Best Body Washes for Dry Skin: Reviews & Guide (2018 Update)

Updated 4 years ago

Dry skin is itchy. No one wants to be itchy. If you’re tired of your regular soap drying out your skin, you need a body wash designed to moisturize and pamper your body.

Sometimes products that produce a lot of lather aren't the best for skin. You don’t need lather or detergents to clean your skin. There are many moisturizing cleansers that are kind to skin.

We rounded up the best body washes for dry skin and reviewed them in this article. If you’re curious about what makes a body wash good for dry skin, check out the information below. Or feel free to skip right down to see all the products and pick your favorite.

What makes a body wash good for dry skin?

Take a walk through the skin care aisle at your local supermarket and you’ll see tens of different brands of body washes. Some smell better than others, some have bright colors, others have exfoliating beads. But don’t fall for a pretty package. Watch for these key ingredients to determine if a body wash is going to help your skin:

Ingredients that help heal dry skin

  • Aloe vera soothes sensitive and sensitized skin
  • Glycerin and sorbitol draw moisture into skin
  • Glycolic and lactic acid gently exfoliate dead, dry skin and attract moisture, too
  • Jojoba oil helps soften skin because it’s very similar to skin’s natural oil
  • Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial, heals skin, and locks in moisture
  • Herbal ingredients like chamomile, oatmeal, and lavender calm irritated skin
  • Other natural oils like almond, sunflower, olive, and avocado are gentle, don’t clog pores, and protect skin from losing water.

Ingredients that harm and dry out skin

  • Alcohols (like SD and denatured, but not fatty ones like cetyl) dry out skin
  • Sulfates like sodium laureth and sodium lauryl make for great lather, but are hard on skin with repeated use (some other sulfates are less harmful)

If you’re in a hurry to clear up your dry skin, you can do more than choose a new body wash. You can exfoliate your dead, dry skin and use a good lotion to hydrate and protect your body. Check out our tips on renewing your skin in just one night at the end of the article.

We could have included some of the major brands in our review, but we skipped several of them because their formulas depend on some of the harmful ingredients. As the demand for healthier products increases, manufacturers are beginning to alter their body washes for the better. In the meantime, let’s get to the best ones on the market.

The top body washes for dry skin

We’ll start with the mega-gentle formula recommended by dermatologists. You can use it on your face and your whole body.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

People suffering with psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema have reported success using the Gentle Skin Cleanser from Cetaphil. It moisturizes skin while it washes away dirt, and it doesn’t strip off all the skin’s natural oil. if you’re camping, you can use it without water because it doesn’t need to rinsed. It’s hypo-allergenic, non-comedogenic, and has no scent. In other words, buy this in the bulk size so the whole family can enjoy it.

Kiss My Face Anti-Stress Shower Gel, Bath and Body Wash

Kiss My Face has been making natural products from organic ingredients for decades. Their Anti-Stress Shower Gel smells great and manages to stimulate skin while making it feel softer. It’s based on aromatherapy components like ginseng, lavender, orange, and rosemary extracts plus olive oil and aloe vera.

Besides the Anti-Stress Gel, Kiss My Face makes a whole line of other body washes with different scents and different purposes. All of them tend to be gentle and good at reviving dry skin.

bliss Super Minty Soap 'N Scrub

The fresh peppermint smell will wake you up while the jojoba beads help you shed old, dry skin. Users of the bliss Minty Soap ‘N Scrub say it makes their skin feel new again.

Puracy Natural Body Wash, Sulfate-Free Shower Gel and Daily Cleanser, Citrus and Sea Salt

Puracy says their Natural Body Wash is safe for children, adults, and pets. It’s based on pink Himalayan Sea Salt to exfoliate dry skin, and coco glycinate, a safe surfactant that makes lather. It also contains glycerin and pink grapefruit oil. There are no parabens, no alcohols, and no artificial fragrances.

Dove Go Fresh Body Wash, Cucumber and Green Tea

Dove’s go Fresh Body Wash seems to be a winner for a lot of people who say it makes their skin soft. If you’re not a fan of the cucumber and green tea scent, try the Pear and Aloe Vera scent below.

Eucerin Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash, Oil & Fragrance Free

Eucerin’s new formula for the Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash is oil and fragrance-free to be gentle on acne-prone and sensitive skin. It uses omega oils and lipids to protect and hydrate skin as it lifts away grime. Be aware that it contains a sulfate.

CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash

CeraVe is a brand often recommended by dermatologists because their products are gentle on sensitive skin. Their Hydrating Body Wash lacks parabens, sulfates, and artificial fragrances, but it lathers up nicely and leaves skin soft. Users with eczema report success using it.

