Body Skincare: 12 Best Body Washes for Sensitive Skin

Close up of smiling lady with foamy washcloth in her hand taking shower at home

Key Points 

  • The best body washes for sensitive skin are not one-size-fits-all.

  • Anyone can develop sensitive skin — even if they aren’t born with it. 

  • Not all products labeled for sensitive skin are going to be effective, which is why it’s important to look out for certain ingredients.  

Walk down any skin care aisle and you are going to be bombarded by products for sensitive skin. Once itchy, scaly, peeling, cracking, and bleeding skin appears, you want relief. But that doesn’t have to mean spending big bucks trying out products. Searching for that one holy grail product to soothe sensitive skin can be quite a task. Finding a product that works feels a lot like trying to find the missing piece of a puzzle. There is a plethora of skincare products that have the opposite effect: Instead of calming skin, they irritate it. Since healthy skin starts with clean skin, you must use one of the best body washes for sensitive skin

While it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the market saturation for sensitive skin products, know that there are several tried and true products available specifically designed to meet delicate or fragile skin. Below you’ll find 12 body washes for sensitive skin plus tips on how to properly care for reactive skin. 

What Is Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin, also known as reactive skin, is a genetically predisposed condition.

Sensitive skin tends to be easily and highly reactive to certain internal or external factors. For example, sensitive skin does not usually tolerate extreme cold or hot climatic conditions. Certain clothing fabrics, detergents, and harsh soaps may also easily irritate reactive skin. 

Sensitive skin types also tend to have weaker skin barriers than other skin types, making them more vulnerable to unpleasant reactions on the epidermis. According to New-York based, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss, “people with sensitive skin tend to experience redness, inflammation, dryness, stinging, burning, itching, and even acne breakouts.” 

What Causes Sensitive Skin?

Some are naturally born with sensitive skin, as it is genetic. But every skin type is capable of also being sensitive. For example, some have combinations like oily sensitive skin or dry sensitive skin.  

Non-hereditary sensitive skin may be caused by many factors including irritants, allergens, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, and certain skin conditions. Skin diseases that cause skin sensitivity include rosacea and eczema. Internal factors like stress and changes in hormone levels may also make skin more sensitive.  

Skincare practices like over-cleasning, over-exfoliating, and using certain skincare treatments like retinols, may also cause sensitivity. Aging, certain weather conditions, and certain foods also lead to skin changes, including sensitivity.

What Is The Difference Between Sensitive And Sensitized Skin?

While sensitive skin is genetic or reactive from birth, sensitized skin is temporary sensitive skin caused by any of the internal or external factors mentioned above.

While sensitive skin is manageable, sensitized skin is treatable, but finding the underlying cause may be difficult. A common reason why people get sensitized skin is from developing an allergic reaction to certain ingredients or allergens. 

One way to find out if you are allergic to the ingredients in your skincare products is to do a patch test. In other words, test some of the product on your arm to see if it causes a reaction. If you have genetically predisposed skin, sticking to fewer skincare products is a good idea. The fewer products you put on your skin, the more likely you are to avoid irritation and discomfort. 

Hereditary or not, it’s always best to seek professional guidance from a board-certified dermatologist. Good skin experts may assess your skin and find the root causes of sensitive skin to recommend the appropriate treatment.  

Woman wearing towel pats face and body dry

Is There A Difference Between Dry And Sensitive Skin?

Often, people think sensitive and dry skin are the same, and it is hard to distinguish between the two. These two skin types usually go hand in hand, as sensitive skin types often experience dryness, and dry skin may be sensitive. Dry skin lacks sufficient moisture and may be rough, flaky, patchy, scaly, and itchy.  

What Are The Best Body Wash Ingredients For Sensitive Skin?

While the market is overrun with products aimed at those with sensitive skin, not all of them are going to live up to the hype. When shopping, you want to search for products that contain certain ingredients. These skin-friendly ingredients work to alleviate symptoms of sensitive skin and certain skin conditions.

Check out the top six:  

Aloe Vera 

Aloe vera is in so many skincare products as it offers several benefits for dry, oily, and sensitive skin. Aloe vera eases the annoying symptoms of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and inflammatory acne. This includes easing inflammation, itchiness, and dryness. Its soothing abilities also assist with irritation. 

Shea Butter

Shea butter is another popular skincare ingredient that soothes dry, sensitive skin. It alleviates irritation, redness, swelling, and symptoms caused by eczema. This ingredient contains vitamin E, which retains moisture in the skin. 

Shea butter does not cause any allergic reaction, making it an excellent ingredient for reactive skin. However, the raw version naturally contains latex, so be sure to stick to refined shea butter if you have a latex allergy. 

