We rounded up the absolute best body wash on the market, because “bar soap versus body wash” is basically the “boxers or briefs” of bathing. And if you’re in the liquid corner of that debate, you need some soap that’s as hydrating as it is cleansing. It’s gotta smell fresh—or perfectly neutral. (Many people prefer a fragrance-free option, often due to sensitive skin.) In some instances, it’s got to neutralize bacterial buildup or counter acne-prone skin. Maybe you need an inexpensive workhorse body wash, or you’re after something more luxurious. No matter what exactly you’re after, there’s a pick for you below, in this lineup of the 16 best body washes
The Best-Smelling Body Wash
We were hard pressed to be unfaithful to Aesop’s Geranium Leaf body wash, a longtime favorite. But this newer Citrus Melange light-foaming cleanser is vying for prime shower caddy real estate. It unites petitgrain with rinds of lemon and grapefruit for the crispest, freshest feeling.
The Best Simple Body Wash
Dr. Bronner’s claims its liquid Castile soap is an “18-in-1” cleaner, renewing everything from clothes to dishes, pets to laundry, floors to food. That’s an impressive lineup, but it makes our list for one reason only: it’s a dirt-cheap way to get a very special kind of tingly, squeaky clean for your whole body.
The Best Unscented Body Wash
Nécessaire happens to sell some of our favorite scented body washes—Sandalwood is our top pick of their three—but this fragrance-free option is equally great. If you’ve got sensitive skin or are scent averse, it’s an affordable yet lavish gel-oil lather. All of the brand’s body washes are plant-derived, and are chock full of vitamins and nutrients, ensuring your skin doesn’t dry up after a shower.
The Best Body Wash for the Gym
Athletes work up quite a sweat, and need to be mindful of all the sweat taking residence around their body. That’s why Art of Sport harnesses tea tree oil in its body wash, to neutralize any threat of bacterial or fungal breakouts—in turn kiboshing breakouts, too. Activated charcoal extracts sweat and oil from deep within the pores without over drying skin, and you get to enjoy an uplifting eucalyptus scent at the same time.
The Best Low-Cost Body Wash
If you’re in the market for an affordable, brand-name body wash, then Dollar Shave Club offers this refreshing, uplifting pick in a mint and cedarwood medley. It soothes with aloe and uses plant-derived cleansing agents to leave you refreshed.
The Best Acne-Clearing Body Wash
Salicylic acid is one of the top ingredients of note in acne-fighting body washes (the other being benzoyl peroxide, in more medical formulas). And salicylic acid is the center of PTR’s recipe here: it flushes out grime and dead skin from within the pores, while glycolic acid smooths and exfoliates the surface of skin. It soothes skin, too, with allantoin and aloe, while jojoba beads gently scrub away to lift remaining rough patches.
The Best Deodorizing Body Wash
If you’re prone to odorous bacteria buildup, then a deodorant isn’t the only thing to seek salvation: You can use an odor-fighting body wash, too, like American Crew’s. This one promises to keep you fresh for up to 24 hours, using ingredients like silver citrate and tea tree oil to fight off the bacteria that lead to funky smells. It finishes with a peppermint scent, to start those 24 hours on a refreshing note.
The Best Luxury Body Wash
Creed takes many of its best-selling (and best-smelling) scents, and bottles them as body washes. So of course, our go-to is the brand’s most famous scent, Aventus. It’s a sweet-musky-woody scent, combining notes of pineapple, birch, musk, oak moss, and patchouli. You can pair it with the scent itself, if you’re exactly that fancy, or enjoy its essence by letting this luxury wash stand alone.
The Best Body Wash for Dry Skin
Waging a losing battle against the forces of dryness or eczema? The brand behind the best drugstore moisturizer in the biz also sells your new weapon of choice. CeraVe’s body wash is heavy on the ceramides to help strengthen your skin barrier and beat back any attacks on the itchiness front.
The Best Two-For-One Body Wash
It’s easy to feel skeptical when a product designed expressly for one part of your body proudly touts its benefits for another. But La Roche-Posay delivers the goods—big time. LRP’s MO is simple: smooth skin by combating dryness and upping hydration. Its face and body wash two-fer helps mount an every-morning defense against parched skin, no matter where you apply it. And right now, you can score a bottle in our latest Best Stuff Box—along with a whole host of spring-ready grooming essentials—for a measly $50.
The Best Exfoliating Body Wash
Snagged yourself a reliable facial exfoliator? Kudos: Now treat the rest of your body to the same epidermis-saving luxury. Bevel’s gentle body wash incorporates silica and charcoal to scrub away dead skin cells, but counters with ultra-hydrating argan oil to lock in moisture and leave your skin as soft as a newborn babe’s.