Types of Body Wash for Every Skin Type

If you’ve been searching for the right type of body wash that will best suit your skin's unique needs, you may have realized that not all body washes are created equal. Some people suffer from dry skin all year long, whereas others have to deal with acne on their back or chest. Regardless of what kind of skin you have, there is a perfect body wash out there for you.

However, as anyone who has ever seen the rows and rows of body washes on a store shelf can tell you, there are tons of options on the market. So, how do you know which one to choose for your skin? We’re going to break down the best kinds of body washes to look for, no matter what type of skin you live in.

Sensitive Skin 

Sensitive skin? We’ve got you covered. For sensitive skin, you should avoid body washes with artificial ingredients and added fragrances because they are more likely to irritate your skin while you wash and leave you with red, inflamed, or itchy skin after a single shower. If you check the label, try to stay away from body washes that have sulfates and parabens.

Sulfates are deep cleaners, which is fine for people with particularly oily skin, but they can be too harsh for people with dry or sensitive skin. When possible, try to choose a body wash that only uses natural ingredients. Also, after purchasing the wash, try it out on a small area of your body. Give your body an hour or two while you monitor your skin to ensure that you don't have a negative reaction to any of the ingredients.

Oatmeal is a common ingredient that is usually great for sensitive skin. It helps your skin lock in its natural moisture and is soothing. Many people with sensitive skin often experience red or itchy areas, and oatmeal can soothe those inflamed areas. People who have skin conditions diagnosed by a doctor should always consult with a medical professional before incorporating a new body wash into their skincare routine.

Some other ingredients to stay away from include:

  •   dyes
  •   lanolin
  •   formaldehyde

Keep in mind that just because the ingredients of a body wash are all-natural doesn't mean you can't be allergic to them. For example, coconut oil is completely natural and works wonders for many, but some people’s skin reacts poorly when they use products containing it. Just because something is healthy or natural doesn't automatically mean that it will work for you because you, and your skin, are unique.

Oily Skin

If you are constantly dealing with oily skin issues like acne or shininess, you should be on the lookout for stronger body washes that can give you the deep clean your skin needs. Typically, a gel cleanser works best for oily skin. You can also look for body washes containing exfoliating beads to scrub off the excess oil that can lead to more acne and shininess.

However, depending on how oily your skin is, you may not want to use such a strong body wash every single time you wash. Some people prefer to switch back and forth between using a gentler body wash and a stronger one in order to get rid of the oil without damaging your body's natural moisture barrier. You don't want to dry out your skin too much.

Look for ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, which is the strongest kind of detergent that is safe for human skin. Again, you might consider only using it every other day to ensure that your skin doesn't dry out too much, especially during the winter. Other ingredients that can help with acne include salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid works better for milder forms of acne, whereas only people with more severe types should use benzoyl peroxide.

As a side note, if you plan to use body washes with those acne-fighting ingredients, you may want to use multiple body washes for your entire body. Those strong ingredients are fine for the oily areas of your body that are prone to acne, but for your lower legs and other drier areas, you might want to use a different body wash, so you don't unnecessarily dry out your skin.

Dry Skin 

Many people struggle with dry skin year-round; however, most people deal with dry skin during the wintertime. Your skin dries out and becomes cracked, tight, and itchy without the moisture from the other seasons. The winter winds can really dry out your skin quickly as well. So, in addition to using lotion, you should look for a body wash that helps lock in your skin's natural moisture as a barrier to the harsh reality of winter.

However, just because your skin is dry doesn't mean that you should just let it accumulate the natural oils you produce. Use a gentle body wash to clean away dirt and grime without using harsh chemicals that peel away your moisture. You always want to scrub off those dead skin cells that can cause so many problems with oily skin. After all, you don't want to go from one skin problem to another, right?

Your lower legs and joints are especially prone to drying out. Even if you don't use lotion on every part of your body, you should definitely use some on your shins and joints. Look for ingredients like soothing oats and creamier body washes that are soothing and more like washing yourself with lotion.

Normal Skin

If your skin doesn't fall into any special category, but you want to treat it with something extra special, why not try The Bawdy Wash? The wash utilizes Kaolin clay and seaweed to nourish your skin while keeping you clean. You won't have to worry about any kinds of harsh artificial ingredients with this body wash, as its all-natural ingredients are sure to delight your skin.

Sometimes, people with normal skin like to switch up their body wash during the winter because they are typically more prone to dry skin. So, if you normally use a gel cleanser for most of the year, try adding a creamier one for the wintertime, so you won't develop dry and cracked skin when the winter winds begin blowing strongly.


Eczema is a skin condition that makes your skin red and itchy, even when nothing external seems to be triggering the reaction. Things like arid weather, irritating skincare products, or even stress can trigger inflammation. It's kind of like having sensitive and dry skin at the same time. However, if you suffer from eczema, don't despair. There are ways of controlling the redness, so you won't have to deal with it as often.

Although doctors cannot fully cure eczema, you can take steps to prevent outbreaks of it. Sticking with hypoallergenic body washes that don't have any artificial ingredients is a great start. Still, you can also limit the amount of time you spend in the shower or shower at a cooler temperature. A nice steamy shower is appealing, but the steam can dry out your skin and end up causing an outbreak of inflammation or itchiness.

Most people with eczema have prescription medicine from their doctor in order to mitigate the symptoms, and you should always check with your doctor about what body washes he or she recommends. Some of the ingredients in normal body washes might even interact with your medicine, so you should consult with your doctor before making any changes to your skincare routine when you are taking prescription medications.


Psoriasis is another pesky and difficult to navigate skin condition. Although it only affects a small amount of the population, people dealing with it can find it challenging to find the right body wash. Psoriasis causes thick, scaly patches that grow on top of your skin. They cause extreme bouts of itchiness which can drive people crazy. These patches are called plaques, and they can be quite unsightly depending on where they grow. The good news is that it isn't a contagious disease, so if you don't have it, you don't have to worry about catching it.

The plaques are caused by dead skin cells building up too quickly, so you should look for a deeply cleansing body wash that frequently exfoliates. Salicylic acid can also help remove those dead skin cells, but you should also ensure that the body wash is adequately creamy to soothe any of the itchiness underneath the plaques when you scrub them off. If possible, also look for a body wash that contains ceramides for extra moisture.

In Summary 

No matter what kind of skin you have, the perfect body wash is out there just waiting for you to discover it. Consider what types of issues you have with your skin, if any, and then look for body washes that specifically target those issues. With a little bit of luck and research, you'll be able to find the right body wash to help cleanse and soothe your skin, so you can achieve that radiant glow we all love.