The right body wash will have you starting and ending your day on a high note. There is nothing like working up a rich lather and allowing the suds to soak away the stress of your day, or stumbling into the shower in the morning and being awakened by the invigorating scent of eucalyptus and mint.
The ideal body wash will moisturize you while ridding you of dead or flaky skin, excess sweat and dirt. In order to get the best clean, you have to release yourself from the clutches of simple Ivory soap and your trusty five-in-one and invest in something a little more luxurious. After all, you deserve it.
How to Choose the Best Body Wash for Men
The feeling of your body wash is just as important as the scent, so you should take some time to decide what feels best on your skin. If you like a sleek feeling, go for a shower gel. If you prefer something more along the lines of a lotion, choose a cream body wash instead. For those who have always had a love for bubbles, there are plenty of liquid-to-foam options to satisfy your inner child at bathtime.
Though the feeling of your product is one of the most essential aspects to get right, you need to make sure that whatever you are using is moisturizing as well. Plenty of soaps get you squeaky clean, but that extra-tight feeling that comes with many soaps – especially bar soap – isn’t always a good thing, and indicates that the product is drying out your skin.
Choose a body wash scent that you absolutely love! Try not to go for fragrances that are overwhelmingly strong. You want your shower experience to be relaxing, and your other products, such as cologne and lotion, will pick up in the fragrance department. Go for something subtle but addictive; something that will make you excited to bathe or that will put pep in your step as you start your day.
You can even go all out and have two body washes – one for the morning and one for the evening. Your morning wash should be bright, with notes such as citrus, peppermint or menthol. For an evening shower, go with an aroma that helps you wind down, such as lavender or sandalwood.
Different skin types have different needs, so the soap at your partner’s house might not always agree with you, even though you love the way it smells.
Shea butter works great for all skin types, but this ingredient is fiercely hydrating and perfect for drier skin types. Avocado oil and jojoba oil work well with dry skin, too, allowing you to retain moisture even after you dry off. Using less product helps you keep some of your skin’s natural oils, so instead of lathering up your hands with lots of soap, use a loofah or a washcloth instead.
Those with sensitive skin should aim to stay away from fragrance as much as possible, as it could irritate you further. Seek out products with glycerin so you can stay moisturized, or experiment with products that include oatmeal, as it is incredibly soothing.
To Exfoliate or Not to Exfoliate
Plenty of people choose not to exfoliate, and for some, a simple cleansing works well enough. However, for those who suffer from clogged follicles or keratosis pilaris, exfoliating is the key to soft skin and the erasure of unsightly bumps, and it is important to be consistent and diligent about it.
The skin on your body isn’t as delicate as the skin on your face, so you can exfoliate your arms and legs every day if you need to, with both a scrub and an exfoliating glove if you choose. Those with sensitive skin that can’t handle a daily scrubbing can either exfoliate every other day, or make sure they are keeping their skin properly moisturized to prevent further irritation.
Blu Atlas – Body Wash
All-natural brand Blu Atlas has a number of fantastic products, but this body wash takes the cake. The rich lather is boosted by ingredients such as green tea extract, which is anti-inflammatory and full of immune-boosting antioxidants. Even if you decide to skip the post-shower lotion, your skin will not be missing out on much.
This body wash is so hydrating that you’ll notice a visible difference in the smoothness and texture of your skin within the first few washes. This is the best body wash for men who are starting to use products that don’t just get them clean, but add an element of luxury as well.
2. Nivea Maximum Hydration Body Wash
Nivea Men Maximum Hydration Body Wash with Aloe Vera
Most of Nivea’s products are known for their moisturizing prowess, but this Maximum Hydration Body Wash is an extra-strength cure-all for skin affected by harsh winter weather. Aloe vera adds boundless hydration and soothes the skin. If you find that your skin gets dry in the colder months, you’ll take comfort in knowing that Nivea has a long-term solution to this period of winter abrasiveness.
