If you have dry, sensitive skin or a skin condition like eczema or keratosis pilaris, caring for your skin is challenging. So many types of body wash include harsh ingredients that will irritate your skin – and that can lead to even bigger problems
Instead, you should treat your dry, sensitive skin to body wash that’s designed for its needs. There are body washes and soaps made for dry skin, if you know what to look for and where to find them.
Avoid Body Wash With These Ingredients
If you have dry or sensitive skin, you don’t want to use just any body wash. In fact, you don’t even want to use regular soap.
The basic body wash and soap varieties you’ll find at your favorite stores are formulated with a long list of ingredients – and some of those ingredients can make your skin worse. Certain ingredients are particularly harmful for dry, sensitive skin. And they can cause even more problems if you have eczema or another skin condition.
To prevent your body wash from stripping hydration and important nutrients from your skin with every use, The Fox and She¹ recommends avoiding the following ingredients.
Parabens are actually chemicals. And parabens – which include groups of chemicals like methylparabens, propylparabens, butylparabens, and ethylparabens – are incredibly common in popular body washes. Parabens can mimic estrogen, which can disrupt your body’s balance of hormones.
So, every time you use a body wash that has parabens listed as part of its ingredients, you’re scrubbing your delicate skin with harmful chemical that can cause a host of health concerns.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
SLS and SLES are two ingredients known to irritate skin. They’re used to create the foam in body washes – it’s how your body wash can become soapy and sudsy when lathered up.
While normal, well-hydrated skin may not have any issues with these ingredients, skin that’s already dry, irritated, or sensitive to chemicals is likely to react. It can leave your skin red, angry, and even potentially trigger skin allergies.
You probably know one use for formaldehyde: dead animal preservation. It’s the smelly stuff that animal carcasses are stored in, especially if you’re dissecting them as part of a school project. However, many people don’t realize that soaps and body washes also contain this same ingredient.
Formaldehyde is present in plenty of cosmetic and beauty products. Unfortunately, it’s a carcinogen. It’s been linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. However, when it comes to dry skin, it’s also problematic. Because it’s toxic, it can introduce bad-for-you toxins into your skin.
Look for Soap-Free, Natural Products
So, if these bad ingredients are present in many popular body washes and soaps, what should those with dry, sensitive skin do instead?
You need to look for skincare products that are specifically formulated for your skin’s biggest issues: a lack of moisture, deep hydrating power, and a blend of ingredients that won’t cause irritation.
According to HealthyBeautyMe², this means you’ll want to avoid any soaps or body washes that can strip moisture from your skin. If a body wash contains a harsh, chemical-heavy soap, it’ll dry out your skin even more as you use it.
When you’re choosing a body wash, here are the key factors you should consider:
- Mild Soap – Milder soaps tend to contain fewer harsh chemicals, sulfates, and preservatives that could strip the skin.
- Hydrating Oils – Oil-based body washes will infuse a lot of moisture into your skin. Look for soaps made with sunflower, coconut, jojoba, or olive oil.
- Shea Butter – Often found in body lotions, shea butter is deeply hydrating. If your body wash contains shea butter, it’ll help your skin hold onto moisture.
- Vitamin E Extract – Vitamin E is a popular ingredient in skincare products, and it’s great in body wash as well. It helps repair dry skin and stops itching, helping improve elasticity too.
Make sure to check the ingredient list on any body wash or soap for ingredients like these.
The Best Body Wash and Soap You Can Buy for Dry Skin
Make your search for body wash easy by choosing one of the top options for dry, sensitive skin. The following are a few of the best body washes, all formulated with hydrating ingredients, that’ll soothe your skin.
Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented Body Wash
Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented Body Wash is specially formulated for sensitive skin of any kind. It’s hypoallergenic, doesn’t contain any drying fragrances, and contains gentle cleansing ingredients. It’s also free of parabens.
Dermatologists love this body wash – it’s the number one choice they recommend³. With regular use, this Dove body wash will leave your skin softer, smoother, and less dry as it hydrates into the deepest layers.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil is one of the top skincare brands, and it makes plenty of gentle cleaners perfect for any skin type. But when it comes to dry skin, Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser is the best choice. It’s a fan favorite and one of Cetaphil’s best-selling products, featuring a simple formula that soothes while it cleans⁴.
This truly gentle body wash will leave your skin feeling smooth and soft to the touch after regular use. It features a mild soap formula that won’t strip skin of oils. However, it isn’t so hydrating that it clogs pores or leaves you feeling greasy.
CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash
CeraVe is another top cleansing brand – especially for anyone with sensitive skin that’s prone to irritation. And CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash is as effective as traditional soaps without stripping skin of its crucial hydration. It foams just like regular body wash, and it’ll clean and nourish your skin with ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
This body wash won’t irritate your skin. In fact, it’ll only improve its moisture levels, offering a refreshing clean and deep hydration. With regular use, it’ll restore and help your skin maintain its moisture barrier – meaning you’ll have more hydrated skin and solve your dry skin woes.
If you’re searching for a body wash that will work for your skin, don’t turn to traditional soaps and products. Instead, find the perfect match by opting for a body wash that offers what your skin needs: hydration and care. Specially formulated body wash designed for dry, sensitive skin can change your entire beauty routine.