For luxuriously smooth skin all over.

By Christie Calucchia
February 26, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

As counterintuitive as it may sound, it’s not unusual for skin to feel extra dry after toweling off from a hot shower. Despite the literal moisture you expose your body to while bathing, the combination of hot water and cleansers can strip the skin of natural hydrators and leave it feeling dry. An easy remedy to this common problem is to apply lotion right after you get out of the shower or tub, but when that doesn’t seem to do the trick, it might be time to reevaluate your go-to body wash.

“Moisturizing body washes cleanse and help trap water in the skin,” New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD tells Health. This is because they contain ingredients that prevent the loss of moisture, she adds, which can keep dry skin from happening in the first place.

If you’re looking for the best moisturizing body washes, Dr. Jaliman suggests checking the labels for ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, shea butter, and oils. Ceramides protect the skin’s barrier and lock in moisture, while hyaluronic acid (an ingredient you might recognize from your favorite face moisturizer) hydrates and prevents water loss. Glycerin is also a moisturizing agent that draws moisture from the air into the skin and serves as a protective layer, Dr. Jaliman says. Finally, shea butter and oils are packed with vitamins and fatty acids that help moisturize and nourish the skin. 

Ahead, browse the 14 best moisturizing body washes that contain hydrating ingredients and have rave customer reviews—and get ready for your softest skin yet.

Best Overall: Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Bath and Shower Gel

Nordstrom

This body wash is filled with key ingredients Dr. Jaliman recommends, like vitamins C and E and shea butter. It doesn’t contain any parabens, sulfates, or phthalates, so you can trust that it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, and it features a reinvigorating fruity scent derived from citrus extracts. Reviewers love its refreshing smell and skin-soothing abilities.

Available at nordstrom.com, $23

Best Soap-Free: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash

Amazon

This creamy body wash uses a soap-free formula made up of oatmeal, glycerin, sunflower oil, and soybean oil. Unlike most soap-based cleansers, it’s specially formulated to lock in moisture without drying out the skin. You can use it as a body wash or even as a shave cream in the shower, and thousands of Amazon shoppers gave it a perfect 5-star review.

Available at amazon.com, $7 (was $8)

Best Splurge: Kiehl's Jumbo Grapefruit Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser

Nordstrom

If you’ve ever had the privilege of showering in a swanky gym or spa, you’ll likely recognize this luxe grapefruit-scented body wash. The fresh-smelling cleanser is fit for use in the shower or the bath and contains moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera, and hydrolyzed wheat protein. Nordstrom shoppers love this product so much that one even said they’ve been using it for 17 years.

Available at nordstrom.com, $49

Best Value: OGX Extra Creamy Coconut Miracle Oil Body Wash

Amazon

For serious hydration at a low price, you can’t beat this tropical-inspired body wash from OGX. It calls on coconut oil, vanilla bean extract, silk amino acids, and safflower seed oil to moisturize skin and emanate a sweet scent. Amazon reviewers say just a little bit of the body wash goes a long way and that it softens even the driest winter skin.

Available at amazon.com, $4 (was $5)

Best Natural: Caudalíe Fleur de Vigne Shower Gel

Amazon

For a natural moisturizing body wash, give this soap-free shower gel from Caudalíe a try. Its gentle formula is completely plant-based and contains 97 percent natural ingredients, including glycerin and aloe vera extract. Like all of the brand’s products, this body wash is also free of parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, and mineral oils. And it’s so popular, it’s currently sold out on Nordstrom, but you can still purchase a bottle on Amazon for just $12.

Available at amazon.com, $12

Best Drugstore: CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash 

Amazon

Dermatologists consistently recommend this drugstore brand, and it’s easy to see why. The CeraVe body wash contains hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and three different ceramides for maximum moisture. Plus, it’s made without parabens and sulfates, and is even accepted by the National Eczema Association as a safe and effective choice for those with sensitive skin conditions. Amazon reviewers confirm it works wonders on dry skin and helps with skin conditions like psoriasis.