The scent is mild, so if you have sensitive skin, you won’t have to worry about any bold fragrances irritating you.
3. Huron Body Wash
Huron – Men’s Body Wash Cleanse and Recharge
After a day filled with responsibilities, you’re probably worn out and looking for a pick-me-up. Your evening shower should be just as revitalizing as your morning one, and Huron’s Cleanse & Recharge Body Wash is the best for men who need a reset.
Refreshing menthol and decongesting eucalyptus allow you to catch your second wind, so you can shed your daytime worries and start your night without baggage. Huron is an eco-conscious brand; their packaging is 100% recyclable, and all of their products are vegan and cruelty-free.
4. Jack Black Black Reserve Cardamom and Cedarwood
Jack Black Black Reserve Hair and Body Cleanser Cardamom and Cedarwood
Many men’s hair and body products are a combination of the two, and sometimes these dual-action soaps fall short in one area or another. Your hair and your body require different things, and the type of moisture and conditioning your skin needs might be the opposite of what your hair is seeking.
However, if you find that your skin and hair concerns are similar, invest in this lush total body cleanser by Jack Black. The Reserve line has an air of exclusivity to it, and the cardamom and cedarwood fragrance is sensual without being overpowering.
5. Dr. Barbara Sturm Body Wash
Dr. Barbara Sturm
Dr. Barbara Sturm is best known for her anti-aging treatments and serums, so we know this body wash will not only smell great, but will have a whole series of transformative benefits, giving a youthful, hydrated appearance to skin that may be lacking its usual vibrancy.
Hyaluronic acid plumps and moisturizes skin while purslane curbs irritation. This formula contains no fragrance and is gentle enough for everyday use, so you never have to go a single day without immaculate, firm, refined skin.
6. Method Men Sandalwood + Vetiver
Method Men Sandalwood and Vetiver Body Wash
Method Men is home to many affordable products that allow men to create a regimen of skin, hair and body care that is simple and suitable for multiple skin types. The Sandalwood and Vetiver Body Wash smells like a dream, and the lather is silky smooth.
With this product, rinsing off is just as easy as washing up – not a speck of soap residue will be left behind. This body wash is made up of plant-based ingredients, so your body will respond well to this composition and the scent will last longer than you might have expected. And did we mention it is well under $10?
7. Dr. Teal’s Eucalyptus and Spearmint Body Wash
Dr. Teal’s Ultra Moisturizing Body Wash Relax and Relief with Eucalyptus Spearmint
Considering all the great benefits this product offers, it is practically a steal, as each bottle is regularly sold for under $5. Dr. Teal’s has always made an effort to cultivate products that are calming and stress relieving, from their melatonin-rich bath soak and washes to our favorite, the Relax & Relief Eucalyptus and Spearmint line. The mint and eucalyptus work to refresh and revitalize, soothing the skin and providing a relaxing scent.
8. Byredo Gypsy Water Body Wash
You almost want to try out this body wash just because of the name alone. Byredo has plenty of great unisex fragrances and body-care products, but there is something about Gypsy Water that has people coming back for more.
Born out of deep respect for the Romani people and their way of life, this body wash is a blend of smoky incense, sandalwood and softened vanilla, topped with citrusy bergamot and piney juniper berries. The fragrance will summon visions of mystical nights in the forest and the expanse of untraveled land waiting to be discovered.
9. Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap – Peppermint
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap – Peppermint
This body wash packs a fierce punch, and those who don’t dilute this soap first are in for a powerful, minty impact. Dr. Bronner’s multipurpose castile soap is not for the weak, and definitely not for those who tend to gloss over the directions. However, the level of cleanliness you will get with this soap is unmatched, and your skin will be free of the tightness other powerful soaps can leave. You’ll be coming back to this day after day to get the job done.