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil serves as an antioxidant that wards off environmental stresses, such as pollution, toxins, and ultraviolet radiation. It has moisturizing abilities, helping keep dry skin hydrated. This oil is usually nonirritating, making it friendly to sensitive skin. Its anti-inflammatory, healing, and soothing properties also alleviate flakiness, itchiness, and mild acne. It is a great option for oily skin, as it regulates oil production, stopping skin from looking oily or greasy. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is famous for its hydrating properties. Coconut oil also soothes, and minimizes inflammation in the skin, making it perfect for dry sensitive skin. But if you have acne-prone skin, coconut oil may not be the best option as it may cause breakouts. 

Woman washes hair while taking shower

Green Tea

Green tea has anti-inflammatory effects that reduce swelling, irritation, and redness. Green tea also assists in calming itching and irritation symptoms produced by certain skin conditions. Thanks to its high vitamin E content, green tea has moisturizing capabilities that hydrate while reducing skin roughness. 

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is usually safe for all skin types, including acne-prone and sensitive skin. It hydrates your skin’s outer layers — the epidermis — making the skin appear healthy and glowing. It works to repair skin damage and prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. 

Ingredients To Avoid If You Have Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, try avoiding the following five ingredients that may further irritate your skin. Although they might not be bad for all skin types, they have known irritants for reactive skin and often trigger allergic reactions. 


Fragrances might make skincare products smell more appealing, but they don’t always make the epidermis happy. Fragrances are often made with harsh chemicals that frequently cause inflammation, irritation, redness, itchiness, and other unpleasant symptoms. 

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Sodium lauryl sulfate — sometimes listed as SLS — is a member of the sulfate class. It is used in many beauty products (including toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) as a foaming agent, and can cause adverse reactions in certain users. Sulfates strip too much of your skin’s natural oils, leaving it angry and red. In addition to stripping the oils, sulfates cause irritation, redness, dryness, and itchiness. 


In cosmetic products, parabens are chemicals used as preservatives. But they may irritate the skin or cause allergic reactions. If you have sensitive skin, look out for these six common parabens: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben, and isobutylparaben. 


While some alcohols provide benefits to the skin, there are some that you’d be better off without — especially if you have reactive skin that tends to dry out. Some alcohols deplete your natural oils, which causes damage to the skin’s protective barrier. 

Cosmetic products with alcohol may also irritate and dehydrate the skin. Alcohols to look out for include SD alcohol, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, and ethyl alcohol. 

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is a sugarcane-derived substance that acts as a chemical exfoliant to remove dead skin cells. Most skin types handle glycolic acid well, including some with sensitive skin. If you have dry, sensitive, or highly sensitive skin, be cautious about using glycolic acid as it may irritate and aggravate certain skin conditions.   

Which Types Of Body Washes Are Best For Sensitive Skin?

Creamy cleansers are usually the most friendly and recommended options for sensitive skin, as they cleanse without stripping your skin’s natural oils. They work well in keeping the skin hydrated, leaving it glowing and soft. 

As a general rule, gels and foaming body washes are often too harsh for sensitive skin and leave the skin too dry. But there are foaming and gel cleansers available that are gentle enough for your skin to handle. Be cautious when using these types of cleansers and be sure to look at the list of ingredients. Low-foaming body washes, for example, work best for sensitive skin types. 

If the ingredient list contains fragrances, sulfates, or other potential skin irritants, you may want to think twice before purchasing. The same applies to bar soaps. Bar soaps are often way too harsh for sensitive skin to handle because of the way they dry out the skin. If you love bar soap, though, look for ones with moisturizing ingredients. Make sure they are pH-balanced and don’t contain reactive skin triggers. 

Oil-based body washes are also suitable options for sensitive skin types, as they gently remove impurities without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. Sensitive acne-prone skin types may want to avoid oils, as they may lead to breakouts. 

Woman in clawfoot tub scrubs legs

How To Properly Care For Sensitive Skin  

To avoid stripping your skin’s vital oils, consider limiting bath and shower time to 5 to 10 minutes a couple of times a week. Keep your water temperature lukewarm. Wash your body with your hands instead of a loofah or washcloth to avoid irritating your skin. Avoid over-cleansing, over-exfoliating, and over-scrubbing to prevent further weakening of your skin’s protective barrier. 

Learn which ingredients trigger reactions on the epidermis. Do a patch test on your arm or ask a dermatologist about which ingredients are more likely to irritate or cause allergic reactions. 

Don’t apply too much body wash onto your skin, as this can cause both irritation and a greasy feel — making you want to harshly scrub. A good rule of thumb is to use a quarter-sized amount to cleanse your entire body, but it may vary depending on the size of your body. 

