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Sensitive skin requires a particularly thoughtful approach when it comes to picking out skin and body care products. While those with other skin types may be able to grab whatever product looks interesting to them off the drugstore shelf, those with more sensitive skin need to put a bit more effort into finding personal care products that work for them. A single face cleanser, lotion, or body wash containing potentially irritating ingredients can be the difference between skin that is calm and comfortable or frustratingly irritated.

People with sensitive skin may need to be cautious when buying new products, but thankfully, there is no shortage of gentle yet effective body washes on the market. If you are currently looking for a new cleanser to add to your personal care routine, you’ll find our list of the best body washes for sensitive skin below.

Sensitive Skin Body Wash Ingredients: What to Look for, What to Avoid

So what exactly makes a body wash suitable for sensitive skin? In short, the best body washes for sensitive skin will contain ingredients known to moisturize and support the skin’s barrier without causing irritation. Look for formulas that contain emollients, humectants, and/or occlusives. Not sure what those are? Let’s do a quick rundown.

Humectants are like water magnets – they attract water to the skin and lock it in, supporting the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Some common examples that you might find in skin care products include glycerin, panthenol, sugar cane (saccharum officinarum) extract, hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), aloe vera, and honey. Emollients are ingredients that support the skin’s barrier while helping to soften and soothe. Examples include shea butter, cocoa butter, plant oils, triglycerides, and palmitates. Occlusives create a protective layer in order to prevent moisture from escaping the skin, and include ingredients like waxes, silicones, lanolin, and zinc oxide.

Additionally, gentle ingredients known to soothe the skin are excellent additions to body washes for sensitive skin. A few examples of skin calming ingredients include green tea extract, aloe leaf juice, chamomile extract, bisabolol, colloidal oatmeal, and allantoin.

Of course, it’s just as important to know what to avoid in your sensitive skin-friendly body wash. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different – some people with sensitive skin may have a negative reaction to a certain ingredient, while others may be able to use a product with that ingredient without issue. In a general sense, body washes containing drying alcohols, strong physical exfoliants (like ground up walnuts or apricot kernels), and/or harsh cleansing agents may not be suitable for sensitive skin.

Not Sure Whether a Body Wash is Right for You? Try a Patch Test

If you’re ever unsure about whether a specific body wash is right for your sensitive skin, do a patch test prior to using it on your entire body. To patch test a body wash, use your product of choice on a small clean and dry area of skin, in an inconspicuous spot (such as the inner forearm). Repeat the process once a day over four (or more) days. If you don’t notice any signs of irritation, you’ll be good to go.

The Body Washes for Sensitive Skin in 2022

1. Blu Atlas Body Wash

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Blu Atlas

For healthy and calm skin, people with sensitive skin need a body wash that is not only free of potential irritants, but also packed with soothing and nourishing ingredients. The Blu Atlas Body Wash has an all natural formula that comforts and hydrates the skin while effectively cleansing away dirt, oil, bacteria, and excess debris on the skin.

Blu Atlas’ body wash features a variety of natural anti-inflammatory ingredients, including aloe leaf, green tea extract, and shea butter glycerides.

Antioxidant-rich aloe leaf naturally moisturizes and soothes the skin, while nourishing it with vitamins A, C, and E. Green tea extract (another natural ingredient with antioxidant properties) helps relieve irritation while also minimizing redness. Emollient shea butter glycerides – which is packed with fatty acids – quenches dry skin while locking in moisture, ensuring it stays adequately hydrated and comfortable throughout the day.

Another key ingredient you’ll find in the Blu Atlas Body Wash is coco-caprylate, a lightweight emollient that penetrates deep into the skin, helping to soothe and restore softness. The formula also features sugar cane extract, a hydrating humectant that gently exfoliates the skin. The naturally fragranced body wash is free of sulfates (which have the potential to irritate and dry out sensitive skin), parabens, and phthalates.

2. Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Amazon

Drugstore personal care brand Dove offers a wide range of body washes that are formulated to address different skin types and needs. The company’s Sensitive Skin Body Wash is a paraben-free, sulfate-free, and hypoallergenic wash that uses the power of mild, naturally-derived cleansers to gently wash away debris while infusing the skin with moisture.

