Washed Up: Choosing Body Wash

By Celia Shatzman / November 22, 2017
body wash

There are few things that make you feel better than stepping into a warm bath at the end of a cold winter day. And there’s a simple way to make it even more therapeutic—just add bath salts.

Good skin starts in the shower, specifically, with your body wash. “What you cleanse your skin with is the foundation of any skincare regimen,” says Holly McWhorter, cofounder and formulator for PLANT Apothecary. “Without skin being clean, your moisturizer and other products can’t penetrate into the skin’s top layer. But it’s important that the cleanser not contain any toxic ingredients, because washing leaves your skin completely unprotected, and some of those ingredients can enter the bloodstream by way of the skin. Furthermore, the steamy environment of the shower means you’ll be inhaling some of those ingredients as well via the steam, which is an even more direct route to your system.”

Make sure your cleanser removes dirt and product buildup without drying out your skin. McWhorter recommends looking for ingredients that are based on organic vegetable oils, since they’re the least toxic and most gentle. “If your skin is extremely dry, you may want to look for a body wash with extra oils added after the main oils have been turned into soap,” she says. “But if you’re using a veggie-oil based soap to begin with and follow up with moisturizer immediately afterward, even the driest skin will be fine.”

Whether you want to suds up with a loofah, brush, sponge or your hands is totally up to you. “A good body wash will work well with or without an applicator,” McWhorter says. “The benefit to using a somewhat scratchy loofah or body brush is that they offer a degree of exfoliation and stimulation that can increase blood flow near the skin, which aids with lymphatic drainage.”

Give one of these body washes a try.

PLANT Apothecary Get Happy Organic Bodywash, $20
A little aromatherapy will naturally bring a smile to your face, courtesy of geranium and peppermint. Made with only eight ingredients, it’s safe for the most sensitive skin.

Fig + Yarrow Hand & Body Wash in Juniper + Sage, $26
The cozy, woodsy scent will calm your nerves, as sage is known for easing stress and anxiety.

Green People Quinoa & Calendula Shower Gel, $26.50
Quinoa locks in hydration while calendula calms sensitive skin and yucca gently removes impurities.

Acure Organics Ultra-Hydrating Body Wash, $9.99
With coconut and organic argan oil, it smells just like the beach and leaves skin soft and silky.

Kneipp Orange Blossom & Mandarin Body Wash, $14
Just a whiff of this citrus dream is designed to uplift and soothe frayed nerves.

Patyka Pearl Grape Body Wash Reims, $35
As you suds up, you’ll be transported to the mountain vineyards of Reims with the scent of sweet white grapes.

Naturopathica Grapefruit & Fir Shower Gel, $22
Botanical extracts and essential oils soothe the mind and body—uplifting grapefruit with calming Siberian fir puts muscles, joints and the mind at ease—while gently cleansing skin.

Celia Shatzman

Celia Shatzman

Celia Shatzman is a Brooklyn-based writer who has penned stories on topics ranging from fashion to travel to celebrities, entertainment, beauty, finance, health, food, and fitness. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, her work has appeared in New York, Teen Vogue, NYLON, New York Post, Latina, Marie Claire, Self, ELLE.com, Time Out New York, CondeNastTraveler.com, and USA TODAY, among others. When she’s not writing, Celia enjoys traveling, learning to play tennis, and playing with her rescue dog, Olive.
Celia Shatzman

Latest posts by Celia Shatzman (see all)