves your skin feeling satiny-smooth. Packed with almond oil, which is rich in omega 6 fatty acids, it also has an addictively sweet scent. (You can also use the oil for shaving.) One reviewer used this oil throughout chemo and raved about how it “ended her chronic dryness.”
Longest Lasting Hydration
This moisturizing wash has a label that boasts many of the same powerhouse ingredients that your face cream does. Hyaluronic acid and vitamin B3 work together to nourish parched skin, leaving it soft and silky for hours after you rinse. One reviewer exclaimed, “I can honestly say my skin has never felt or looked better! My skin feels so soft, like brand new baby skin soft! The texture of the body wash is great, a nice creamy thickness without feeling too thick or solid. I used mine on a scrub mitt. The lather was just what I like, there but not an abundance of bubbles. The scent is delightful, it is light, soft and clean. It immediately felt silky on my skin and rinsed off easily.”
This cult favorite brand has earned a loyal following since its launch in 2018. With a tightly curated selection of chic body care products that all use clean ingredients and are formulated in the ideal pH level range (5.5-6.5 in case you were wondering), the body wash is described as “a daily multi-vitamin for your skin.” With three oils (marula, cacay, and meadowfoam) and mild plant-derived surfactants, you get a gentle cleanse without any stripping. The fragrance-free formula has a unique texture that’s partly gel, partly oil with plenty of slip and satisfying suds.
Speaking of a healthy lather, if bubbles are what you seek, look no further than this botanical wash. Packed with emollients like coconut oil and aloe vera, the replenishing formula whisks away the day with a dense and decadent lather. The tropical scent is also of note. “The smell is out of this world. [It] transports me back to the islands on vacay,” says one reviewer.
This gel is a true classic with legions of fans who have been using it for decades. Between the creamy lather it produces and the fragrant scent (a signature blend of spices, fruits and herbs) that fills your shower, it’s like a spa in a bottle. Best of all, it rinses clean and leaves your limbs feeling silky soft without leaving behind any slick residue (for those who dislike that feeling). “I’ve used it for years, tried others, but always come back to Rainbath,” says one reviewer, while another boasts that she’s “been using it for 30 years.”
Best for Tight Skin
A French staple, this silky shower oil uses coconut and sunflower esters, along with glycerin to draw moisture in and alleviate any tightness that usually accompanies dry skin. Plus, it has niacinamide to help replenish the skin barrier, so the hydration lasts beyond the shower. Soap-free and non-comedogenic, you can use it to cleanse your face and body without worry.
“The gel is thick and moisturizing, and it lathers nicely and rinses off easily, but let’s be clear: this stuff is all about the smell. If you like this fragrance, you’re going to love this shower gel,” says one reviewer. And we co-sign her statement. The scent she speaks of is sweet, nutty and tropical, and it lingers on your skin all day. Lest you think it skimps on hydration, it also features a blend of nourishing ingredients like cupuaçu butter, coconut and açaí oil that melts in quickly and locks in moisture.
Best for Very Sensitive Skin
For anyone who has skin allergies or is easily irritated by, well, most ingredients, this wash is a safe bet. Formulated without any of the usual suspects like fragrance, dye, lanolin, formaldehyde or parabens, it keeps your skin clean and comfortable. Oh, and it’s approved by the National Eczema Association, in case you needed extra convincing.
Fans of the buzzy brand will be delighted by their foray into body (and hair) care earlier this year. Like everything in the lineup, this creamy body wash is made with safe, biocompatible ingredients (in this case amino acids, coconut-based surfactants and marula oil) to thoroughly cleanse without stripping the delicate skin barrier. The recyclable packaging is a bonus. One reviewer claims it’s “truly one of the best [she’s] tried,” adding that “it’s not drying or tightening once you get out of the shower” and it doesn’t irritate any of her skin conditions which include “eczema, bumps on the back of [her] arms and some bacne.”
Best Coconut Oil Option
Any coconut lovers in the house? This one’s for you. Each easy-squeeze tube is filled with organic coconut water and aloe vera juice to soften and smooth dry skin. The scent, as expected, is sweet—like coconut milk—and the suds are abundant. As one reviewer notes, “the size of this body wash is awesome and a little goes a long way! It suds up REALLY well and I’ve noticed the rough skin on the back of my arms isn’t as pronounced as before.”