how to use body wash

How to Use Body Wash

Wondering how to use shower gel? There’s definitely a right way – discover more with our derm-approved article!

Body wash usage seems pretty straightforward: hop in the shower, lather the product across your skin, then rinse off. Our derm-approved article is here to prove that there’s actually a best way to use body wash.


How Do I Correctly Use Body Wash?

If you experience dry or flaky skin after a shower, you may be using body wash incorrectly or choosing the wrong brand. Many commercial bar soaps dry out skin because they:

  • tend to lack added moisturizers
  • include synthetic ingredients (like artificial fragrance and sulfates)
  • aren't pH-balanced

Choosing the appropriate body wash for your skin type and having a simple routine will help you correctly apply body wash next time you’re in the shower. Just follow these straightforward steps.


  • How Much to UseHow Often to use Body Wash
  • Body Wash as Hand SoapShampoo as Body Wash
  • Body Wash on My Face | Body Wash as Bubble Bath

  • 1. Select the Correct Type of Body Wash

    Depending on your skin's needs, you'll want to choose a body wash that provides protection and moisturization for your specific skin type. 

    • Dry skin: Look for a mild soap that won’t dehydrate skin.
    • Oily skin: You need a gentle body wash that regulates oil production and minimizes shine.
    • All skin types: A pH-balanced, sulfate-free, 98.6% natural body wash

    Fun Fact: We're Allure's favorite body wash for sensitive skin!

    2. Apply Body Wash Strategically

    SKIP TO: What's the difference between Shower Gel and Body Wash

    Did you know that you can clean most of your skin simply by rinsing it with water? Dr. Julie Jackson MD, FAAD explains:

    “Reserve soap and body wash for your underarm and groin regions – unless your skin is visibly dirty from activities like gardening or working in the garage.”

    3. Have A Simple But Effective Shower Routine

    In the shower, use these steps to apply your body wash.

    1. Wet your skin and lather your body wash using a washcloth or a loofah.
    2. Apply body wash to the necessary areas of your body.
    3. Thoroughly rinse off the body wash.
    4. Pat dry using a towel.
    5. Lock-in moisture after your shower using a natural, organic lotion.

    What’s the Difference:  Body Wash vs. Shower Gel

    Though they both cleanse your skin of dead skin cells and dirt, they also have different textures. Shower gels, as their name suggests, are gel-like and thicker, while body washes are thinner and easier to spread.

    Shower gels also tend to have harsher formulas, with some even containing microbeads that are harmful to the environment. These formulas can also contain abrasive sulfates or chemicals that can dry out skin. Body washes generally contain gentler, moisturizing formulas more suited for sensitive skin.

    How Much Body Wash to Use

    Too much body wash can leave behind a sticky/greasy film and strip skin of its natural oils. When we developed our Natural Body Wash, we determined that a palmful of product was the perfect amount.

    How Often Should I Use Body Wash?

    A pH-balanced shower gel should be fine to use every time you shower. You can use body wash with hands, a soft washcloth, or even a loofah. Don't scrub forcefully, as this can exacerbate dry skin.

    When deciding how often to shower, take these factors into consideration:

    • Skin type: If you have dry skin, you may notice that your skin is irritated or itchy after daily showers. You may want to shower every other day to allow your skin to protect natural oils.
    • Age: For kids, many pediatricians recommend bathing every other day, as their immune systems need to be stimulated by normal germs and microorganisms to create protective antibodies.
    • Daily Activity: If you have a job with lots of physical labor or you exercise every day, you'll need a daily shower to cleanse and protect your skin.
    • Climate: Colder weather can dry out skin, so you may only want to shower every other day. If you live in a warmer climate though, sweat and grime can build up easier in the heat and may require daily showering.

    Can You Use Body Wash as Hand Soap?

    Body wash is formulated for the skin. In terms of moisture retention, it's a better choice than many hand soaps. While bar and hand soaps typically have a higher ratio of active cleaners than body washes, washing your hands properly should still serve the same function. 

    Can You Use Shampoo as Body Wash?

    Shampoos are formulated with ingredients to clean and moisturize the hair and scalp. And because hair texture and the pH level of skin is different, your body wash should be different, too. Although the composition of shampoos and body washes are similar, shampoos contain conditioning agents for smoother hair, while body washes contain emollients and occlusives to hydrate skin.

    Unless the product specifically states that it's both a body wash and shampoo, it’s best not to use it in your hair. We still recommend keeping those two products separate.

    Can You Use Body Wash on My Face?

    The short answer: probably not. The longer answer: facial cleansers and body washes use different ingredients. Many surfactants that are meant to be used on the rest of your body may irritate the more-sensitive skin on your face. Because the skin on your face is typically more sensitive than the rest of your body, stick to face-specific cleansers.  

    Can You Use Body Wash as Bubble Bath?

    Body washes are formulated to lather when they’re applied to the body. That means you probably won't get fluffy mounds in a bathtub. For a relaxing bubble bath loaded with rich foam, we recommend a natural bubble bath instead.

    Additional Tips

    Choosing the right body wash is the first step. Take your shower routine to the next level by avoiding these common mistakes when using body wash.

    1. Don’t Overdo It With Hot Water

    Since hot water is one of the biggest culprits for dry skin, turn the dial down. After lathering your favorite body wash over your body, rinse with warm water to reduce the loss of moisture. 

    2. Don’t Forget to Exfoliate (But Not Too Much)

    1-2 times a week, consider dry brushing before your shower. However, avoid exfoliating too much, as it can dry out skin and possibly lead to breakouts.

    3. Don’t Skip Moisturizing

    After each shower, be sure to apply a nourishing body lotion to dry skin within 5 minutes.

    4. Don’t Rush When It Comes to New Body Wash

    If you typically use cleansers packed with synthetic ingredients, it may take time for your skin to adjust. Stick things out for 2-4 weeks (unless you experience a serious dermatological reaction, of course).

    “If any products cause increased redness, itching, burning, or stinging, discontinue use and consult your dermatologist to test for contact allergens (to identify specific ingredients to avoid in the future).” - Dr. Julie Jackson

    Puracy: The Best Body Wash for Healthier Skin

    Our Natural Body Wash is free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, perfumes, dyes, gluten, animal by-products, petroleum products, triclosan cocamidopropyl betaine, formaldehyde, and phosphates.

    When you choose our plant-based personal care, healthier skin is at your fingertips. We're so confident that all of our products come with a 100% money-back guarantee.