If you have sensitive skin, you're all too familiar with the most common symptoms: redness and itchiness, bumps and dry patches, rashes and breakouts. While those sorts of things are most noticeable on your face, they also tend to manifest on other parts of your body — think keratosis pilaris, bacne, and eczema — which is why it's so important to make sure you're using a gentle soap for sensitive skin in the shower.
Whether you're shopping for soap for your face or body, it's important to take into consideration what other ailments you might be facing with your specific skin type. For example, if the bumps and flaky patches on your skin are due to a lack of moisture, you should look for a moisturizing soap made for dry skin. Also, it's of the utmost importance that you stay away from any sort of soap made with additives like parabens, alcohol, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances, all of which are known irritants that can cause rashes and breakouts.
Ahead, find five of the most gentle soaps for sensitive skin of all types. Whether you're looking for a bar soap for your face, an all-over wash that babies can use, or a formula that can help reduce the symptoms of eczema, you'll find a top-notch choice, below.
1. The Best Bar Soap For Sensitive Skin (Face & Body)
Dove's Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar is actually the most highly-recommended facial bar soap by dermatologists for people with sensitive skin. It's mild, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and intensely moisturizing. The fact that it's so basic and stripped-down is what makes it so great for sensitive skin — you'll find no funky additives that might cause irritation here. Since it's nice and moisturizing, it's a great choice for dry skin types, too — expect your face to feel super refreshed and soft after each wash. Also, it comes in a 16-pack — for just $15, at that — so you'll be set for literally ages.
Fans say: "Great soap for someone who is allergic to the world. I pretty much break out in hives from anything, this is safe for me, and doesn't leave my skin feeling dry and itchy!"
2. The Best Bar Soap For Acne-Prone Sensitive Skin (Face & Body)
African black soap, like this one from O Naturals, is one of the best things you can use to treat dry, sensitive, acne-prone skin. Using a formula made with plant-harvested botanicals, like plantain peels, cocoa pods, and Dead Sea mud, it unclogs pores, soothes dry patches, and detoxifies skin. This soap also contains shea butter, which leaves skin hydrated and soft, and lavender essential oil, which soothes inflammation. It's vegan and free of synthetic fragrances, parabens and sulfates.
Fans say: "I really enjoy using this soap. It is effective in treating the little bumps on my skin when the weather is very hot. This is the best soap I have ever used and I have tried many types."
3. The Best Liquid Soap For Sensitive Skin (Body Only)
As far as liquid soaps for sensitive skin go, Noodle & Boo's Soothing Body Wash is a fantastic option. It was actually formulated for babies and their sensitive skin, but that doesn't mean that adults can't get in on the action. In fact, adults with sensitive skin might want to consider switching to baby products altogether, since they're formulated to be extra-gentle. Noodle & Boo's body wash is soap-free, so there's nothing to dry out or strip skin. It's formulated with allantoin, which is softening, as well as a milk protein to cleanse while adding back moisture. This formula also contains high levels of vitamins B and E, which nourish and also help to moisturize. In addition to being clinically-tested, dermatologist-tested, and pediatrician-tested for sensitive skin, it's also hypoallergenic and free of parabens, sulfates, and all those other known irritants.
Fans say: "I love this stuff! It smells so good on my baby and keeps her skin soft. She has extremely sensitive, eczema-prone skin and she hasn't had any problems with this brand. It goes on smooth and doesn't feel sticky."
4. Best Body Wash For Eczema (Body Only)
Those with eczema know how difficult it can be to find a body wash that vibes with your skin. Luckily, Aveeno's Skin Relief Body Wash was formulated with this exact skin type in mind. The star ingredient, collodial oatmeal, is not only nourishing, but also known to help soothe eczema symptoms like itching, severe dryness, and flaking. The formula is soap-free, dye-free, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic, so there's absolutely nothing to set you or your skin off.
Fans say: "I have terrible asthma/allergies/eczema. In the winter months after my showers, my skin itches so bad. The itching is so horrible that it gives me anxiety and I'd dread shower time. This product changed all of that! Immediately after using it the first time, NO ITCHING! I haven't had any skin issues since!"
5. Best Budget-Friendly Liquid Soap (Face, Body, & Hair)
There's a reason Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castille Liquid Soap is so ubiquitous. This stuff is a godsend for those with sensitive skin because it's so gentle that it can be use all over your entire body (including your scalp and hair). Though all of Dr. Bronner's formula are suitable for sensitive skin, this one in particular is even better, since it's unscented and made for the sensitive skin of babies. You won't find any additives in this vegan, USDA certified-organic formula (which is super rare for a beauty product to be, by the way), but you will find natural oils (like coconut and olive) that hydrate skin, leaving it smooth and soft. This one huge 32-ounce bottle is bound to last months in your shower, and you can also use it as shampoo, making it truly an amazing value.
Fans say: "After decades of suffering and trying every product out there, I might have finally found something I'm not (and hopefully won't become) allergic to. Since getting this, I've used it for everything (body, hair, dish washing and laundry) and, so far so good, I'm loving it."
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