Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. Here, the best body washes at Ulta — we’ve also picked out our favorite shampoos and bath robes — according to the people. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
And while we’ve written about lots of beauty products available from Ulta — including the best tweezers and the best drugstore primers — here we’ve rounded up the best body washes, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers.
Best-rated body wash
“I love this body wash I will never use another body wash again,” writes one satisfied shopper. Another reviewer, who describes herself as “the type of person who is constantly buying and trying new products” and who has “six partially used body washes at the moment,” says, “This is the only body wash I have actually repurchased not once or twice, but *three* times now and I haven’t touched anything else. It smells great, and leaves my skin soft and clean. Breakouts on my arms and back have also decreased noticeably! I also use it in place of shaving cream.” Tons of reviewers praise the scent, calling it “divine,” “light,” and “refreshing.” One shopper even says that the scent “reminds me of the Philosophy fragrance but at a fraction on the price.”
Best-rated (less expensive) body wash
Reviewers with dry and itchy skin gave this body wash high praise — one calls it “my best friend” — and many have been using it for years. One writes, “Aveeno products were first recommended for my eczema-prone skin by a dermatologist when I was very young. I have been using for 30+ years. I find this shower wash to be very moisturizing.” Another says, “I use this EVERY DAY! Heaven forbid I ever run out, it just ruins my day. Smells very clean and fresh. Leaves skin super soft.” It has even converted fans of other soap brands. “I used to be a Dove girl and I tried this on a whim,” one reviewer writes. “My skin has never been softer. I noticed the difference after the first use. After a few days my skin was glowing.”
And now some micro-picks for every type of body wash you might be looking for.
Best body wash for dry skin
“I used this years ago, especially in the winter at 10,000 feet where it was dry and cold. I couldn’t believe the difference in my skin,” one reviewer writes. Another shopper says, “I have an autoimmune disease that causes dry skin. Using Vitabath is essential for my quality of life.” Plenty of long-term fans chimed in in the comments: “I have used Vitabath products for 30 years I am a believer!” says one. Another writes, “I’ve used Vitabath for over 40 years I’m sure! Don’t like taking my bath without it.” Reviewers praised the fragrance, too. “I LOVE my Vita Bath Plus Dry Skin Moisturizing Bath and Shower Gelee! Wish they would make a perfume that smelled just like it. So soothing. Will keep buying this,” says one. Another writes, “I use this every day in shower. The main reason I splurge for it is the fragrance, can’t get enough. Love how it leaves the bathroom smelling too.”
Best natural body wash
This body wash was a favorite of reviewers looking for chemical-free soaps. “I have very sensitive skin and this does not bother me!” writes one. “I am so glad because I get really bored with standard fragrance free products. It doesn’t have a strong smell … it isn’t irritating to my skin.” Another says, “This is one of the very few products on the market that’s chemical-free and actually works! It keeps my skin so moisturized and it smells like heaven. I will be a forever customer.” Reviewers also hailed this soap as a fix for dry skin. One writes, “Before using this, random dry spots would just pop up out of nowhere. It’s been two months using this product and I am in love! No more dry spots! It smells amazing, and a little goes a looooooong way!” And they like the scent, too: “You walk out the shower smelling like you left the spa!” says one.
Best body wash for acne
“Gone through five bottles of this, it’s a must have!” says one enthusiastic reviewer. “This product has helped control my back acne and I honestly cannot find another product better than this! 100% recommend if you suffer from back acne!” Shoppers found that this affordable body wash worked for even stubborn cases of body breakouts. One says, “Over the past few years, I have had a horrible time trying to find a reasonably priced body wash that treated my acne without drying my skin out.” Another writes, “When I found this wash, I was somewhat skeptical since I had had little success so far, but this wash made a difference from the first use! I have now been using it for about 1 month, and I am so excited to see my chest and shoulders clearing up!” Others just like the scent. “It helps me wake up in the morning,” one reviewer says. Another writes, “Love that grapefruit smell.” And it’s a great pick for combating body acne according to experts, too. American Academy of Dermatology spokesperson Debra Jaliman, M.D., told us that this body wash “has a really nice scent, but it also has 2 percent salicylic acid and glycerin. So it’s not drying because it has the glycerin, but it has the salicylic acid, too, to unclog the pores.”
Best 3-in-1 body wash
“Love this product, makes me feel uplifted, the name itself says it all,” writes one shopper, who gave this a five-star review (and with over 400 five-star reviews on this body wash, she wasn’t alone!) Reviewers love the “fresh, clean, light fragrance,” and took advantage of the soap’s three-in-one promise, using it as a bubble bath and shampoo in addition to a daily wash. “Honestly got it for bubble bath and it smells heavenly,” one shopper writes. Another says, “Bought for my husband who won’t leave mine alone, uses all mine up. So, got him his own. He loves this for his hair.” And if Amazing Grace isn’t your scent of choice, there were plenty of other delicious-sounding three-in-one’s available from Philosophy — including Cinnamon Buns, Raspberry Sorbet, and Senorita Margarita.