10. Disco Invigorating Body Wash
Eucalyptus Body Wash by Disco for Men
Eucalyptus on its own is a lovely plant to hang in your shower. It clears the nose, relaxes the mind and allows delicious steam to permeate your towels, clothes, skin and hair even after you’ve stepped out from under the water. If you don’t have access to fresh eucalyptus leaves, Disco will prove a worthy substitute.
Working to eliminate odors and moisturize the skin with every wash, Disco is for men who appreciate shower time as a chance to unwind and shed their professional skin for their day. Your time to wash up and scrub down shouldn’t feel like another working aspect of your day; you should enjoy it as well. Chill out, and let Disco do all the work for you.
11. L’Occitane Eau des Baux Shower Gel
L’Occitane – Eau de Baux for Men Shower Gel
L’Occitane is revered for its amazing hand and body washes. Their oil-to-milk formula turns your skin into butter and may very well be one of the best body cleansers around. Eau de Baux, which is formulated specifically for men, has a scent that you simply cannot ignore.
Cedarwood and frankincense give off an inviting aroma that envelops you in spice and smoke. Besides being a phenomenal body wash, this acts as a hair cleanser, so you can work this scent over every inch of your body.
12. Kiehl’s Men’s Body Fuel
Kiehl’s Body Fuel All-in-One Energizing Wash
Clearly, we all love a good menthol body wash. When it comes to feeling your cleanest, nothing underscores the sensation better than a strong, cool, minty bite. In Kiehl’s wash, the menthol is enhanced by caffeine, which does wonders for restoring your skin’s vitality and creating a visible virile glow.
Kiehl’s has a whole line of men’s skin, hair and body care, and each product has the same revitalizing edge to it that makes this particular body wash so addicting. Like a few others on this list, this body cleanser also works well for your hair, making it an excellent travel option.
13. Raw Sugar Men’s Body Wash – Citrus + Blue Agave
Raw Sugar Men Body Wash, Citrus + Blue Agave
Cold-pressing your ingredients is the way to go if you want to extract all the health benefits you possibly can. It would be an absolute waste not to!
Raw Sugar wants you to get the most out of everything you put in or on your body, so all of their products are plant-derived and vegan, free of carcinogens and harmful synthetics that toy with your delicate pH. This Citrus and Blue Agave scent is delectable, and your partner won’t be able to get enough of it once they get a whiff of its fruity goodness.
14. Typology Anti-Blemish Shower Gel Glycolic Acid + 6% Tea Tree Oil
Anti-Blemish Shower Gel – Glycolic Acid + 6% Tea Tree Oil
We cannot stress enough how important exfoliation is to the health and appearance of your skin. Your dead skin cells slough off on their own, but occasionally they need some assistance, and when you neglect to address it for too long, this can lead to hair follicle buildup and body blemishes.
Glycolic acid is a versatile chemical exfoliant that can be used all over your body. This particular formula uses a combination of glycolic acid and tea tree oil, which eradicates flakiness and the potential for further irritation. Typology is committed to making sure your body wash doesn’t just get you clean, but also addresses your skin issues.
15. Malin and Goetz Rum Body Wash
Rum Hand + Body Wash – Malin + Goetz
A little sweet and a little spicy, this rum body wash separates the men from the boys. Hydrating amino acids hold moisture close, while surfactants send debris, dirt and grime packing. This body cleanser can also be a hand wash if you wish.
The rum scent isn’t too overpowering, and is helped along by eucalyptus, tangy bergamot, lime and cannabis. You’ll fall in love with the texture and aroma of this Malin + Goetz bestseller.
16. Czech & Speake Oxford and Cambridge Hydrating Body Wash
Oxford & Cambridge Hydrating Body Wash
Czech & Speake are looking to bring the luxury of old-world English acumen straight to your skin. Oxford & Cambridge has an opulent lavender scent, and even though this bottle is on the pricey side, it is worth adding to your shower arsenal as an occasional treat to celebrate your academic prowess or recent burst of genius in the workplace.
Oakmoss and peppermint accompany English and French lavender to serve up decadence on a silver platter, creating an indulgent aroma and a lush bathing experience.