Since sensitive skin is more prone to sun damage, wearing sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect it from UV rays. Do your research on the best face and body sunscreens for sensitive skin.  

What Is The #1 Dermatologist-Recommended Body Wash?

While it’s great to research the best body wash recommended by dermatologists, keep in mind that the dermatologist label doesn’t always guarantee that it is going to be the perfect fit for your skin.

Many dermatologists are paid by skincare companies to endorse their products. To find a body wash that truly looks after your skin, consider its ingredients and the customer reviews first. Test several of them until you find the one that best suits your skin. 

There are millions of products out there to choose from, which is why the following list narrows your search down to some of the best body washes that are proven effective for sensitive skin. The list breaks down some ingredients that the products contain and mentions those that you may want to be wary of.

Nobody knows your body as you do, so use all these factors when evaluating and deciding on products to use. 

1. Nécessaire The Body Wash

The Necessaire body wash is an award-winning gel body wash suitable for nearly all skin types, including dry, oily, combo, normal, and sensitive skin. This product aims to cleanse, nourish, and soften the skin. If you have a sensitive oily or sensitive dry complexion, this fragrance-free product may work extremely well for you.

It’s packed with several skin-loving antioxidants like vitamins C and E, which benefits those who struggle with inflammation. Together, these two vitamins fight free radicals and protect against skin damage caused by harsh UV rays. 

This body wash also contains fatty acids such as Omega-6 and Omega-9 which may aid in maintaining hydration and improving skin barrier function. It’s also formulated with niacinamide, which protects against environmental damage. The formula also contains glycerin, a humectant that attracts and retains moisture. 

What makes it particularly friendly to sensitive skin is the fact that it is free of sulfates, parabens, and PEGs — all ingredients that are known to irritate. Its many positive reviews easily make it a must-have when it comes to skincare. 

Nécessaire The Body Wash
$25.00 ($2.98 / Fl Oz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 08:19 am GMT

Bath soaps, products, towels, and brushes on wooden plate

2. Eucerin’s Advanced Cleansing Body And Face Cleanser

If you like combination products, consider buying the Advanced Cleansing Body and Face Cleanser by Eucerin. It works well on both the face and the body, making it very convenient. Designed for normal to dry, sensitive skin types, this product maintains the skin’s natural skin barrier. This product also preserves the skin’s pH level. 

Its non-drying, soap-free formula gently lathers onto the skin while leaving your face and body clean and free of residue. Its fragrance and dye-free formula also make it an excellent cleanser for delicate skin. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 08:32 am GMT

3. Sebamed Liquid Face And Body Wash For Sensitive Skin

Sebamed Liquid Face and Body Wash is another excellent 2-in-1 face and body wash option. This gentle, liquid cleanser moisturizes and hydrates all while delivering skin-benefiting vitamins to the skin. It deeply cleans pores while looking out for your skin’s protective barrier. The paraben and soap-free formula does not irritate the skin as many other cleansers tend to do.

Many customers highly recommend this product as they claim the formula does not dry out their skin and leaves it feeling soft. Happy consumers who have used this product also say they have seen improvements in their skin after using this body wash, especially those with acne, rashes, and eczema. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 08:40 am GMT

4. Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Refreshing Body Wash

Cetaphil is one of the most well-known skincare brands on the market. It is known for its gentle products, at reasonable prices. Cetaphil’s Ultra Gentle Refreshing Body wash is designed for dry to normal, sensitive skin. It is formulated with aloe vera, marigold extract, and essential vitamin B5, which have anti-inflammatory effects. It is gentle on sensitive skin and leaves it feeling smooth. 

It gently cleans, hydrates, and nourishes the skin while preserving the skin’s natural moisture.  It fights against five symptoms of sensitivity: irritation, roughness, dryness, tightness, and a weakened skin barrier. 

This product’s formula is not made with parabens or fragrances. Multiple customers who bought this product say it still smells wonderful and is well suited to their dry and sensitive skin. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 08:40 am GMT

Woman touches shoulder after shower

5. Vanicream Gentle Body Wash

Vanicream’s product gently cleans the skin by removing dirt and oils from the body and hands. This pH-balanced cleanser ticks many boxes for those with sensitive skin. It is not formulated with ingredients that may irritate reactive skin. It’s free from dyes, parabens, soap, fragrances, sulfates, lanolin, formaldehyde, and other potential skin irritants. 

This skin-nourishing product does not dry out the skin and is safe for those with eczema. It was awarded The Seal of Acceptance™ by the National Eczema Association (NEA) — a non-profit organization that evaluates products to determine if they are free of known skin-irritating ingredients not suitable for people with eczema or sensitive skin. 

The product is a top choice for kids, as well as adults. 

