The Best Body Washes for Women
Before we get into the best body washes for women right now, you might be wondering what exactly is a body wash and why you need it?
Body washes, and similar products called shower gels or shower creams, are liquids used to cleanse your skin during your shower. This helps remove impurities like oil, dirt, make up and sweat that build up over the course of your daily activities. It’s more than just a soap as it provides additional moisture and protection to your skin.
If a body wash is already part of your routine and you want to learn more, or if you’re an absolute beginner when it comes to body washes, read on to learn more about what to look for in a body wash and what the best body washes for women are!
What should I be looking for when purchasing body wash?
It can be overwhelming when you’re looking at a huge list of ingredients and choosing between hundreds of options. An overall rule is to opt for body washes with fewer ingredients to limit the chances that harmful preservatives or chemicals have been included.
Then, you need to look for a few key categories of ingredients used to cover all the needs of your skin. Humectants to draw moisture into the skin, emollients to soften and smoothen the skin, and occlusives to create a barrier to prevent moisture loss.
An example of this is a humectant is hyaluronic acid, which is naturally produced by the body so is often added to skincare products to help with the body’s natural production. Some great organic emollients you’ll come across in your favorite body wash include almond oil, jojoba oil and shea butter. Stearic acid is a great occlusive and is a key ingredient in natural products like coconut and shea butter.
Check that the body wash you’re purchasing is pH balanced. Typically, adult skin has a pH of around 5–5.5, so a pH balanced moisturizer will have a pH around this level.
If you have more sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid body washes that contain allergens or exfoliants as these can irritate your skin. These also include parabens and sulfates, which are ingredients added to health products as preservatives. These ingredients can be harmful to your body and are best avoided.
While ongoing research is required to determine the consequences of parabens on the body, it’s thought that parabens disrupt hormonal production, particularly impacting estrogen in women.
It’s also an advantage to opt for body washes that are fragrance free as these are generally better for your skin’s overall health. Check the label as natural fragrances are kind to your body while chemical fragrances are best avoided.
Phthalates are a group of compounds commonly used to make fragrances last longer. Research has found they can damage the liver, kidney and reproductive system, making it a wonder that they continue to be so widely used. Manufacturers also aren’t required to list the ingredients of their fragrances to keep their “trade secrets,” increasing the potential harm as you can’t be sure of what you’re applying on your body.
Currently, around 4,000 chemicals are used to scent products, which is why we have searched for the best body washes for women—body washes that use the power of nature to create their unique fragrances.
When it comes to looking after your skin, you might become overwhelmed by the options and how to focus on what’s important. We’ve collated some of the best options available for you based on their natural ingredients, delicious scents, and sustainable approach to packaging, thus ensuring you get the best body wash that meets all your needs.
1. Blu Atlas Body Wash
With 98% of ingredients coming from natural origins including fruits, plants and minerals, and a highly transparent approach to skin care, you need look no further than Blu Atlas.
Green tea extract, a strong source of antioxidants, is the star ingredient in Blu Atlas’ unique formula. Antioxidants are hugely beneficial for your skin as they alleviate skin damage, helping to improve the overall appearance of your skin. Aloe vera leaf is from a succulent plant leaf and is suitable for all skin types, helping with irritated, dry or sensitive skin. Sugarcane is another secret to the success of this body wash, acting as a natural exfoliant and being a great source of antioxidants.
You can even purchase this body wash as part of their starter set pack, which includes a face cleanser, face moisturizer and a deodorant to kickstart your self care journey.
Blu Atlas has been the talk of the town since they came onto the health care scene at the start of 2022. They aspire to create straightforward, high quality unisex skincare products to meet all your needs. Natural ingredients backed by science and created by expert teams are the secret to them dominating the beauty scene. Their products are also vegan and cruelty-free, with no artificial fragrances. They also offer a money back guarantee in case you’re not satisfied with your purchase.
2. REN Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash
This all vegan brand uses 100% recycled bottles. What’s not to love about that? Kelp, one of their key ingredients, is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are hugely important for your skin cells, protecting them against free radicals and preventing or delaying cell damage. Magnesium PCA helps replenish your skin’s moisture, while geranium and sage provide a refreshing scent.