Everyone 3-In-1 Soap, Lavender plus Aloe

Everyone’s 3-in-1 Soap is based on lavender and aloe to calm irritated skin. It’s a formula that’s safe for the whole family. Users say they love it and recommend it to all their friends and family members.

It’s cruelty-free, and has no parabens, no polysorbate, no disodium EDTA, no gluten, no GMOs, and no sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate free. It has sodium coco-sulfate, an ingredient rated as safe by EWG.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, Lavender

Everyone who’s interested in organic products runs across Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap. It comes in various scents, like lavender. The formula is free of synthetic chemicals because it’s only water, hemp, olive and coconut oils, glycerin, fatty acids, and essential oils. Loyal fans of Dr. Bronners use this soap for bathing, as shampoo, as laundry detergent, and more. Just a little bit goes a long way.

JASON Apricot Body Wash

JASON’s rich Apricot Body Wash has aloe and calendula to sooth skin while sunflower oil and glycerin soften skin. It doesn’t contain sulfates, petroleum products, or phthalates.

If you’re not a fan of apricot, try one of the other 9 scents like Aloe, Mango, or Lavender.

Alaffia - EveryDay Coconut - Hydrating Body Wash, Purely Coconut

Alaffia uses profits from their sales to help poverty-stricken people in Togo, Africa. Their EveryDay Coconut Hydrating Body Wash is lightly scented and makes skin feel so soft. It’s based on coconut water and coffee berry extract. Users say it moisturizes their skin very well and everyone in the family likes using it.

AHAVA Mineral Botanic Velvet Cream Wash

Users say this luscious-smelling Botanic Velvet Cream Wash from AHAVA lathers up well, is gentle on skin, and leaves it smooth and soft. AHAVA, an Israeli brand with fans around the world, says the wash is naturally anti-bacterial and moisturizing. It’s based on hibiscus and fig extract.

AHAVA Dead Sea Purifying Mud Soap

Dead Sea mud is good stuff for healing skin. If you’re not a fan of cleansers in pump-top jars and squeeze bottles, try this bar of Purifying Mud Soap. Users report that it leaves their skin feeling soft, but not dried out.

Kiss My Face Moisturizing Bar Soap for All Skin Types

Kiss My Face makes this Moisturizing Bar Soap out of four main ingredients: olive oil, aloe, water, and salt. While some users say it doesn’t smell as nice as they hoped, it does leave their skin smooth.

Medline Remedy Olivamine Cleansing Body Lotion

If you have very dry skin from undergoing chemotherapy, or if you’re bedbound for a while, this Cleansing Lotion from Medline is very useful to keep your skin clean and soft. It doesn’t need to be rinsed off after you use it.

How to make dry skin feel better in just one day

You can make a drastic improvement in the state of your skin in just one day’s time if you follow these steps. Get ready to give yourself a total spa treatment in the comfort of your own home.

If you have a humidifier, let it run in your bedroom while you take a bath. This is especially important if you’re trying to perk up your skin in the wintertime when central heating in the house dries it out.

Make sure your bathroom is a comfortable temperature. Draw yourself a warm bath—but not too hot, because hot water is drying to skin. Sprinkle a handful of cornstarch in the water, or place a half cup of oatmeal inside a coffee filter or nylon stocking to soak in the water with you. You can also use a bath oil for dry skin.

While you’re bathing, use a washcloth or a soft loofah to exfoliate dry skin. Enjoy your new body wash. Pay attention to areas like elbows, knees, the backs of your arms, or anywhere you’re usually itchy or ashy.

When you finish your bath, stand up and rinse in the shower with warm water. Pat your skin dry and immediately out on a soothing lotion made to hydrate dry skin. Use plenty of it and cover your whole body. Don’t forget a nice night cream for your face, too.

Hop into bed and wake up with new skin!

Accessories to help dry skin

Gentle, consistent effort will resolve your dry skin. Here are some things that help.

Loofahs Mesh Shower Balls, Pack of 4

Softy, squishy, and cheap, these shower loofahs will help you keep your skin soft.

Aquasentials Exfoliating Mesh Brush

When you want to scrub your back to get rid of the itch, this is the tool you want in the bath.

Aquasentials Easy Lotion Applicator with Handle

Getting lotion spread all over your back is only easy if you’re a contortionist or if you have this lotion applicator with long handle.


Choosing skin care products is a little easier if you take the time to understand what you need and read ingredient lists. Don’t sacrifice your skin just to stick to a budget. Watch for discounts and sales on the products that will work best for you.

We hoped we helped you find the perfect body wash to heal up and get rid of your dry skin. Come visit us again soon to see new reviews of the newest and best in personal care and beauty.