Best exfoliating body wash
This body wash comes infused in a sponge, which reviewers found was great for scrubbing away dead skin. “Awesome way to gently exfoliate on a daily basis right in the shower,” writes one reviewer. And while the jury is still out about the soap’s ability to actually reduce cellulite, many shoppers still praised its smoothing abilities. “I love using this sponge in the shower daily,” says one. “It really helps to smooth out the little bumps. Now does it reduce cellulite? I can’t really say, but it does make my legs look and feel much smoother. I can tell an immediate difference when I stop using it.”
Best chemical exfoliant body wash
“FINALLY SOMETHING THAT WORKS!” says one reviewer, who writes that they have struggled with body acne, and saw a “difference immediately” after using this body wash. “It’s been about a week since I have used the product and I swear all the acne is gone and the scars are sooooo much better!” they write. “Seriously buy this if you are struggling with body acne!” Other shoppers had similar results. “It doesn’t compare to any other body wash I’ve used, I feel so much cleaner after using this and it smells amazing,” another writes. “I have dry skin and suffer from body acne and since using this for only a few weeks I’ve noticed a significant improvement. I thought that paying even over $10 for body wash was stupid but this bottle is huge and worth every penny.” And reviewers who weren’t dealing with body acne praised this one, too, as a non-drying alternative to creamier soaps. “Oh my gosh! My skin wasn’t dry!” one shopper writes. “It was just … clean. Genuinely clean. No leftover film, no dryness, no random oils, just soft and clean skin.”
Best body wash for men
“I am a bald man and I use it all over!” says one happy shopper. Lots of reviewers bought this for their husbands, boyfriends, and brothers, and all were thrilled with the purchase. “I bought this for my husband since he loves the Jack Black shaving products, and he fell in love! He smells amazing after using it, loves the design of the bottle, says it is such a high quality product. We will be repurchasing this product for sure!” says one shopper. Even the pickiest dads liked it: “I purchased this for my dad, for Father’s Day … He is one of the pickiest people on the planet,” one reviewer writes. “BUT! HE LOVES THIS STUFF! He can’t stop raving about it. He is very hard to shop for, so I’ve got a real winner with this. I think he’s hooked on this soap for Life. But, I’m very happy, as this will make holiday shopping so much easier for me.”
Best black soap body wash
African Black Soap is known for its calming and healing properties, and shoppers found that this one really worked. “This right here is AMAZING,” says one shopper. “I have had stubborn body acne for years, and no matter how many medicated acne washes I used nothing would go away. I had embarrassing bright red pimples all over my chest and back. This body wash cleared 95 percent in THREE. WEEKS. I have never had ANY product do something that amazing. This stuff is magic in a bottle.” Another satisfied shopper reports, “I have had difficulty for the last four to five years with extremely painful and stubborn back and shoulder acne. Works better than PanOxyl. I started seeing results faster than expected.”
Best mineral body wash
This body wash, which is packed with Dead Sea minerals, macadamia oil, and organic plant extracts appealed to shoppers looking for something gentle and non-drying. “This is really an amazing product,” one reviewer ways. “Regular soap tends to dry out my sensitive skin and the winters in upstate New York do not help! This product is smooth, lightweight and smells great.” And even though the price is a little higher than other body washes, shoppers said it’s worth it. “I’m usually a budget buyer, but this product is well worth the splurge for me!” says one. “Love the smell and it lathers and feels great.” Another person says, “I used this once and fell in love with it … over and over again. This body wash is worth the price. It cleanses perfectly, even after the grimiest gym sweat settles on your body, moisturizes and leaves your skin with a healthy glow. The scent is pure perfection. Love it.” And many reviewers praised the luxe scent. “Feels Luxurious, creamy, and velvety! Can’t forget the soft flower smell!” says one. Another happy shopper writes, “It just makes me smile.”
Best scented body wash
Reviewers absolutely love the “clean,” “earthy” scent of this body wash. “I can smell this stuff all day long!” says one shopper, and another says, “I wish I could find a perfume that smells like this!” Others write, “My only wish is that the wonderful smell lasted longer on me!” and “It smells incredible and not in a basic floral or perfume-y way. Definitely good for men and women.” Many shoppers say they’ve been using it for years — “I have been using Rainbath for over 15 years daily. I guess if that doesn’t show how great of a product this is … No comment will,” writes one.
Best throwback body wash
Many reviewers remembered this body wash from their childhoods — “I was so happy to see this product, I used it as a child growing up and people would always say how good I smelled” — and were thrilled to find it again in the U.S. “I have been using this fresh smelling shower gel since my student days in Vienna, Austria (where it was called Badedas) for 45 years,” one says.
I was delighted to find it in the US by a different name. I will use NO other gel.” Another writes, “Finally found this product again after 30 years! I love its fresh clean feel after showering and scent!” Other reviewers praised the fresh scent, and one wrote, “Smells like a fizzy lifting drink from Willy Wonka. I bought this on an impulse because I needed a new shower gel. I sniffed the nice box it came in and was pleasantly surprised to find a nice, green, fresh bubbly scent … The notes are listed as pine, patchouli and rosewood, but there’s more to it than that. It smells like what clean smells like.”
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