The Sensitive Skin Body Wash is formulated with Dove’s Moisture Renew Blend, which contains ingredients that dive deep into the skin to restore moisture and keep it hydrated in the long-term. This pH balanced formula is also super gentle on the skin, ensuring that the microbiome (the skin’s protective layer) isn’t negatively impacted. The result is soft, hydrated, and nourished skin that is free of irritation.

3. Acure Seriously Soothing Fragrance-Free Body Wash

Amazon

Acure is a clean, vegan, and cruelty-free personal care brand offering a wide range of skin and body care products at affordable prices. The company’s Seriously Soothing collection contains products made specifically for sensitive skin. It includes the company’s Seriously Soothing Fragrance-Free Body Wash, which is free of sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, essential oils, and petrolatum.

This fragrance-free body wash has a creamy formula that hydrates the skin while soothing irritation. It’s packed with a variety of plant extracts and other ingredients that support sensitive skin without aggravating it. One of the hero ingredients in this Acure body wash is camellia seed oil, a tea plant-derived oil that has antioxidant properties. This emollient ingredient is rich in oleic and linoleic acids, as well as vitamin E, and works to protect the skin against moisture loss.

The Seriously Soothing Fragrance-Free Body Wash also features soothing and moisturizing aloe leaf juice, as well as hydrating glycerin. Additionally, the formula is packed with fruit and flower extracts that further nourish, hydrate, and soothe the skin as it is cleansed, including blackberry fruit, matricaria flower, rosa canina fruit, and calendula flower extracts.

4. Avène Trixera Nutrition Nutri-Fluid Cleansing Gel

16 Best Body Washes for Sensitive Skin

Amazon

Avène is a French skincare company that specializes in science-backed products that are formulated for sensitive skin. One of the company’s top body care products is the Trixera Nutrition Nutri-Fluid Cleansing Gel, which nourishes and cleanses sensitive, dry skin.

This gentle gel-based cleanser is formulated without soap, dyes, parabens, mineral oil, alcohol, or animal-derived ingredients. It is created to moisturize as it cleanses away grime, while restoring and protecting the skin’s barrier. The body wash (along with all Avène products) is made with the company’s signature Avène Thermal Spring Water, a mineral-rich water that has been clinically proven to soften, soothe, and calm the skin.

The Trixera Nutrition Nutri-Fluid Cleansing Gel also features glycerin and sorbitol, two humectant ingredients that moisturize the skin while restoring the skin’s lipids. It also contains selectiose, which further replenishes lipids, helping to support the skin’s barrier.

5. Dr. Alkaitis Organic Body Wash

 16 Best Body Washes for Sensitive Skin

Dr. Alkaitis

Clean skincare brand Dr. Alktaitis creates highly effective products featuring organic ingredients that are pure enough to eat. One of the company’s top-selling products is the Organic Body Wash, which is particularly well-suited for extremely sensitive skin, as well as problematic skin conditions (such as acne).

The Dr. Alkaitis Organic Body Wash is a gentle and natural cleanser that is formulated to soften, replenish the skin with nutrients, and restore the skin’s pH balance. The sulfate-free formula is powered by a variety of plant-based ingredients, and is naturally fragranced with pure essential oils. It features Dr. Alkaitis’s Bio-Pure Skin Repair Complex, a nourishing blend of nutrient-dense ingredients, including turmeric, rosemary, red sage, bitter orange, and lemon balsam.

Aloe vera gel helps to further soothe the skin, while natural vitamins C and E complexes support the skin while providing antioxidant protection. The Dr. Alkaitis Organic Body Wash’s mild, non-drying cleansing base is powered by a blend of saponified oils, which includes coconut, apricot kernel, jojoba, and olive oils.

6. Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash

 16 Best Body Washes for Sensitive Skin

Amazon

For those looking for a budget-friendly option, the Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash is one of the best body washes for sensitive skin. The drugstore personal care company makes skin and body care products that are carefully formulated to support easily irritable skin.

This body wash is free of soap, fragrances, and dyes, and is created to soothe skin prone to dryness and itchiness, while also cleansing without causing any irritation. It has a simple ingredient list that includes omega oils and other natural lipids, which work to rehydrate the skin and help it retain moisture. This leaves the skin feeling soft and comfortable. The formula creates a mild lather that effectively washes away dirt and debris without leaving behind any residue on the skin.

7. Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash for Sensitive Skin

Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash for Sensitive Skin

Amazon

Sebamed is a skincare company that creates effective products that are particularly well-suited for sensitive skin, as well as people with skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and acne. The company’s products are formulated to balance the skin’s pH levels. This helps strengthen the skin and improve its ability to protect against dehydration, irritation, and other negative symptoms.

The Sebamed Liquid Face and Body Wash for Sensitive Skin is a super mild soap-free cleanser developed by dermatologists. The multi-use paraben-free formula is created to deeply clean without causing irritation, and also moisturizes and balances the skin’s pH level while washing away dirt, bacteria, and other debris. It is fortified with a variety of ingredients that help support and nourish the skin. This includes allantoin, which moisturizes and soothes the skin, as well as panthenol, a humectant that locks moisture into the skin.

8. Kiehl’s Made for All Gentle Body Cleanser

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Body Wash

Amazon

Kiehl’s offers scientifically-proven skin, body, and hair care products that are inspired by nature. The company’s Made for All Gentle Body Cleanser contains 95% naturally-derived ingredients, and is truly created with everyone in mind – the pediatrician tested formula is suitable for ages three and up. This paraben-free gentle body wash is created to be fully biodegradable. The ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested formula is mild enough to be used on the face and hair as well, so it’s an excellent option for those looking for a multi-purpose product.

The Kiehl’s Made for All Gentle Body Cleanser is powered in part by aloe vera juice, which naturally moisturizes the skin while soothing irritation. Another key ingredient is soap tree extract (also known as quillaja saponaria wood extract), which is sustainably sourced from the mountainous region of Central Chile. This extract helps create a mild lather, and is responsible for leaving the skin feeling clean and refreshed.

9. Olay Soothing Body Wash with Vitamin B3 Complex and Oat Extract

Olay Soothing Body Wash with Vitamin B3 Complex and Oat Extract

Amazon

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Olay is an incredibly popular personal care drugstore company that has been creating effective formulas based on science for over 65 years. The company has a range of excellent, affordable body washes, including the Soothing Body Wash with Vitamin B3 Complex and Oat Extract, which is specifically made with sensitive skin in mind. The hydrating and gentle cleanser is also formulated for skin that is prone to eczema.

As the name suggests, this creamy body wash contains oat extract, which soothes and hydrates the skin. The other star ingredient is the company’s Vitamin B3 Complex, which works to refresh and hydrate the skin while locking in moisture. This gentle formula is made without soap, parabens, or dyes.

10. Odele Soothing Body Wash

odele

Odele

Odele offers clean body and hair care products featuring high-quality ingredients that are sold at accessible prices. The company’s vegan and cruelty-free Soothing Body Wash is specifically formulated for dry, sensitive, and combination skin types. The dermatologist and allergy tested body wash soothes and gently cleanses the skin while supporting its natural barrier.

The hero soothing ingredient in this pH balanced body wash is oat (or avena sativa) kernel flour, which has calming, moisturizing, and skin barrier strengthening properties. The sulfate-free formula uses the power of mild surfactants to wash away dirt, odor, and other debris without causing irritation or dryness. The Odele Soothing Body wash is free of phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, dyes, and synthetic fragrances. It has a nature-powered fresh and calming scent created with natural ingredients, including cucumber, linalool, and spice and floral extracts.

11. Bioderma Atoderm Cleansing Oil

 16 Best Body Washes for Sensitive Skin

Amazon

France-based company Bioderma has been working alongside health professionals for more than 40 years, creating personal care products for all skin types that support the skin’s natural balance. The company’s Atoderm Cleansing Oil is a gentle, nourishing cleanser that can be used on both the face and body. This silky oil is made specifically for dry skin that is prone to irritation, and helps ensure the skin stays hydrated for up to 24 hours.

The Atoderm Cleansing Oil is powered in part by two patented complexes: Skin Barrier Therapy and D.A.F. Bioderma’s Skin Barrier Therapy complex works to minimize dryness, prevent discomfort, and balance the skin, while the D.A.F. complex strengthens the skin’s tolerance threshold so that it can better protect itself against aggressors. These complexes (along with other science-backed ingredients) help ensure the skin is left feeling hydrated, comfortable, and free of irritation. This cleansing oil has a light fragrance, and is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores) and soap-free.

