Does ‘Moisturizing Body Wash’ for Dry Skin Even Work? Here’s What Dermatologists Think

Photo: Getty Images/Artem Varnitsin
Dry skin is no joke when you're striving for a glowy complexion. Slathering on lotion is a surefire way to fight off dryness, but that's not the only trick you should have up your sleeve. According to derms, using body wash for dry skin could be the key to unmatched softness.

At first blush, moisturizing body sounds like a scam. Yes, you rub on and wash off seconds later, but it can actually help a lot to improve dry skin. "Moisturizing body washes can trap water in the skin—something soap can't do," says Sheel Desai Solomon, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist in North Carolina. "But as with all products, not all body washes are created equal. All of them will cleanse your skin, but it depends on which ingredients are used as to whether they will moisturize your skin. "

"The 'good' moisturizing body washes contain hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which are hydrating ingredients," says Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, founder of Mudgil Dermatology in New York City. No matter how much you use them, though, they're never going to beat applying moisturizer after the shower.

"Applying a moisturizer to damp skin after a bath or shower is still key. While many body washes do contain moisturizers, most are not sufficient enough to prevent or treat dry skin on their own," Dr. Mudgil says. "If you suffer from dry skin, follow up with a moisturizing lotion within three minutes of leaving the bath or shower. Also, body washes are meant to be rinsed off, while moisturizers are left on the skin and have more time to penetrate."

To get your softest, silkiest skin yet, pair a dermatologist-approved moisturizing body wash for dry skin with your go-to body lotion. Together, they're a winning combo... and winter dryness won't even stand a chance.

The best moisturizing body wash for dry skin

body wash for dry skin cerave

1. CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash for Dry Skin, $11

This body wash is so good to your skin that it's recommended by the National Eczema Association. "The reason I'm such a fan of this product is that it's extremely gentle and has some key hydrators including hyaluronic acid, emollients, and ceramides," Dr. Solomon says. "Ceramides also help seal in the moisture that the hyaluronic acid pulls in from the air. It’s free of fragrance, soap, sulfates, and parabens."

body wash for dry skin aveeno

2. Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, $6

This body wash nourishes your skin and restores hydration with oatmeal, which soothes dry skin with natural oils and emollients. And, hey, you can’t beat the price.

dove deep moisture

3. Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash, $8

This body wash is already great on its own, but when you use it along with moisturizer? Even better. "Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash is an excellent option, and it's priced very fairly," Dr. Mudgil says. You can also pair it with the Neutrogena Hydro Boost moisturizer. It's easy to find, fragrance-free, and won't clog your pores."

nivea creme moisture

4. Nivea Crème Moisture Body Wash, $11

This extra-creamy soft foam body wash uses shea butter to keep your skin hydrated and healthy without leaving you feeling greasy post-shower. It also feels great going onto your skin.

body wash for dry skin olay

5. Olay Ultra Moisture Shea Butter Body Wash, $7

Along with cleansing your skin, this moisturizing body wash infuses long-lasting moisture, leaving your complexion feeling soft and smooth for days.

Here's what a dermatologist buys at the drugstore:

Here's the Amazon reviewer's 5-star guide to body wash under $15. Then, meet the acne body washes that are the in-shower equivalent of of an appointment with Dr. Pimple Popper.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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