17. Grown Alchemist Body Cleanser – Chamomile Bergamot Rosewood
Grown Alchemist Body Cleanser: Chamomile, Bergamot, and Rosewood
Grown Alchemist’s body cleanser is bright and reserved at the same time, relaxing you with the scent of chamomile and rosewood and adding a bit of citrus clarity with a hint of bergamot.
Antioxidant-dense extracts such as jojoba and rosehip oils smooth and defend your skin against dryness and irritating flare-ups. Grown Alchemist puts soul and genuine care behind all of their products, and the intent to relax and create a genuine relationship with aromatics is evident in this mature, skin-softening body wash.
18. EIR NYC Active Body Wash With Sage
Eir NYC, Active, Body Wash, Sage
Connecting with nature inside and outside of the home is vital to a clear mind and a centered being, and the scents bottled up into this EIR NYC body wash make enjoying those natural, aromatic scents a daily event.
You never have to go without the bright spring of lemongrass and the herbaceous zest of rosemary and sage with this plant-based wash. This will not create the big suds you may be used to from other body washes, but this is the best body wash for men who prefer gaining the benefits of totally natural products rather than lathering up with a bunch of bubbles.
19. Lush Dirty Springwash Shower Gel
Dirty Springwash | Lush Cosmetics
Dirty is in the name, but it is certainly not part of the game. Lush’s shower gel does not mess around when it comes to clarifying your skin and giving you an all-around cool down, which is a perfect solution for overheated, post-workout skin.
Spearmint, menthol and sea salt wash away odors and gently exfoliate so you can return home knowing you’ll be free of dirt and debris in no time.
20. Aveeno Skin Relief Oat and Chamomile Body Wash
Aveeno Active Naturals Body Wash, Skin Relief, Gentle Scent, Soothing Oat and Chamomile
Those with sensitive skin know that flare-ups and irritation can keep you up all night long, writhing in an attempt to get comfortable. A lot of soaps contain heavy perfumes and fragrances that end up making the problem worse, but Aveeno is looking to do the opposite.
Their oat and chamomile wash is tranquil and healing, soothing irritation and moisturizing to prevent flakes and cracked skin. This Aveeno soap is the best body wash for men who need just a bit of extra care from their skin products due to an existing skin issue or to prevent a dormant one from arising.
Body Wash vs. Bar Soap
Both body wash and bar soap have their disadvantages, and either is suitable for the process of getting clean. However, each one also offers unique benefits.
Bar soap is great for those who live alone. You waste a lot less product by using bar soap and you don’t have to worry about spreading bacteria if you’re the only one using it – you can pretty much ensure safe storage if you’re the only one in your shower and you store it in a dry area.
For couples or families, though, body wash is probably a better option. Body wash works for families or if multiple people use the same shower. The lather of body wash tends to have more hydration agents than bar soap, so you’re getting a more satisfying clean than the tight dryness often associated with bar soap.
Should You Use Regular Body Wash Down Under?
Your private areas need more special attention than the rest of your body, so using the same body wash everywhere might not be the best option for you. To be safe, you should have a different soap for your intimate areas than your traditional go-to body wash.
Avoid fragrances, as they have the ability to throw off your pH and irritate sensitive areas. Do not use cleansers with exfoliating beads, as they can make you more prone to irritation or infection. Nowadays, plenty of brands have developed a line of intimate washes for men.
These gentle formulas are mild enough for daily use, even multiple times a day, so you don’t have to go through the trouble of independently deciding which unscented soaps are the healthiest for your groin area. If you find that your regular body wash does the trick, don’t toss it to the side.
Everyone’s body responds differently to ingredients, and some people have more delicate skin than others, so don’t be swayed if you’ve been using scented soap and have had no issues. The best thing you can do for yourself is to listen to what your body is telling you and trust it when it asks for something a little different.
The news and editorial staff of the Bay Area News Group had no role in this post’s preparation.