Some beauty products simply aren’t necessities. Not all of us use perfume, and makeup is a pricey luxury we can overlook. However, needs to bathe. It’s an absolute necessity. While some of people prefer traditional soap, a lot of modern consumers prefer body wash. It’s creamier, and often gentler on the skin than its solid alternative. Plus, there’s something that’s just plain satisfying about lathering up your loofah with a squeeze of a silky body wash.
So what makes the perfect body wash? Well, there’s a few factors. First and foremost, body washes tend to have a gentler PH than most soaps, meaning that they don’t strip the skin. Most people prefer their body wash to have hydrating ingredients, such as vitamin E and shea butter. Of course, scent plays a huge role as well. With the huge array of body washes available, people are picky about which exact scents they use.
While soap unsurprisingly predates liquid body wash, it’s actually been around longer than you think. The first commercial liquid soap was created by Palmolive in 1865. It was intended as an all-purpose product, much like the modern castile soaps that can be found in health food stores. While Palmolive mostly sells household cleaners in the US now, their cosmetic products can still be found in other countries. As the following products will demonstrate, we’ve come a long way since Palmolive’s first liquid soap!
Dove Purely Pampering Body Wash
What It Is: Dove is a darling of dermatologists everywhere. Their formulas aren’t just non-comedogenic, but they’re also extremely moisturizing, thanks to Dove’s patented Nutrium Complex blend of vitamins and humectants. This super creamy body wash might be a drugstore product, but its fragrance is evocative of a pricy department store perfume.
Why It’s Great: It smells much more expensive than it is, first and foremost. It also leaves skin extremely hydrated; you could easily get away with skipping lotion after you step out of the shower. Its perfume-esque scent lingers a bit, leaving skin lightly fragranced. We’re always a little shocked that this is a drugstore product.
Price and Availability: You can easily find this body wash at any drugstore or big box store, with the price usually somewhere around $8 for a whopping 22 ounces. It’s definitely a steal for the quality and quantity of product that you get for the cost.
Neutrogena Rainbath Shower and Bath Gel
What It Is: Rainbath is the Rocky Horror Picture Show of body washes. If you don’t get it, it just seems weird and vaguely unappealing. If you love it, however, you’re a hardcore devotee who’d wait in long lines for it. This cult classic drugstore find leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed. This amber colored gel foams up beautifully. Try it on exfoliating shower mitts for the smoothest skin you’ve ever had.
Why It’s Great: Even the greatest perfume writer couldn’t adequately describe the scent of Rainbath. We’ll be honest: Like most iconic fragrances, some find it repellant. It’s a mix of a spa scent and the scent of the outdoors after a thunderstorm. Neutrogena describes it as a blend of “fruits, spices and herbs,” but that hardly sums it up. Run to your local drugstore and smell it for yourself if you haven’t before.
Price and Availability: It’s available at drugstores or on Amazon. It starts at around $7 for 8 ounces and goes up to around $21 for the 32-ounce size.
Aveda Rosemary Mint Hand and Body Wash
What It Is: This aromatic body wash is everything we love about Aveda in a bottle. Not only does it have that classic herbal Aveda scent, but it leaves the skin feeling completely cleansed without stripping it of moisture. It can be used as a body wash, or, if you want to be extra fancy and find your inner Kardashian, set it on your bathroom counter to use as an ultra-luxurious hand wash.
Why It’s Great: Some of us are content to use whatever soap or body wash is sitting in our shower. However, some of us need our shower to feel like a trip to the spa. This gorgeous product smells exactly like an Aveda spa, thanks to its lovely rosemary and mint fragrance. It’s extremely gentle, leaving the skin refreshed and lightly moisturized.
Price and Availability: A travel size bottle is only $6, while the 8-ounce bottle is available for $21. You can find it on Aveda’s website or at most Aveda salons and spas.