Top 6 Best Body Washes for Dry Skin

Most soaps, especially bar soaps, can dry out the skin and leave it feeling rough and itchy. Liquid cleansers, by comparison, tend to be far less damaging since they are made with chemicals, called emollients, which are designed to make the skin softer.

This is as important for people who shower as those who bathe. Scalding hot water, paired with the wrong cleanser, can strip the skin of its natural oils and leave it feeling tight and scaly. By contrast, emollient-rich cleansers add moisture back into the skin without leaving that off-putting, greasy feel.

The type of oils used in body wash can vary and may appeal to some more than others (as will the fragrance and lather). Choosing the one that's right for you will ultimately be a personal choice, but here are few we believe fit the bill as the top "skin-friendly" options:


Dove Delicate Cream Oil Body Wash

Woman washing shower
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Like most Dove brand body washes, the Delicate Cream Oil formulation contains sunflower and soybean oil as their emollient base. The popular cleanser builds a surprisingly rich lather while offering just enough moisturizer to leave the skin feeling freshly conditioned.

Newer formulations in the Delicate Cream Oil line come scented with a combination of jasmine and vanilla.


Olay Age Defying Body Wash

This Olay brand product contains petroleum as their emollient, the type of moisturizer that is reported to stay on the skin for up to 24 hours. It lathers beautifully and washes off without feeling slick or greasy. 

Olay's Age Defying brand boasts the addition of vitamin E (which in our mind is unnecessary) and ​an understated scent for those who hate more floral-y or soapy fragrances.


Dove Pro Age Body Wash

The ingredients in Dove Pro Age Body Wash are pretty much the same as other Dove cleansers with the exception of one notable addition: olive oil. Aside from the product's antioxidant and vitamin-rich claims, the olive oil formulation simply feels nice on the skin. We like it.

The Pro Age line is marketed towards the "mature women" and includes the requisite alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) to help exfoliate as well as moisturize.


Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash With Shea Butter

The amount of shea butter is fairly small in this Olay brand product, but it's enough to give it that natural, body butter scent that people seem to like. This emollient-rich wash lathers on and washes off easily, leaving an appealingly buttery softness. It's one product that definitely lives up to its name.


Dove Ultra Rich Cream Oil Body Wash

This Dove brand body wash contains the same listed ingredients as their Dove Delicate version but has a much more lush, creamy feel on the skin. Like its cousin, it contains a relatively small amount of soap ingredients but not enough to undermine the product's moisturizing and conditioning properties. 


Olay 2-In-1 Advanced Ribbons Firming Butter + Advanced Moisture Body Wash

Butter is the name of the game in this popular Olay brand product, specifically jojoba butter. While this natural ingredient is listed pretty low on the product label, it does give it the kind of lush hand-feel that we've come to associate with body butter

It doesn't have that nutty scent we found in Olay's shea butter version, but that's perfectly fine by us. It's the emollient-rich formulation that sold us. You'll like it, too.

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Article Sources

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  2. Harvard Health Publishing. Dry Skin. Harvard Health. Mar 2019.