Medically reviewed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson.

Body wash and shower gel seem pretty straightforward: Get in the shower, lather it across your skin, and rinse off. Not so fast: As it turns out, there’s absolutely a best way to use shower gel – and not all of them are created equal.

#1: How Much Body Wash Do You Need?

Most people actually use way too much body wash. They fill up their entire palm, which is way more than the quarter-sized dollop that they actually need. Too much product may leave a sticky or greasy film (if it isn’t rinsed off completely), but overenthusiastic use can also strip skin of its natural oils. 

Puracy Natural Body Wash was tested by experts like dermatologists and PhD chemists, and they determined that two pumps of our product should last for an entire shower. 

When it comes to body wash: Less is more.

How Often Should You Use Body Wash? 

Body washes typically contain ingredients that are meant to clean and moisturize the skin.  A pH-balanced shower gel should be fine to use every time you shower. 

how to use shower gel

#2. Do I Use Body Wash on My Entire Body? 

Another common myth is that you should use body wash all over. The reality, however, is that you can effectively clean most of your skin by simply rinsing it with water.

For further clarification, we reached out to  Austin-based dermatologist, Dr. Julie Jackson MD, FAAD:

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

Can You Use Body Wash as Hand Soap? 

Everyone knows the importance of proper handwashing, but can you use body wash instead of hand soap?

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Since body wash is formulated for the skin, it’s a better choice than most dish soaps (which can be extremely drying). Bar and hand soaps typically have a higher ratio of active cleaners than body washes, but washing your hands for at least 20 seconds should still serve the same function. 

Can You Use Body Wash as a Shampoo?

using body wash as shampoo

Shampoo and conditioner are specially formulated with ingredients meant to clean and moisturize the hair and scalp. Because the texture and pH level of skin is different, your body wash should be different than your shampoo and conditioner.

Unless the product specifically states that it's both a body wash and shampoo, it’s best not to use it in your hair.

Can You Use Body Wash on Your Face? 

Generally speaking, facial cleansers and body washes use different ingredients. Because skin on the face can often be more sensitive than the rest of your body, it's best to stick to face washes and cleansers. 

Can You Use Body Wash as a Bubble Bath?

A good body wash will lather or foam when applied to the body – but not enough to create fluffy bubbles in a bath. For a relaxing bubble bath loaded with rich foam, we recommend reaching for a natural bubble bath instead.

#3: Don’t Rinse with Hot Water

While steam can be great for detoxifying the skin, hot water can cause drying.

After lathering your favorite body wash over your body, rinse thoroughly with warm water. Using warm water will help reduce the loss of moisture in your skin due to transepidermal water loss.

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“I often tell patients with dry skin to use lukewarm water (without soap) to rinse the majority of their body.”  

#4: Slough and Moisturize

Whether you have naturally dry, sensitive, or enviably healthy skin, there are two important steps for a healthier shower routine: Gently sloughing off dead skin cells and moisturizing immediately after a shower.

moisturize skin

You can use body wash with your hands, a soft washcloth, or loofah, and then gently rub to remove dead skin. Don't scrub forcefully, as this can exacerbate 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 says,

“I typically tell patients with dry skin to try to apply a good-quality, natural moisturizer within 5 minutes of bathing or showering.”

How to Find the Right Body Wash

Since they often lack added moisturizers and pH-balanced formulas, commercially available bar soaps tend to dry skin. They can also make more of a mess due to leftover residue on your shower and bathtub (if you already deal with hard water stains, this complicates the cleaning process).

It’s important to note that it can take between 2-4 weeks for your skin to adjust to a new body wash. This is especially true if you previously used bar soap or liquid body wash that was packed with synthetic ingredients. Some people see positive results after the first try, but unless you experience a serious allergic reaction, we recommend sticking it out for at least two weeks.

“Some personal care products (including body wash) can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. If any products cause increased redness, itching, burning, or stinging, it’s a good idea to discontinue use and consult your local board-certified dermatologist to test for contact allergens (to know which specific ingredients to avoid in the future).”  
how to apply body wash

Choose a Natural Body Wash for Healthier Skin 

A healthier shower routine starts with a healthier body wash. We created Puracy Natural Body Wash with three natural fragrances, clinical-grade moisturizers, and coco glycinate – a coconut-based surfactant that cleanses skin without irritating or depleting moisture. Free of synthetic chemicals, this is a perfect blend that restores balance to your skin.