Skin-Care Tips

‘I’m a Dermatologist, and This is the Ingredient You Should Look For in Your Body Wash According to Your Skin Type’

Saanya Ali

Photo: Getty/brizmaker
Our skin types tend to be the number one determinant of which products we choose to put on our faces, so why doesn’t the same treatment extend to our bodies? Just like with your face, the skin below your shoulders can also be characterized as “dry,” “oily,” “combination,” or “sensitive.” According to board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, these things should be taken into consideration when shopping for body wash. To find out which cleansing ingredients will best meet your neck-down needs, scroll through for her recommendations of the best body washes for every skin type.

Best for dry skin: cocoa butter

best body washes
Photo: Walmart

The winter months are less than kind when it comes to dry skin. The cold and wind can cause cracking, tightness, and all-around discomfort. Though important to find a good cream, oil, or butter that works for you, the key to hydrated skin starts in the shower. Dr. King says that cocoa butter is the secret ingredient since it’s rich in fatty acids, which are key in the skin barrier’s functioning. She recommends Dove’s Restoring Body Wash with Coconut Butter and Cocoa Butter ($6) as a great drugstore option because it gently cleanses the skin without stripping it of its natural oils or drying it out.

Shop now: Dove Restoring Body Wash with Coconut Butter and Cocoa Butter, $6

Best for oily or acne-prone skin: salicylic acid

bset body washes
Photo: Amazon

For oily or acne-prone types, Dr. King suggests looking out for a formula with salicylic acid. The ingredient, which is common in facial acne treatments, works to penetrate your skin to gently exfoliate, remove sebum, and clear out pores. This scrub is made with 2 percent salicylic acid, and also has charcoal which will help absorb excess oil from your skin. Plus, it can be used on both your body and face, which makes it feel like a steal at only $10.

Shop now: AcneFree Blackhead Removing Scrub, $10

Best for sensitive skin: gentle washes

If you’re dealing with skin that’s easily irritated, your best bet is to keep it simple with whatever formula you’re using. Steer clear of harsh scrubs, fragrances, and anything else that might anger your complexion. One pick we love? This gentle, shea butter-infused body wash will cleanse skin without stripping it dry.

Shop now: Alaffia Shea Body Wash, $11

Best for combination skin: hydration friendly gel

best body washes
Photo: Nordstrom

When it comes to cleansing combination skin, you’ll want to find something that’s good for both the oily and dry parts of your complexion. Dr. King recommends looking for washes that have both moisturizing ingredients and gentle surfactants, which will effectively cleanse without drying out the skin. This eucalyptus body wash fits the bill. It’s made with natural oils to nourish and soften skin, and also includes mild plant-derived surfactants that gently cleanse without stripping or leaving a residue.

Shop now: Nécessaire Eucalyptus Body Wash, $25 

Best for eczema: colloidal oatmeal

best body washes
Photo: Amazon

For those with eczema worldwide, colloidal oatmeal is the best body wash ingredient money can buy. It’s got a natural complex of lipids, proteins, peptides, and starches that nourish and moisturize the skin, and has been used for centuries as a soothing agent to relieve itch and irritation. Dr. King recommends this colloidal oatmeal-infused body wash, in particular, for taming eczema flare-ups.

Shop now: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, $7 

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