If you have sensitive skin, you know firsthand how difficult it can be to find a product that won’t leave you feeling itchy, dried-out, or irritated. Even if you've already found your favorite non-irritating skin-care products, establishing a sensitive skin-friendly body-care routine can feel all the more overwhelming. However, a moisturizing body wash can make all the difference.
When it comes to finding the best body washes for sensitive skin, cosmetic chemist and BeautyStat founder Ron Robinson recommends formulas infused with soothing, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing ingredients. These include aloe, green tea, and shea butter, respectively. According to Robinson, you'll also want to steer clear of sulfates, which can strip skin of its natural oils and leave it looking and feeling dry.
Instead, cosmetic chemist Ginger King recommends body washes formulated with sulfate-free surfactants, which she describes as "less harsh." "Choices like coco glucoside [which is derived from coconut] or sodium cocoyl glutamate [which is derived from amino acids] are better," she tells Allure. Additionally, King tells Allure that sensitive-skinned folks should "avoid body washes that are heavily fragranced." Robinson elaborates on this, explaining: "Fragrances can contain many different components, and some of these components can be irritating to some people."
According to board-certified dermatologist Zenovia Gabriel, M.D., who is based in Newport Beach, California, you should always opt for a body wash instead of a soap. "Compared to body soaps, body washes are formulated to be more hydrating and replenishing to the skin," Dr. Gabriel explains.
Read on the best body washes for sensitive skin, according to experts. The best part? A handful of them clock in at under $10 and can be found at your local drugstore.
All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Courtesy of brand1/13
Puracy Natural Body Wash
Board-certified dermatologist Karyn Grossman, M.D. — who is based in Santa Monica, California and New York City — recommends Puracy's Natural Body Wash for its sulfate- and paraben-free formula featuring hydrating vegetable glycerin. Per the dermatologist, the coconut-derived cleansers and Himalayan pink sea salt offer a deep clean and refreshing scent, especially alongside citrus notes. The body wash is also labeled as hypoallergenic, which Dr. Grossman especially recommends for sensitive skin types.
Courtesy of brand2/13
Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash
The Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash is a "great option" for those with sensitive skin, according to Dr. Grossman. "It contains oats, which is known for being a soothing ingredient that cleanses without stripping your skin's natural oils," she tells Allure. Plus, its soothing formula — which is both soap-free and hypoallergenic — is enriched with moisturizing glycerin.
Courtesy of brand3/13
Odele Soothing Body Wash
Formulated with soothing oat flour and glycerin, the Odele Soothing Skin Body Wash is an excellent choice for sensitive-skinned folks. It gently eliminates dirt, odor, and other types of buildup, all without stripping the skin or drying you out. Plus, its naturally derived fragrance features refreshing notes of aloe and cucumber.
Courtesy of brand4/13
Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Refreshing Body Wash
Cetaphil's Ultra Gentle Body Wash contains aloe vera and glycerin, which, according to Dr. Grossman, "helps moisturize and soothe the skin without causing irritation." It also has calming calendula and skin-softening vitamin B5.
Courtesy of brand5/13
CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash
New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Michele Green, M.D., recommends CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash for its fragrance-free, oil-free, and noncomedogenic formula, which is also enriched with ceramides and hyaluronic acid. According to Dr. Green, the ceramides are "essential" when it comes to protecting and moisturizing skin, while hyaluronic acid "alleviates dry skin by attracting moisture to the skin's surface." The end result? Softer, plumper, and smoother skin.
Courtesy of brand6/13
Olay Ultra Moisture Shea Butter Body Wash
The Olay Ultra Moisture Shea Butter Body Wash is a "personal favorite" of board-certified dermatologist Peterson Pierre, M.D., of the Pierre Skin Care Institute in Thousand Oaks, California. Dr. Pierre loves that the body wash is infused with vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide) "which hydrates the skin," as well as shea butter, which is "known to nourish and moisturize."
Courtesy of brand7/13
Vanicream Gentle Body Wash
Vanicream Gentle Body Wash is "most notable for what it doesn't have: fragrances, parabens, dyes, formaldehyde-releasers, and sulfates," says board-certified dermatologist Michele Farber, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The soap-free body wash is an excellent option for those with sensitive skin since it gently cleanses without stripping skin of its natural moisture. Plus, it's spiked with glycerin for extra hydration.
Courtesy of brand8/13
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Wash AP+
The noncomedogenic La Roche Posay Lipikar Wash AP+ is fragrance-free and packed with some of the most trust skin-care ingredients to keep your skin looking and feeling soft and non-irritated. According to Dr. Farber, it's formulated with "shea butter to hydrate, glycerin as a humectant, and niacinamide to soothe." Meanwhile, its foamy texture gives it an ultra-lightweight feel.
Courtesy of brand9/13
Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash
According to Dr. Gabriel, the best body washes for sensitive skin are those with gentle and hydrating formulas that get the job done sans irritation, like Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash. "This fragrance- and soap-free drugstore body wash contains nourishing omega oils and natural lipids for mild cleansing," the dermatologist tells Allure.
Courtesy of brand10/13
Nécessaire The Body Wash Fragrance-Free
Necessaire is best known for chic, minimalist packaging and vitamin-packed products. The fragrance-free edition of The Body Wash is one of the best cleansers on the market for sensitive skin since, according to Dr. Gabriel, it "gently cleanses without over-stripping." It's also enriched with vitamin A, vitamin B3 (niacinamide), vitamin C (known for its skin-brightening and antioxidant properties), and vitamin E (a free radical-fighting antioxidant). Its smooth texture falls somewhere between a gel and an oil and features a blend of moisturizing marula and cacay oils for a luxurious lather.
Courtesy of brand11/13
Dove Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body Wash
According to Dr. Green, the best body washes for reactive skin — including this Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash — are formulated to moisturize and nourish even the most delicate skin. Per the dermatologist, this hypoallergenic body wash gently cleanses, leaving skin soft and smooth. Meanwhile, its rich, creamy texture feels extra indulgent.
Courtesy of brand12/13
Babo Botanicals Sensitive Skin Hydra Therapy Wash
The Babo Botanicals Sensitive Skin Hydra Therapy Wash boasts a plant-based, hypoallergenic formula. It's also infused with a slew of hero skin-care staples, such as calendula to calm, aloe to soothe, coconut oil to moisturize, cocoa seed butter to nourish, and shea butter to lock in hydration.
Honest Soothing Therapy Body Wash
Safe enough to be used on babies, Honest Soothing Therapy Body Wash is a boon for anyone with sensitive or eczema-compromised skin. In addition to moisturizing coconut oil, the formula features one of the most reliable soothing ingredients in the game: colloidal oatmeal. Itchy, reactive skin gets a soothing, hydration-replenishing cleanse with a side of relief.
Keywordsshoppingshopping guidebody washsensitive skinbody careaveenoCetaphilCeraVeOlayvanicreamLa Roche-PosayEucerinNecessairedovebabo botanicals