REN products are a great option if you have sensitive skin due to their all-natural ingredients and sulfate free formula. They aim to produce high quality products that are kind to your skin and kind to the planet, making them a great option to add to your daily routine.
3. Nécessaire The Body Wash
This dermatologist tested body wash provides vitamin enriched nourishment for your body with every use. Nécessaire recommends using their body wash daily and massaging it into your body to get a rich foam. Apple, orange and lemon fruit extract combine to produce a delicious and invigorating scent. With clean ingredients, a sustainable approach, and delicious scents, it’s no wonder this brand is so popular.
Nécessaire is also committed to donating 1% of all sales to nonprofits fighting for the planet. They’re climate neutral certified and show transparency with their ingredients and packaging. They’re all about creating just the products that your body needs and keeping things simple. If you’re looking for long term results, they also offer subscriptions to automatically replenish your favorite products, and subscriptions come with a 15% discount.
4. The Seaweed Bath Co. Energize Body Wash
This is a great option if you’re looking for something more affordable that doesn’t hold back on the details. The name may have given away their key not-so-secret ingredient, seaweed, which offers over 65 vitamins and minerals to work miracles on your skin.
A daily dose of seaweed can boost your skin’s elasticity, texture and overall tone. Seaweed can also reduce the appearance of wrinkles and regulate skin oil production. Hyaluronic acid works to lock in moisture to allow your skin to stay hydrated for longer. This is all tied together with an energizing grapefruit and orange scent making it the perfect addition to start your day.
This family founded company is a proud supporter of ocean conservation work, particularly the rescue of sick and injured marine mammals. So, with every purchase, you’ll be benefiting both you and the ocean!
5. Kai Body Wash
Kai is a brand inspired by the pure and exotic scents of the tropics. It’s totally vegan and free of any unwanted chemicals, including parabens and sulfates. In recent years they’ve even teamed up with the Jimmy Miller Foundation, a nonprofit committed to assisting people with mental illnesses via the healing powers of surfing and the ocean.
Their body wash boasts cucumber and ivy for a calming scent. Vitamin E acts as a strong antioxidant, helping prevent moisture loss from the skin and protecting skin cells from damage. This makes it particularly beneficial for aging skin.
6. Plaine Products Body Wash
Plaine Products is committed to offering refillable, vegan, biodegradable and zero waste products. It’s simple—once you’ve finished with your body wash, you can return the empty bottle to them for it to be reused.
For body wash, you can choose between rosemary mint vanilla, citrusy lavender, or unscented if you have more sensitive skin. Aloe is their key ingredient, a natural powerhouse that acts to restore and maintain moisture and fight skin aging.
Plaine Products was founded by two sisters on a mission to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the world. Inspired by the tragic build up of plastic on beaches and in the ocean of the Bahamas, they opted for creating nontoxic, chemical-free products that can minimize the impact on the planet. After researching various options, they landed aluminum bottles as they can be completely recycled (unlike plastic) and don’t degrade in the recycling process. They also offer a subscription program if you’re looking to get more and save!
7. 100% Pure Body Wash
If you like to experiment and change up your routine from time to time, 100% Pure is a great option. They have a wealth of scents to choose from, including coconut, lavender, vanilla bean, almond, grapefruit, and more, to satisfy all of your needs! Vanilla bean is their all time favorite, and you can even pick different sized packaging depending on whether you’re needing smaller items for traveling or a larger supply.
They have committed to 100% natural, cruelty-free ingredients. Algae, coconut oil and aloe combine to create a hugely nourishing wash that cleanses and hydrates with every use. This brand is a great choice if you live in a colder climate or struggle with dry skin.
8. Sukin Naturals Botanical Body Wash
This all natural Australian product has been crafted free of any harsh detergents, synthetic fragrances or artificial colors. Available in 250mL, 500mL and 1L containers, they have options to suit your every need.
Mandarin, tangerine, vanilla and lavender have combined forces to create their unique signature blend. Vitamin E boosts the skin’s hydration, while jojoba oil is great for reducing redness from dry skin. The ingredients work together to have an overall anti-inflammatory effect and to calm the skin.
Sukin Naturals is also a proud sponsor of Reef Aid and Trees for the Future, so with every purchase, you can be assured that you’re benefiting yourself and the planet.
