Melanin-rich skin is prone to dryness. But it’s easy to prevent ashiness starting with the way you bathe. Switch to the best body wash for Black skin and start moisturizing before putting on lotion.
Scientific studies show that dark skin loses water faster than light-colored skin (1). This is called transdermal water loss. It’s due in part to lower ceramide levels. These lipids help the skin maintain a healthy moisture level. But harsh bath soaps can strip the fats and water out of the skin.
If you use a mild body wash with moisturizing ingredients, it starts making a difference right away. The right formulas hydrate the skin with humectants and seal in the hydration with emollients. Check out our top picks below:
|The Best Body Washes for Black Skin||Why we love them|
|Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash||
|Bioderma - Atoderm - Cleansing Oil||
|Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash||
|Puracy Natural Body Wash||
|Buttah Skin by Dorion Renaud Egyptian CocoShea Body Wash||
|Alaffia EveryDay Shea Body Wash||
|Nubian Heritage Coconut Papaya Body Wash Cleanser||
|SheaMoisture African Black Soap Body Wash||
Best Body Wash for Black Skin in 2023
If you’re looking for soap that’s good for Black skin, start with the reviews below.
Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash
If you use this body wash regularly, you’ll never have ashy skin again. It’s made by a dermatologist-recommended brand especially for curing itchy, dry skin.
Do you want to know how to tell if a body wash is good for dry skin? First, it’s probably not going to make a lot of lather, like this one. That’s because it won’t have harsh surfactants that make the foam while they strip all the oil and moisture from the skin.
Second, it’s likely to be fragrance-free and not brightly colored. Artificial scents and dyes are often linked to allergic reactions. Even if you don’t think your skin is sensitive, chemicals like these can cause damage over time on a microscopic level.
Third, it will definitely have moisturizers and skin conditioning ingredients.
Look at the label on this body wash from Eucerin. It contains no artificial color, fragrance, or soap. It smells like the oils it contains, but the scent doesn’t linger on the skin. Plus, the first two ingredients are skin-friendly emollients: soybean and castor seed oils.
Even with the oil, it rinses clean. It’s non-comedogenic to avoid causing body acne, and it leaves no residue on the skin or in the bathtub. Users say it makes their skin feel soft and comfortable.
- Dermatologist-recommended product for dry, itchy skin
- No artificial fragrance, dyes, or soap that could irritate the skin
- Packed with natural oils to leave the skin soft
- Rinses clean with no residue on the body or bathtub
- Some complaints about the oily odor (but that fades after rinsing)
Bioderma – Atoderm – Cleansing Oil
We just told you that an artificial fragrance could possibly make your skin drier by causing irritation at a cellular level. Sometimes it’s listed as “parfum” on the label. Unfortunately, this body wash has one listed right in the middle of the ingredients.
However, it has many proven benefits and it’s mild enough to use on infants. It won’t make your eyes sting, and did we mention you can wash your hair with it?
To begin with, this shower oil comes in a handy pump top bottle. It has a subtle fragrance and doesn’t leave a slippery residue on the shower floor. But how well does it work on dry skin?
A clinical trial tested eleven volunteers who used it for twenty-eight days. The results showed how well it improves the skin’s health, hydrating it for up to twenty-four hours after a shower.
That’s not surprising when you see that it has no harsh sulfates. There are no parabens, either. Instead, it features ingredients that repair the skin like niacinamide and vitamin E. Moreover, there are rhamnose and fructoligosaccharides which are prebiotics.
Prebiotics are the unsung heroes of healthy skin. They help it stay balanced and strong, which makes it less prone to dryness and helps it look younger, too. Putting them on the skin helps it maintain a hale and hearty biome.
- Packed with prebiotics, it helps dry skin repair and stay healthy
- Rinses clean with no residue on the skin or tub
- Proven to moisturize for up to twenty-four hours
- We wish it didn’t have an artificial fragrance, but at least it doesn’t linger
Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body Wash
Aveeno makes a variety of body washes, so we selected the unscented one. Like all of their products, it contains oat to calm and moisturize the skin. Plus, it’s been allergy-tested and has no artificial color or soap in it.
It’s designed to relieve itchy skin and provide hydration for twenty-four hours. For the price, it’s a good deal, and many customers swear by it. We also like that it comes in a pump top bottle.
On the downside, it has SLES, also known as sodium laureth sulfate, the milder of the two despised sulfates. There’s also cocamidopropyl betaine, which was named Allergen of the Year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. These are the reasons why we aren’t as thrilled with this body wash as some users are.
What are reviewers saying about it? Some find it mild enough for washing the face and others are happy that it doesn’t leave their skin dry, tight, or itchy.
- Unscented and proven to moisturize for twenty-four hours
- Comes in a pump top bottle
- Beloved by users across the globe
- Has a potential skin allergen
Puracy Natural Body Wash
We prefer Puracy’s body wash to Aveeno’s for several reasons. Even though it has a delicious fragrance, the scent comes from essential oils, not an artificial perfume.
Next, it’s 93.3% plant-based. There are no harsh detergents like sulfates or cocamidopropyl betaine, but it still has a lavish amount of lather. It’s made with mild ingredients like coconut cleansers, plus it’s pH-balanced which protects skin from dryness.
