If you breakout easily or have allergies or conditions like rosacea and eczema, your body wash could be making things worse. Typical body washes tend to be packed with sulfates and other harsh soaps, which means they can easily cause irritation and dryness on your back, chest, butt, and limbs, but the best body washes for dry, sensitive skin can help soothe these irritations and leave your skin clean and hydrated.
Since harsh ingredients can turn your sensitive skin into an itchy, dried-out, it's important to check the ingredients list on your body wash. Things to look out for? Synthetic fragrances, parabens, surfectants, soaps, and foaming agents, like sulfates, which can all exacerbate dryness and sensitivity. Instead, look for more natural ingredients or formulas that are specifically marketed for sensitive skin. Products formulated for babies are also a great choice, since they're extra gentle. This will help with dryness, too, as most of these formulas tend to be nourishing and hydrating.
One point of clarification, though. Just because these formulas are great for sensitive skin doesn't necessarily mean they'll be safe for use on your face. Body washes, especially ones for dry skin, sometimes contain heavier ingredients that could cause breakouts, so be sure to lather from the neck down. Ahead, find five of the best body washes for dry, sensitive skin you can buy.
1The Best All-Natural Body Wash
This two-pack of Puracy body wash is a great option for people with dry, sensitive skin who love a beach-y scent (think salt, citrus, and coconut). It's sulfate- and paraben-free, vegan, biodegradable, and doesn't contain any questionable ingredients. And since it's a coconut-based cleanser, it's intensely hydrating, too. The fragrances in the formula, like pink grapefruit essential oil, are totally natural — and it also contains purifying pink sea salt. Since it rings up at just over $20 for two 16-ounce bottles, you're getting a serious bang for your buck. As a bonus, the formula is PETA-certified cruelty-free. If you wind up loving it, help reduce environmental waste by saving the bottles and ordering the 64-ounce refill.
2The Best French Pharmacy Shower Gel
Most shower gels tend to be drying, but not this one. A classic French pharmacy favorite, it was specifically formulated for dry, sensitive skin and can even help with eczema, itchiness, and scaly patches. It's hypoallergenic and totally soap- and paraben-free. Instead, it uses gentle moisturizing ingredients, and even though it appears blue, it doesn't contain any artificial colorants. For dry, sensitive skin, Bioderma's Atoderm line goes above and beyond; the entire range helps strengthen your skin's lipid layer, which tends to be weakened in these delicate skin types. This actually benefits your skin in the long run by helping it maintain a healthy moisture level.
3The Best Drugstore Body Wash (And Also The Best Value)
If you're looking for a no-frills option that won't break the bank, this is the pick for you. This customer-favorite cleanser from Dove is often recommended by dermatologists as being a great buy for dry and/or sensitive skin, because it's hypoallergenic and soap- and sulfate-free. The nice thing about this body wash is that it's one of the rare non-drying formulas that still creates a nice foamy lather. In addition to being an all around solid cleanser, it also contains a technology trademarked by Dove called NutriumMoisture, which is the key to how this body wash leaves your skin so smooth and soft. The best part? For just over $20, you'll get four 22-ounce bottles, so this one-time purchase will last you a year or more.
4The Best Cream Body Wash
Don't worry — Hempz Triple Moisture Herbal Whipped Crème Body Wash doesn't actually contain anything that will get you high. Instead, it's packed with healthy moisturizers and antioxidants that help strengthen your skin's lipid layer, as well as fatty acids, which deposit major moisture into your skin. Unlike the other products on this list, which are mostly gels and foams, this formula is thick and creamy, like whipper butter. It also contains some other unique ingredients: besides hemp seed oil, there's yangu oil, apple fruit extract, and cogon grass extract, which help with moisturizing and firming. But don't be afraid of these odd-sounding ingredients irritating your sensitive skin. They're totally gentle and all botanical-based. This formula is also sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, and 100 percent vegan.
5The Best Body Wash For Babies
Technically, Mustela Gentle Cleansing Gel is formulated for infants. But if you've got dry, sensitive skin, switching to baby products is actually one of the best beauty hacks out there, since they're so gentle and hydrating. This 17-ounce bottle of gel is formulated with mostly plant-based ingredients, like brand-patented Avocado Perseose, as well as vitamin B5, which both soothes and nourishes chapped skin. What's more? It's paraben-free, soap-free, tear-free, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic. The other great thing about this formula is that it doubles as a shampoo, so you're technically getting two products for the price of one. Try it out — you may never return to using grown-up beauty products again.
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