Choosing the best body wash for your skin is no small job.
We want our skin to be clean, but also healthy and happy. Dryness affects all skin types. Even oily skin types can have a daily battle with dryness. Lotion is a good combatant for dryness, and so we lotion up our skin whenever we see a dry patch here or there.
However, a lotion isn't the end all be all fix for obtaining moisturized, glowing, youthful skin. The fight for skin hydration starts right at the beginning of your routine with your body wash.
Body wash itself is inherently moisturizing to an extent. It is definitely a better choice over its harsher counterparts, good ol' bar soap and shower gel.
However, if you continuously see dryness even after washing and moisturizing with lotion, chances are the problem lies in the wash. And, switching up your body wash and routine could save that dry, itchy skin, and replace it with happy, hydrated, and younger-looking skin.
How To Find the Right Body Wash
Bar soap. Body wash. Body gel.
There are thousands of body wash products to choose from, and countless claims of moisturization.
In general, the soap market is oversaturated, so finding a new body wash to get the job done the right way can be incredibly overwhelming. You’ll need to know what to look for in a body wash as well as things to avoid.
To that end, we are here to help calm the irritation and slip some knowledge in there that will assist you in making the best choice for your next body wash without the worry for buyer’s remorse or fear of missing out.
It all starts with the essential ingredients.
Identifying the ingredients in body wash that will help moisturize your beautiful skin is the first step in the process.
The essential ingredients to be able to identify in your body wash are the occlusives, humectants, and emollients. Though each of these is stand-alone moisturizers, they are the most effective at promoting long-term moisturization when paired together.
Unlike bar soap, body wash helps to replenish your body’s natural moisture levels. These bad boys are what get in there with all that moisture you need for hydrated, dewy skin.
So let's break down what humectants, emollients, and occlusives are, how they work, and how to identify them as ingredients in your products and body washes.
Humectants work by pulling water from the second layer of skin up to the skin's top layer. This process increases the moisture level in the layer of dead cells that cover your skin's top layer. When this layer is moisturized, your skin will be less prone to cracking and chafing and will look less flaky.
Humectants also aid in shedding these dead cells by breaking down the proteins that hold the cells together. Humectants can even draw water vapor from the air or any water leftover on the skin from showering to help keep the skin moisturized.
Common humectants to look for:
Aloe Vera is harvested from the aloe plant. It is a natural humectant that draws in water from the air for maximum hydration. This is why it is widely used to heal sunburns.
Honey is created by honey bees and harvested for food and beauty products. Honey is a humectant and naturally attracts and absorbs water.
Glycerin is a clear, naturally occurring liquid in the human body, as well as in animals and plants. Plant derivatives are often used in all kinds of skincare products.
Vegetable glycerin can be derived from soy, palm, or coconut.
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule produced in the body that keeps tissues cushioned and lubricated. It’s produced synthetically for skincare use.
Urea is a colorless crystalline organic compound that occurs naturally in your body as part of your skin's natural moisturizing factor, which sustains hydration. It is produced synthetically for use in skincare products.
Sorbitol is a naturally-occurring sugar found in plants and fruits that works well as a humectant.
Propylene glycol is a colorless synthetic liquid also used in some foods and drinks. It’s used to replace vegetable glycerine in some products.
Be sure to check for humectants when you purchase a body wash. It’s great for reinvigorating your skin and bringing it back from the dead (skin cells that is)!
Emollients can be occlusives, but their main job is actually to soften and moisturize the skin.
Common emollients to look for are:
Cocoa and Shea Butter: Plant-derived and filled with natural fatty acids.
Oils: These can be either natural options like coconut oil or synthetically derived ones, such as mineral oil.
- Mineral oil
If you want to make sure your body wash is going to make your skin silky smooth, then be sure to check for emollients. They will help you to achieve the softness your skin deserves.
Occlusives are designed to provide a protective seal over the skin to help lock in moisture and slow down the transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Occlusives ultimately work to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. Most oils and waxes are occlusives, and you will see some crossover ingredients from the emollient list.
Common Occlusives to look for are:
- Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of mining crude oil. It is not a sustainable resource, but it is an incredibly useful occlusive.
- Mineral oil is another byproduct of mining crude oil like petroleum jelly is not a sustainable resource.
- Lanolin is a natural secretion from sheep's skin. Similar to human sebum, it is created to moisturize the sheep's wool. It is collected from the wool using hot water to separate it.
- Beeswax is naturally produced by bees when forming or building their hives.
- Avocado is pressed from the fruit of an avocado tree.
- Coconut is pressed from the meat of the coconut.
- Olive is pressed from the flesh and pits of olives.
- Argan is produced from the kernels of the Argon nut.
- Sunflower is produced from the macerated and pressed seeds of sunflowers.
- Safflower is pressed from the seeds of the safflower plant.
- Grapeseed is pressed from ground grape seeds that are a byproduct of the wine industry.
- Almond is pressed from the seed of the almond fruit.
- Jojoba is produced from the seeds of the jojoba shrub.
So, having occlusives in your body wash will ensure your skin is more protected from environmental conditions and daily exposure to the elements.
Other Essential Things to Consider for Body Wash
Besides the top three essential ingredients, what else should you consider?
Well, for convenience, you may want to think about the tools you are using to apply your body wash. A clean washcloth is fine. Other products include sponges and scrubbers.
But what if you could have the best of all worlds?
Well, then, you may consider a body wash infused sponge to be the best thing since sliced bread! Not only do you get all of the benefits of a well-rounded body wash, but you get the light scrub your body needs with our premium sponge.
And, with Spongellé, you can choose from a ton of different scents and a ton of different scrub styles so you can make sure you get exactly what you want and exactly what you need! Each scent provides benefits to your mind, body, and soul.
Essential Body Wash Ingredients for Good Skin
Okay, now that we have laid all that business out, it is time to review!
Emollients smooth out the skin, humectants attract moisture to the skin, and occlusives seal in moisture to prevent hydration loss.
Finding a body wash with the right balance of all three of these types of ingredients is actually not that difficult.
Soap production has come a long way since its humble Babylonian beginnings and even further since the first commercialized soaps. These days most brands are as focused on moisturizing as they are cleansing, though some fall short of this mission.
Choosing the best body wash will depend on how much moisture you need to keep your skin happy. If you don't know which oils work best with your skin or how your skin reacts to synthetic ingredients, we suggest researching your skin type and reading through recommended products that have been perfectly formulated for your skin type.
At Spongellé we are dedicated to delivering the most moisturizing experience available through our body wash infused buffers. Using a number of natural oils, humectants, and occlusives we have created body buffers infused with rich, deep moisturizing, and equally foamy lathers that hydrate your skin, don’t disrupt your natural oils, while cleansing and exfoliating the body.
If you are still searching for a body wash that will work overtime for you, consider all that Spongellé body buffers have to offer!