Available at amazon.com, $11

Best Multitasking: Philosophy Amazing Grace Shampoo, Bath, and Shower Gel

Nordstrom

Perfect for multitaskers, this cleanser is both a bath and shower gel, and can even stand in for shampoo. Designed to cleanse and condition both your hair and body, the gel contains ingredients like hydrolyzed silk to prevent moisture loss and oat kernel oil to nourish and soothe dehydrated, damaged skin. Hundreds of users gave the body wash 5-star reviews, with many saying it has the best scent and moisturizes well.

Available at nordstrom.com, $27

Best with Shea Butter: Olay Ultra Moisture Shea Butter Body Wash

Walmart

Made with vitamin B complex and shea butter—which Dr. Jaliman says is “extremely moisturizing” thanks to its natural vitamins and fatty acids—this body wash leaves skin feeling ultra soft. It also utilizes special “lock-in-moisture” technology for long-lasting hydration without weighing down the skin. And did we mention it has a casual 28,877 perfect 5-star reviews from Walmart shoppers?

Available at walmart.com, $6

Best Scent: Aēsop A Rose By Any Other Name Body Cleanser

Nordstrom

This cleanser is chock-full of botanical extracts for a sweet-smelling body wash that lives up to its poetic name. Not only do botanical extracts and rose petal oil create a subtle floral scent, but they also help soften the skin for a moisturizing clean. Almost all of the reviews on Nordstrom cite the cleanser’s prominent smell and luxurious feel.

Available at nordstrom.com, $45

Best for Sensitive Skin: Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash

Amazon

Backed by dermatologists, Dove’s Deep Moisture Body Wash features a gentle formula that’s fit for all skin types, including sensitive. It’s sulfate-free and pH-balanced to help maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier and soothe dry skin. Key ingredients include vitamin- and fatty acid-packed soybean and sunflower oils, and thousands of Walmart reviewers confirm the body wash gives them softer, smoother skin. 

Available at walmart.com, $9

Best for Eczema: Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body and Face Cleanser

Amazon

This gentle cleanser can be used on both your body and your face. It contains a pH5 citrate buffer that preserves the skin’s natural pH levels, while glycerin prevents moisture loss and protects the skin. Plus, it’s free of fragrances, soaps, and dyes, making it a top choice for those with sensitive skin and even eczema, which many Amazon reviewers point out.

Available at amazon.com, $8 (was $13)

Best Oil: L’Occitane Cleansing and Softening Almond Shower Oil

Amazon

To get the most out of oil’s skin-nourishing benefits, go all in with a shower oil like this one from L’Occitane. The formula utilizes grape seed and sweet almond oils, which are rich in omegas 6 and 9, to soften and protect the skin. When the oil comes in contact with water, it turns into a milky lotion that gently cleanses and moisturizes your whole body. And to top it all off, the highly-rated body wash offers a fresh almond scent.

Available at amazon.com, $25

Best Budget-Friendly: Nivea Crème Moisture Body Wash

Amazon

This no-frills moisturizing body wash will get the job done without costing you a lot. It’s super affordable (a 3-pack from Amazon costs just $17) and includes glycerin, shea butter, and sunflower seed oil—the same powerful ingredients as more expensive brands. Hundreds of Amazon shoppers gave the budget-friendly bundle a 5-star review; one reviewer even said “there is no other body wash that moisturizes as well as this one does.”

Available at amazon.com, $17 for 3

Best Fragrance-Free: Nécessaire The Body Wash

Nordstrom

This luxurious body wash not only looks chic, but it’s also brimming with star hydration elements—think vitamins A, B3, C, and E, as well as omegas 6 and 9. It’s specially formulated to support the skin’s natural pH levels so your skin will be primed to get the most out of the rest of the moisturizing ingredients. Vegan and free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicone, talc, and fragrances, what’s not to like?

Available at nordstrom.com, $25

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