Written by Audrey Swanson. Medically reviewed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson.
Using body wash might seem pretty straightforward. Get in the shower, lather a dollop of body wash all over your skin, and rinse. Sounds simple and basic, right?
Many people don't realize they are overusing soap and body wash. Whether someone uses too much or doesn't rinse thoroughly enough, it can be easy to miss a key step or two in this important activity of cleansing your skin. In general, you only need to use body wash on your hands, feet, neck, underarms, and pelvic region. For additional clarity on this, we consulted with a local expert here in Austin, Texas -- dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson. “I often tell my patients with dry skin to use lukewarm water without soap to rinse off the majority of their body, and reserve soap for the underarms and groin, unless their skin is visibly dirty like from gardening or working in the garage,” said Dr. Jackson MD, FAAD.
For many reasons, body wash is a convenient and clean alternative to bar soap. It's easier to travel with and spread evenly throughout your body. Commercially available bar soaps tend to be more drying and as they often lack added moisturizers. They can also make more of a mess in your shower with leftover residue on various surfaces.
Let's dive into the best way to use body wash to get clean, moisturized skin.
How much body wash are you supposed to use? This is actually our most important tip because, believe it or not, most people overuse body wash. They fill up their entire palm with the liquid, using way more than they truly need.
You should only use about a quarter-sized squirt of body wash. (When testing our Puracy Natural Body Wash, we've found that two pumps of product should last an adult for an entire shower.) Lather it up in your hands, on a loofah, or in a washcloth before applying to your hands, feet, neck, underarms, and pelvic region. (Tip: Water + Body Wash + Agitation = Foam.)
Using too much can dry your skin by stripping it of its natural oils, especially if you are using a traditional body wash that is not properly suited for your skin's pH levels. Too much product can also create a sticky or greasy feeling if you don't rinse it off completely. When it comes to body wash, just remember: Less is more.
A hot, steamy shower can be a relaxing way to cap off a long day, but hot water isn't great for your skin. While steam by itself is great for detoxifying the skin, hot water is an entirely different story. When hot water comes into contact with skin, it can cause it to dry out from the harsh, extreme temperature.
After lathering your favorite body wash over your hands, feet, neck, underarms, and pelvic region, rinse thoroughly with slightly warm water. This will help keep the water from stressing the skin and stripping its moisture.
No matter whether you have naturally dry, sensitive, or healthy skin, two important steps in using body wash are gently sloughing off dead skin cells and moisturizing right after you're done showering.
Apply body wash to the correct body parts using your hands, a soft washcloth, or loofah, then gently rub all over to remove dead skin. Don't scrub forcefully, as this will perpetuate dry skin. As soon as you get out of the shower, apply an organic body lotion to lock in moisture when your skin is clean and dry. Dr. Jackson MD, FAAD, says, “I typically tell my patients with dry skin to try to get a good quality moisturizer all over the skin within 5 minutes of bathing or showering.”
Shampoo and conditioner are specially formulated with ingredients meant to clean and moisturize the hair and scalp, which is a totally different texture and material than skin. And because the pH level of your skin is different from that of your hair, the optimal body wash will have a different pH than your preferred shampoo and conditioner. Unless the product specifically says it's both a body wash and shampoo, don't use it in your hair.
Generally, body wash and face cleansers are made using different ingredients. Because skin on the face can often be more sensitive than bodily skin, it's best to stick to specific face washes and cleansers for that area. You can slowly introduce your body wash as a facial cleanser if you tolerate it on your body. You can start by using a very small amount, massaging it with your hands for less than 5 seconds and rinsing immediately. Work up to your normal facial cleansing regimen if you continue to tolerate.
Puracy Natural Body Wash uses a unique ingredient called Coco Glycinate. It is a high-foaming, coconut-based surfactant which is so gentle, it has a low potential to damage the stratum corneum proteins and lipids in our skin. In other words, it cleans off impurities without robbing moisture or creating irritation. This ingredient was developed for cosmetic-grade facial cleansers but we use it in our body wash due to these notable characteristics.
A good body wash will lather or foam when you apply it to the body, but not enough to create fluffy bubbles in a bath. For a relaxing bubble bath loaded with rich, foamy bubbles, we recommend using a natural bubble bath instead.
Fun fact: There are two ways to measure bubbles, foam, or suds. The first is called flash foam, which describes how quickly it foams up when agitated in water. The second is called carry foam, which produces long-lasting bubbles. A body wash has a blend of both. A bubble bath is more skewed toward the carry (long-lasting) foam. A good bubble bath also has a more robust blend of moisturizers since your skin will be soaking in them for a longer period than a shower.
Yes! Many body washes contain ingredients that are meant to clean and moisturize the skin every time you shower.
A minimum of two weeks. It takes two to four weeks for your skin to adjust to a new product, especially if you are switching from a bar soap or liquid body wash packed with synthetic ingredients. Some people see results after the first try, but give it at least two full weeks of daily use to know whether or not a new skincare product will work for you. This is, of course, unless you experience a serious reaction. Dr. Jackson MD, FAAD, reports, “even the most gentle and natural products can cause allergic reactions in rare prone individuals. Therefore, if any product causes increased redness, itching, burning or stinging of the skin, it’s a good idea to consult with your local board-certified dermatologist for testing of contact allergens, in order to know what specific ingredients to avoid.”
Now that you know how to use body wash effectively, it's a good time to consider the type of body wash you're putting on your skin every day! We created our Puracy Natural Body Wash with soothing coconut cleansers and clinical-grade moisturizers. Free of synthetic chemicals, it is an idyllic blend that comes in three heavenly, natural fragrances to restore balance and purity to your skin.
We're also thrilled to announce the Summer 2019 launch of our natural body wash in most Target stores nationwide. All three of our best-selling adult fragrances, including Citrus & Sea Salt, Coconut & Vanilla (new!), and Bergamot & Sandalwood (new!) are now available. Visit our store locator to find Puracy Natural Body Wash at a Target store near you.