8. Elva’s All Natural’s Refillable Natural and Organic Body Wash
Elva’s All Naturals is all about creating delicious scented products that you can refill as soon as you’re running low. A family business, they proudly back the “Toxic Chemical Rebellion” that’s putting an end to products that have been researched and known to cause harm.
When it comes to body washes for women, you’re spoiled for choice, with winter blend, pumpkin spice, vanilla orange, and lemongrass and lavender. You can also choose between their aluminum bottle or glass depending on what works for you.
Almond extract is a key ingredient that soothes the skin, relieves acne, and provides antibacterial and antifungal effects. Cocoa seed butter is another secret to the success of this body wash. Cocoa butter is rich in plant compounds known as phytochemicals, which are great at improving blood flow and slowing skin aging by providing a protective barrier from the harsh UV rays from the sun.
9. Ursa Major Body Wash Bars
If using a liquid body wash isn’t working for you, you also have the option of body wash bars. These are equally as effective as body wash at removing the build up of dirt and germs. They tend to be a more affordable option, too, as you get more bang for your buck. Generally, it’s recommended to avoid bar soaps if you’re prone to dry skin, but users love this brand and find that it helps them through the dry winter months.
Ursa Major offers an energizing peppermint scent to awaken your senses and set you on track for the day. Sea fennel helps unclog your pores, boost collagen and aid cell turnover. Honey and coconut oil work together to help your skin to maintain its moisture.
Ursa Major, which means the Great Bear in Latin, is the largest visible constellation in the northern sky and has been used for many years to find true north. It’s the brand’s reminder and encouragement to find your personal “true north” and forge your own pathway.
10. Corpus Body Wash
This all natural vegan-friendly formula is known for its soothing orange scent with cardamom, pink lemon and bergamot. While you might be surprised to see caffeine on the ingredients list of this body wash, it’s no mistake. Caffeine enhanced products are great for reducing inflammation and irritation. This is all contained in their long lasting, climate-friendly aluminum packaging.
Corpus is a great option if you’re wanting to have something that smells delicious, is friendly for your body and the planet, and doesn’t sacrifice quality. They’ve even opted for solar power and hydroelectrics showing transparency and cutting no corners in the whole production process. We love their earthy, simple packaging.
11. Everist Body Wash Concentrate
Another great innovator in the skin care realm is Everist. Rather than paying for water (which is the main ingredient in most body washes), you’re instead investing in a longer lasting water free concentrate. You can expect one small tube to last you over two months, so this option is great value for the money. Aloe vera is their key moisturizing ingredient packed with vitamin A, C and E to help soothe the skin. Peppermint oil, rosemary oil and sage oil enhance the delicious scent of this powerful body wash and add to its hydrating effects.
Everist recommends using around a pea sized amount and working it into your skin for at least 30 seconds to maximize the conditioning effects. This is a perfect option if you travel a lot as you can easily sneak this into your bag to keep up your routine no matter where you are.
12. Pai Skin Body Wash
While on the more expensive side, you’ll be glad you spent the extra money. Pai skincare products are specially crafted for people who suffer from eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. Camellia oil is key for locking in moisture, and rich in omega 3 and polyphenols for their anti-aging effects. Bergamot oil is a natural cleanser, helping to unclog pores and balance your sebum levels to give your skin the glow you’ve been looking for.
It even comes with a small konjac sponge to help you apply it all over your body! The sponge is fully biodegradable so after around three months of use, you can dispose of it with your food waste or compost it.
13. Skinfix Eczema+ Foaming Body Wash
Jojoba oil, coconut oil and aloe leaf juice combine to create this hugely nourishing blend. Jojoba oil delivers antioxidant protection, balances oil production in the skin and has anti-inflammatory effects. Coconut oil has additional anti-inflammatory effects and locks in moisture and aids wound healing. This fragrance free option is great if you suffer from dry skin or eczema.
Skinfix was developed by self-described skin nerds, and they even have a podcast if you’re interested to learn more about how to best care for your skin. The podcast features top doctors and skin care authorities as guests, giving access to dermatological knowledge so you can learn on the go. They’ve also taken the extra step to test their product with top dermatologists, following strict protocols to ensure you’re getting the skin treatment you deserve.