Furthermore, this is an exfoliating body wash with citrus and Himalayan salt. Use it with a washcloth or loofah and it can help reduce keratosis pilaris, that dry, bumpy chicken skin that some people get on the backs of their legs and arms. Still, it’s gentle and not abrasive, making it suitable for children and adults.
Customers say that even if they forget to put on lotion after showering with it, they don’t get itchy.
This bath product is made in the USA without petroleum derivatives, parabens, salicylates, or artificial colors. And yes, it comes in a pump top bottle.
- 3% plant-based with no parabens, petroleum, perfumes, dyes, sulfates, or cocamidopropyl betaine
- pH-balanced and moisturizing, with a mild exfoliating effect
- Lavish lather that rinses clean, leaving skin smooth
- Not a con in sight
Buttah Skin by Dorion Renaud Egyptian CocoShea Body Wash
Buttah Skin is a luxurious Black-owned body wash. It has a fantastic fragrance and the perfect amount of lather. More importantly, the creamy formula keeps the skin hydrated for up to seventy-two hours. This is a company that understands how to care for ashy skin.
The hydration comes from a proprietary blend of ingredients called the SP Duraquench Complex. Part of the magic comes from shea and organic African cocoa butters. These are proven to nourish melanin-rich skin.
Reviewers say that since they started using this body wash, their skin is beautiful and has never felt so soft. Moreover, the Pharaoh’s Love fragrance with floral notes, musk, and vanilla appeals to both women and men.
Finally, the brand offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- Black-owned brand that offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Made with organic African cocoa butter and shea butter
- Luxurious fragrance and lather
- Hydrates the skin for up to seventy-two hours
- The bottle seems a little small
Alaffia EveryDay Shea Body Wash
Give a boost to a small business that uses Fair Trade ingredients from women-led cooperatives in West Africa. Alaffia handcrafts this body wash with unrefined shea butter, virgin coconut oil, and neem. It has no sulfates, parabens, artificial colors or synthetic perfumes.
Instead, it has a vanilla mint fragrance from natural extracts. If that aroma isn’t your thing, try Lavender, Passion Fruit, or the Unscented versions.
We enjoyed reading the stories of how people with body acne and dry, cracked skin found relief using it. That’s entirely believable as the formula is mild and moisturizing.
The only con we discovered is it has coco-betaine, also known as cocamidopropyl betaine, which may irritate the skin on a small number of people (2).
- Handcrafted with Fair Trade ingredients with a vegan formula
- Brand supports women-led cooperatives in West Africa
- Made with unrefined shea butter, neem, and virgin coconut oil
- No parabens, sulfates, artificial colors or synthetic perfumes
- Available in a variety of scents or an unscented version
- Contains cocamidopropyl betaine, which is a potential allergen
Nubian Heritage Coconut Papaya Body Wash Cleanser
Did you know that Nubian Heritage and Shea Moisture are owned by the same company, Sundial Brands? We thought they were Black-owned, but that’s no longer the case. Still, they make some of the best products for Black skin.
Take this creamy body wash, for example. It features coconut oil, shea butter, aloe, and papaya. As a result, you’ll enjoy a tropical fragrance while cleansing the skin and leaving it moisturized and soft. Reviewers are thrilled with the results, and they are pleased that it contains no parabens or sulfates.
You can also choose from a body wash made with raw shea butter or one with goat’s milk and chai. In any case, all of them leave a subtle scent on the skin that lasts for hours.
- Tropical scent that lingers for hours on soft, moisturized skin
- Free of parabens and sulfates
- Packed with natural ingredients like papaya, aloe, shea butter, and coconut oil
- In the race to move on from sulfates to something milder, many modern body washes contain cocamidopropyl betaine, including this one. Again, it’s only a problem for a few people.
SheaMoisture African Black Soap Body Wash
Is this the best exfoliating body wash for Black skin? African Black soap has a reputation for clearing up acne and leaving the skin squeaky clean. The charcoal particles exfoliate the skin. Try it if you have keratosis pilaris.
Although it’s not as moisturizing as some of our top picks, we can’t deny that it works wonders for some people.
It has a pH-balanced formula with vitamin E, oats, and aloe to calm and hydrate the skin. With only a little dab, it works up an excellent amount of lather and rinses clean. Some agree that the fragrance is a little masculine, but it’s a soft scent.
If you would prefer something different, Shea Moisture also makes a Cocoa Almond body wash specifically for extra dry skin.
- Clears up body acne and keratosis pilaris while it exfoliates and moisturizes
- pH-balanced with nourishing natural ingredients
- A little dab makes a lot of lather
- Although it has a pleasant fragrance, it’s unlikely that anyone would buy it just for the scent
There’s no need to look ashy if you use the best body wash for Black skin. These moisturizing bath soaps will pamper your body, leaving it soft, comfortable, and younger-looking.
We look forward to your feedback. If we helped you find your new favorite body wash today, please tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4086530/ J Clin Aesthet Dermatol., published 2014 Jun; 7(6): 25–32. Moisturizing Different Racial Skin Types, by Derrick C. Wan, MD, Victor W. Wong, MD, Michael T. Longaker, MD, MBA, George P. Yang, MD, PHD, and Fu-Chan Wei, MD, accessed June 9, 2021
2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1046199X01822119?via%3Dihub Cocamidopropyl betaine allergy, by Christen M. Mowad, Department of Dermatology, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA, published in The American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, volume 12, issue 4, December 2001, accessed June 9, 2021