With all this talk of the best body washes out there, it may get you daydreaming about a tropical spa vacation and have you slipping out of the shower feeling soft as a newborn babe. But, we care about your body, and the truth of the matter is: there’s so much more to a body wash than simply how it smells and how it makes your skin feel.
With factors to consider like where that yummy smell is sourced from, what the ingredients do and its effect on the environment, there’s a lot to be discussed as we get to the bottom of the overall best body washes out there.
What To Look For
When it comes to all the details that make a body wash a body wash, it can get confusing. So no matter your skin type, below, you’ll find out about all the essential qualities in a body wash that make it a smash or a hard pass.
Organic, Clean Ingredients
Keep your pretty eyes peeled for the good ol’ certified organic seal of truth. You can find this on the package, as brands like to boast it loud and clear. Certified Organic is a promise that there has been no use of chemical pesticides in manufacturing any of the ingredients contained in that product. Instead, organic farmers strictly only use organic weed and pest control.
Natural oils will keep your skin spiffy, healthy, and sexy. Here are some winners we pulled out that are significant infusions to any body wash.
- Coconut oil
- Aloe vera
- Tea tree oil
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Green tea
- Vitamin E
Suppose your mama taught you to shy away from any product that says “fragrance” when considering something to use on your private bits, good on her! But label-scan with resolve, my friends, because these brands found a little loophole and quite often use the phrase “parfum.” Essential oils are great natural fragrances.
Check out some of our woo-worthy favorites:
If you want to relax…
If you want to energize…
To be honest, the sweet orange essential oil sounds like the perfect natural fragrance we’d like to utilize for our next pre-date shower and shave. Improves athletic performance? Yes, please.
We’re all about co-existing, which means sparing the little bunnies and mice the torture of having body washes tested on them. Look for the little bunny ears logo, and you’re good to go.
What To Look Out For
Fact: some brands just don’t care about you. We’re sorry, we had to say it. They don’t care about how their coconut paradise exfoliating shower gel is going to throw off your vagina’s PH balance or give you butt acne. They don’t care that their coral-reef-deep-dive manly-man deep wash cleanser will cause shoulder breakouts and dry out the sensitive skin behind your ears. Here’s to you stripping with confidence.
This may come as a shock to you, but body washes are typically made up of 70-90% water. *jaw drop* This means that the entire bottle you pay for only holds about 30-10% of the cleansing product you need. -- Cue the parabens and the ocean pollution.
Parabens and You
Parabens are necessary for any product that contains water. These irritating chemicals are used as an artificial preservative in many cosmetic and beauty products. They increase the shelf-life of a product by reducing the growth of harmful bacteria and mold.
Although these chemicals are commonly used in everything from deodorant to toothpaste in low amounts, the cumulative exposure can be hazardous. And if you think about it - little parabens in every product you use adds up. For example, adolescent girls who wear makeup every day had 20 times the levels of propylparaben in their urine compared to those who don’t wear makeup. Overexposure to this chemical can mess with your hormones and lead to reproductive problems.
Parabens and the Environment
Keep in mind that everything that goes down your drain ends up in the ocean one way or another - so by using products with parabens, you’re washing those parabens down the drain to swim with the little fishies. Parabens have been detected in fish, and even very low levels can easily kill coral.
Microbeads, often found in body washes and face cleansers boasted as “exfoliating,” are just microplastics that easily sneak through the filtration system during sewage treatment, spitting them right out into the ocean and waterways.
If you’re trying to go green, most experts recommend switching to bar soap due to its minimal, often cardboard packaging that doesn’t contribute to our earth’s plastic pollution pandemic. But, some may feel less than stoked to do so with thoughts of the potential bacteria build-up of their bar soap sitting in a pile of stale soapy sludge water day in and day out. It’s less than appealing.
When you think that body washes contain mostly water, it seems like a major waste to buy a plastic bottle filled with...water. Well, here’s a revolution: The Bawdy Wash that is powder-to-foam, water-activated, body wash. Let’s hear some commotion at the idea of a body wash you can SHAKE.
We’ve squeezed, pumped, squirted, and poured our body wash for as long as we can remember, and it’s about time we had an earth-friendly, body-friendly, shake-it-like-a-polaroid-picture body wash to spice things up during shower time while listening to Lizzo. Wiggle, twerk, shake and clean that body with all-natural ingredients that don’t need nasty parabens for a shelf-life.
Sulfates are a BIG NO for those who dye their locks - as it is a stripping agent. So definitely steer clear from this stuff in the hair aisle. But are they that bad when it comes to a body wash? The answer: it depends.
We’ll break it down for you: A sulfate is a foaming agent that lathers, encourages a deep clean, and emulsifies. It’s great because it helps the product cleanse better by thoroughly sudsing up, making a little product go a long way, and makes it more efficient. Therefore, it is perfectly safe and healthy to use products that contain sulfates every day.
Those who should be wary are people with particularly sensitive skin or dry skin. That squeaky clean feeling you get after sudsing up is just your body wash stripping the oils from your skin. If you experience irritated or dehydrated skin, steer away from products with this ingredient or only use them a couple of times a week instead of every day. And if you do have dry skin, be sure you armor up and lock in that moisture post-shower with some hydrating body oil by Bawdy. Some of the key, clean ingredients are CBD, marula oil, and patchouli oil helping to amplify and moisturize your skin post-shower.
Drink up, by all means, and we can share recipes. But do not, please, use any products on your body that contain it! It is sometimes found in body washes for its ability to “de-grease,” aka STRIP your precious body of its precious oils. It damages your skin’s barrier, is drying, can promote redness, and cause irritation. Words to look for before putting the bottle down isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol 40, and ethyl alcohol.
You’ve got to be an advocate for yourself and your body. You can’t rely on anyone else to watch your back but you. (and us, of course...we’ve got your back and your butt). Once you’ve got a body wash that loves you as much as you love it, you’re golden. Relish in your shower time with a relaxing or energizing scent, whichever strikes your fancy -- and stay sexy, friends.