Skin Care

15 Best Body Washes – Top Shower Gels and Drugstore Body Wash


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Body wash is a product most of us use every day, but sudsing with the right one can make the difference between a so-so shower (and skin!) and one that’s pampering and silkening. So for a next-level spa-like experience and healthier, more hydrated body skin, don’t just grab any old soap off the shelves.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab’s scientists constantly evaluate skin care products, including body washes. First, the bottles are label-masked to eliminate bias and tested on consumers for attributes like application, lather, scent, feel on skin, and look and feel of skin after use. In the Lab, they use tools like the Corneometer device, which measures skin hydration levels, to gauge the product’s ability to moisturize (or dehydrate) skin.

These skin care expert-approved body washes, from affordable drugstore finds to luxurious picks, are proven to leave your shower time and skin better than ever.

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1

Best Moisturizing Body Wash

Daily Moisturizing Body Wash

One of the most hydrating formulas in the GH Beauty Lab’s test of moisturizing body washes, this classic Aveeno cream gel maintained skin’s moisture barrier in Lab testing of transepidermal water loss (depletion of moisture in skin during cleansing). It also scored highest for having a luxurious lather and a light fragrance. “I loved the fresh, clean smell, and the lather was creamy without being too heavy,” a tester said.

2

Best Body Wash for Dry Skin

Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash

The winner of a GH Beauty Breakthrough Award and so much more than soap, this souped-up body wash infused with argan oil beads softens dry skin after just one wash. “My skin was as smooth as if I’d applied a moisturizer,” a tester raved. 

“I used it at night, and my skin still felt moisturized in the morning,” another marveled. The body wash alone moisturized skin for four hours in the GH Beauty Lab’s test of skin hydration levels — no lotion needed.

3

Best-Smelling Body Wash

Mango Splash Body Wash

The top-rated in the GH Beauty Lab’s body washes test for its fruity tropical scent, this formula also ranked high for leaving skin feeling soft and clean. Plus, it was gentle and less drying on skin in the Lab’s evaluation of moisture loss during cleansing. 

The scent was fantastic and made me happy even in the dreaded morning!” one tester raved. “The rich, creamy lather spread easily on my skin and rinsed completely without any unwanted residue — my skin felt soft, moisturized, and luxurious,” another said. 

4

Best Body Wash for Shaving

Foaming Silk Mousse Body Wash (2-Pack)

Like a lush shaving cream for all over, Nivea’s novel foaming body wash, a Good Housekeeping Beauty Award winner, does double duty, cleansing and giving a smoother shave. “It’s fun to use, spreads easily over your body in seconds and feels pampering and indulgent,” a fan said. “It left my skin silky and subtly fresh-scented,” another added.

5

Best Body Wash for Acne

Body Clear Pink Grapefruit Acne Body Wash

Made with the dermatologist gold standard acne-fighting ingredient salicylic acid, this body wash helps combat body breakouts by killing the bacteria that causes blemishes and also works as a gentle exfoliator. And despite its serious skincare benefits, it doesn’t smell medicinal: It has a fruity-sweet grapefruit scent. 

6

Best Foam Body Wash

Deep Moisture Shower Foam

A fresh take on body wash and winner of a Good Housekeeping Beauty Breakthrough Award, this pillowy foam leaves skin comfortable, not stripped, thanks to gentle cleansers and smoothing glycerin. Even better, each bottle holds a whopping 250 pumps! 

The most lush, abundant suds I’ve ever experienced from a body wash, and it was so light and refreshing,” one tester reported. “My skin felt clean and soft— no residue or post-soap tightness,” another said.

7

Best Unscented Body Wash

Ultra Gentle Body Wash Fragrance Free

Formulated free of fragrance or masking scents that can irritate sensitive skin (and noses) or interfere with perfume, this Cetaphil shower gel also contains skin-conditioning aloe vera, glycerin, and vitamin B5.

8

Best Citrus Body Wash

Care & Orange Blossom Moisturizing Body Wash

This almond oil and glycerin-infused body wash formula is GH Beauty Lab Chemist Danusia Wnek’s all-time favorite. “For the past decade, this is the only body wash I’ve used,” she says. “It has a nice creamy consistency, a delicate yet mesmerizing orange scent that keeps me coming back for more, cleanses without over-drying, and lightly softens my skin— an ideal shower experience!”

9

Best Skin-Softening Body Wash

Ultra Moisture Shea Butter Body Wash

With the prestigious Good Housekeeping Seal, Olay’s creamy body wash does more than, well, just wash: it hydrates skin with ingredients like shea butter. GH Beauty Lab data confirmed that the wash effectively cleanses skin yet leaves it feeling soft and moisturized. 

10

Best Eco-Friendly Body Wash

Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Body Wash

REN Clean Skincare

$27.00

If you’re going “green”, this ec0-conscious body wash is the top pick of GH Beauty Lab Birnur Aral. “The bottle is made of 100% recycled plastic, 20% of which comes from ocean plastic, and the pump has no metal spring, so the packaging is fully recyclable as-is,” she says. “Plus, I love the uplifting herbal-botanical scent, a mix of geranium, rosemary, and sage.”

11

Best Body Wash for Sensitive Skin

Skin Calming Body Wash

Formulated for sensitive skin that’s easily inflamed or dehydrated, this Eucerin body wash is based on skin-coddling botanical oils like soybean and castor rather than harsh cleansers. It contains a small number of ingredients, but no fragrances or soap surfactants to reduce the chance of irritation. Post-shower, body skin “feels comfortable, not itchy and dehydrated,” a tester found.

12

Best Exfoliating Body Wash

Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash

You can skip the body scrub with this Caress body wash: A longtime favorite of GH’s beauty director, it’s laced with natural silica beads to gently slough skin as you suds. The warm, sweet scent smells of brown sugar and musk, and the giant bottle lasts forever!

13

Best Refreshing Body Wash

Fresh Outlast Soothing Orchid & Black Currant Body Wash

Both a Good Housekeeping Seal holder and Beauty Award winner, this creamy, decadent Olay cleanser leaves a soft fruity-floral scent on skin. The formula contains cleansing agents that are milder than those in regular bar soap and produces a silky lather, GH Beauty Lab evaluation confirmed.

14

Best No-Rinse Body Wash

Radical Refresher Cleansing Body Mist

Love Beauty and Planet

$7.46

Like a spray-on body wash, this unique no-rinse body cleansing mist, a GH Beauty Breakthrough Award winner, can be spritzed from head to toe to freshen up fast with skin-cleansing and conditioning ingredients. Beauty Lab testers loved the subtly sweet scent and called it “good for those times when you can’t take a full shower.”

15

Best Natural Aromatherapy Body Wash

Stress-Fix Crème Cleansing Oil

For aromatherapy effects that rival the fanciest spas, lather up with Aveda’s creamy oil body wash. The vegan and cruelty-free formula made with USDA-certified organic plant oils envelops your shower with the calming aroma of lavender and clary sage essential oils to instantly relax the senses. 

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