12. Drunk Elephant Kamili Cream Body Cleanser

Drunk Elephant Kamili Cream Body Cleanser

Sephora

Drunk Elephant is a clean personal care brand that offers a range of popular skin and body care products. For sensitive skin, one of the company’s best products is the Kamili Cream Body Cleanser, which is packed with nourishing ingredients that hydrate and support the skin, as well as mild cleansing agents that create a gentle foam to wash away dirt, bacteria, and debris. The creamy fragrance-free body wash is vegan and cruelty-free, and doesn’t contain any sulfates, drying alcohols, silicones, or dyes.

This body wash is packed with a blend of nutrient-rich and non-fragrant plant oils, which work as occlusives to prevent moisture loss. This includes moisturizing and nourishing marula and sacha inchi seed oils, which both contain antioxidants and omegas 6 and 9, as well as passion fruit (or maracuja) oil, which soothes and further moisturizes. A blend of moisturizing amino acids strengthens the barrier and soothes the skin. Together, these ingredients leave behind a light layer of lipids that protect the skin.

In order to refresh and cleanse the skin, the Drunk Elephant Kamili Cream Body Cleanser relies on super gentle surfactants. This includes coconut-based surfactants, which are rich in hydrating fatty acids. These mild cleansers help wash away impurities without stripping the skin of its natural moisture or causing irritation.

13. St. Ives Soothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter Body Wash

St. Ives Soothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter Body Wash

Amazon

Drugstore skin and body care brand St. Ives uses the properties of natural moisturizers, extracts, and exfoliants to power its personal care products. The company’s lightly scented Soothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter Body Wash contains plant-based ingredients that calm and smooth the skin while effectively washing away debris.

This dermatologist-tested body wash features natural oatmeal extract, which powerfully calms irritated skin. It also contains shea butter, an anti-inflammatory emollient that soothes while boosting skin moisture. The Soothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter Body Wash features plant-derived cleansers, which work into a lather to gently clean the skin. The formula is paraben-free, and also isn’t tested on animals.

14. Saltair Fragrance-Free Body Wash

 16 Best Body Washes for Sensitive Skin

Amazon

Saltair creates body washes powered by nourishing oils and botanicals to support the skin’s overall health. The company’s soothing and comforting Fragrance-Free Body Wash is particularly excellent for sensitive skin. This vegan and cruelty-free body wash is free of parabens, sulfates, and gluten, and comes in a 100% recyclable aluminum bottle. The gentle formula features biodegradable cleansing agents, which work to cleanse away debris and bacteria without stripping the skin or causing any irritation.

The Saltair Fragrance-Free Body Wash has a coconut water and fermented oil complex, which helps hydrate, nourish, and soften the skin while supporting its barrier. It also contains hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA, two humectants that hydrate while locking moisture into the skin. Niacinamide helps soothe the skin while improving the appearance of uneven skin tone and texture.

15. Hempz Sensitive Skin Calming Herbal Body Wash

Hempz Sensitive Skin Calming Herbal Body Wash

Amazon

Hempz creates personal care products featuring pure hemp seed oil, a THC-free ingredient rich in vitamin E, amino acids, and omega fatty acids. The company’s Sensitive Skin Calming Herbal Body Wash features this nourishing oil, along with other ingredients that help calm and support easily irritable skin. The gentle, cruelty-free formula is made without dyes, parabens, gluten, or artificial fragrances, and has a subtle, naturally-created oatmeal scent.

In addition to hemp (cannabis sativa) seed oil, this body wash features oat (avena sativa) kernel flour, which calms while moisturizing and softening the skin. Vitamin E-rich shea butter works as an emollient, supporting the skin’s barrier and locking in moisture. Occlusive cocoa butter – which is packed with fatty acids – helps seal in moisture, while mango seed butter soothes the skin while promoting a more even complexion.

16. Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash

Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash

Amazon

Cetaphil is known for formulating excellent skin and body products for sensitive skin, and the company’s affordable Ultra Gentle Body Wash does not disappoint. This fragrance-free body wash is formulated for normal to dry, sensitive skin, and contains ingredients that soothe while gently cleansing. It is hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, and non-comedogenic, and is also free of parabens.

The Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash features antioxidant and vitamin-rich aloe leaf juice, which nourishes and soothes the skin while moisturizing. Panthenol (also known as vitamin B5) and glycerin further help moisturize and calm irritated skin. These star ingredients work to protect the skin against five signs of sensitivity, which includes irritation, tightness, roughness, dryness, and a weak skin barrier.

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