Vanicream Gentle Body Wash
$11.99 ($1.00 / Fl Oz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 09:00 am GMT

6. Bioderma’s Atoderm Cleansing Oil

If you have sensitive, dry, or very dry skin, Bioderma’s Atoderm cleansing oil may be the right fit for you. It immediately eases discomfort on the skin. Suitable for almost all ages, Bioderma’s Atoderm Cleansing Oil gently cleans the face and body. It moisturizes, maintaining hydration in the skin for up to 24 hours. It contains niacinamide, which protects the skin from environmental threats like pollution and ultraviolet radiation. Its unique formula improves the skin barrier’s protective abilities while helping prevent discomfort and irritation. It’s free of soap and parabens, but it does contain some fragrance.

This product does come with mixed reviews, though. Some are not happy with its scent, while others like its hydrating and smoothing effects. Some also like that the product lasts them a long time — a little bit goes a long way. 

Bioderma Atoderm Cleansing Oil
$14.99 ($2.24 / Fl Oz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 09:15 am GMT

7. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Wash AP+

La Roche-Posay is another popular skincare brand known for its high-quality products that target and treat specific skin conditions. La Roche-Posay’s Lipikar Wash AP+ Gentle Foaming Moisturizing Wash is a gentle cleanser for dry, very dry, and fragile skin. It’s packed with several ingredients that are known to treat and benefit the skin, such as niacinamide, shea butter, glycerin, and more. 

It is not formulated with soap, parabens, or fragrance, making it more friendly for reactive skin. Its soothing abilities and long-lasting hydration make it a favorite among those with flaky, dry, and eczema-prone skin. It also holds the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association. 

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Wash AP+
$16.99 ($1.26 / Fl Oz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 09:03 am GMT

8. Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash

Aveeno is another one of the most famous brands in the skincare market. Aveeno’s Skin Relief Body Wash is specifically designed to soothe itchy, dry, and sensitive skin. This body wash gently cleans, moisturizes, and nourishes the skin. It’s free of soap, dyes, fragrances, and parabens. 

Pro tip: Aveeno also makes great lotions for sensitive skin!

Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash
$12.48 ($0.38 / Fl Oz)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 09:08 am GMT

9. Odele Soothing Body Wash

Owned and operated by women, Odele strives to deliver clean products by avoiding over 1,300 cosmetic ingredients banned by the European Union. Their skin and hair products are also free of parabens, formaldehyde, synthetic fragrances, and other potential skin irritants.

The Soothing Body Wash by Odele Beauty is suitable for many skin types, including dry, itchy, sensitive, and combination skin. It’s pH balanced, sulfate-free, and contains a 100% natural fragrance composed of aloe and cucumber. It cleans, nourishes, and soothes the skin. At under $10, it’s an affordable option.

Bottle of body wash sit near bathtub and candles

10. Eucerin’s Skin Calming Body Wash

Eurcerin’s Skin Calming Body Wash uses a soap, dye, and fragrance-free formula to gently cleanse the skin without leaving any residue. With the nourishment of soothing omega oils and other natural lipids, this product relieves and moisturizes dry, itchy skin. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 09:22 am GMT

11.  Attitude Fragrance-Free Natural Shower Gel

Attitude’s Fragrance-free Natural Shower Gel is specifically formulated for those with odor sensitivities. It is a great option for those with very sensitive skin, as it gently cleanses and softens the skin. Its oatmeal-enriched formula hydrates and nourishes the skin. It is also gentle enough for the face. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 09:23 am GMT

12. Cleure Face & Body Wash For Sensitive Oily Skin

If you have sensitive, oily skin, or acne-prone skin, consider Cleure’s Face & Body Wash for Sensitive Oily Skin. This gentle face and body cleanser washes away dirt, makeup, and other impurities. The nourishing and soothing formula refreshes the skin. 

This pH-balanced body wash also removes grease, as well as excess shine and oil without stripping your skin’s necessary natural oils. It minimizes the appearance of acne while helping decongest clogged pores. 

It is formulated without dyes, sulfates, parabens, fragrances, formaldehyde, and salicylates, making it a sensitive-friendly body wash. This body wash works for all skin types, so if you have dry, sensitive skin it cleanses without drying out. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2023 09:23 am GMT

Cleanse Your Sensitive Skin!

Having sensitive skin can range from annoying to downright aggravating. Luckily, there are MANY skin care products and hacks to care for skin that just needs a little more TLC. 

While the market is saturated with sensitive skin care products and body washes, using the information here will keep your skin in great condition. Just remember to look out for those harsh ingredients when searching for your sensitive-friendly body wash. In no time you’ll have a fantastic skincare regime, that leaves your skin happy, glowing, and healthy!

Was this article helpful?

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.