14. Basd Body Care Body Wash
Inspired by nature, this clean brand has a huge variety of organic options that are certified and tested. They offer some unique flavors, perfect for you if you like the smell of sweet fragrances. Sandalwood, creme brulee, mint, and citrus grapefruit are your options, which obviously leaves you spoiled for choice!
A stand out ingredient for this brand is green tea. It’s great for reducing inflammation, alleviating acne, gently exfoliating and unclogging pores, hydrating the skin, controlling oil balance and maintaining healthy, glowing skin. This makes green tea a bit of a powerhouse in the skincare realm. Other star ingredients include allantoin and vitamin E oil, both of which have calming, healing effects on the skin.
Basd has opted for recyclable packaging, taking every step to provide more sustainable options that reduce our impact on the planet.
15. Ethique Body Wash Concentrate
Another innovator in the skincare realm, Ethique has developed a delicious body wash concentrate. Their unscented body wash is an all time favorite. But if you’re feeling bold, they also offer orange and lime, or lavender and vanilla. This pH balanced option is perfect for all skin types.
Ethique was born in the kitchen of founder Brianne’s home in New Zealand and soon took on the global healthcare scene. Tired of paying for products that were mainly made up of water, she decided to create something that gave you all the best ingredients but didn’t increase waste with excessive packaging or diluting the product.
Ethique has partnered with a few environmental organizations, committing 2% of their income to conservation, animal welfare and environmental groups working hard to protect our planet.
16. Dr Bronner’s Organic Sugar Soap
If you’re wanting a way to cool off in the summer, Dr Bronner’s strong peppermint sugar soap is the option for you. This family-owned brand has been around for 150 years with five generations of soapmakers perfecting their family recipe, one that gives you the results you’re after. In addition to having a great scent, it’s also quite versatile; it’s safe to be used on your hands, face, body and hair, so it makes a great addition to your shower.
Sugar is a gentle exfoliant added to this product and combined with grape juice for a delicious sweet tone. With fairtrade and organic sugar, you can rest assured that you’re buying quality ingredients and supporting an ethical approach to health. Now that hemp has been legalized in the United States, hemp oil is sourced locally and is great for decreasing inflammation and irritation, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
17. Earth Mama Castile Body Wash
Formulated for pregnant women where many scents can cause feelings of nausea, Earth Mama has opted for the healthy and refreshing scents of ginger, lime and grapefruit. As with the other brands on this list, Earth Mama is keeping things simple with all natural ingredients, full transparency and vegan friendly products that are safe for anyone to use. So if you need something refreshing, Earth Mama ticks all the right boxes.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use shampoo as body wash?
Your hair has a slightly more acidic pH than the rest of the body. This means that you’ll want to keep shampoo for your hair and use a body wash for the rest of your body.
How frequently should I use body wash?
How often you use body wash depends on your activity levels. For example, if you’re regularly doing physical activity, then you’ll want to use it daily to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh. If you’re on the less active side, you can opt for using body wash every two to three days.
Body scrubs are a different story, though. They’re salt or sugar based exfoliants that remove dead skin cells, helping your skin to feel nourished. We recommend using body scrubs less frequently than body washes (around one to two times per week) and using it after a body wash.
Where can I apply body wash?
Most body washes can be applied everywhere but the face. Check the instructions and ingredients, but generally you’ll want to purchase something separately for your facial routine as this can be a more sensitive part of your body; using body wash on your face may result in irritation or dry patches. Some body washes are designed to remove stubborn dirt and debris from the skin, making it better that you find a gentler option for your face.
To apply body wash, wet your skin in the shower or bath, and then apply the product over your body with a washcloth. Ideally, keep your shower warm rather than hot as this helps keep your skin nourished.
You’ll only need a small amount of body wash, as using too much can dry out your skin. You can rinse off the body wash and pat yourself dry. (Try to avoid rubbing yourself dry as this can excessively dry out your skin.) After your shower, it’s best to follow up with a moisturizer to maximize hydration.
When should I apply exfoliant?
If you’re looking to exfoliate your skin, it’s best to use body wash first to ensure your skin is clean and ready for exfoliation. This also ensures that your skin is warm, which allows it to release your body’s natural oils and open your pores. This helps the exfoliant remove dead skin cells and leave you with smooth, irresistible skin. Check the label of your body wash as some also offer exfoliating benefits.