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Which antibacterial body washes are best?

Many body washes on the market are designed to clean the skin well, but not all are specifically crafted to reduce the number of bacteria on your skin. Body odor can occur when the bacteria on your skin’s surface multiply and feeds off of your sweat. Antibacterial wash formulas target odor-causing bacteria on your feet and the rest of your body.  

Different formulas will contain an assortment of natural and chemical ingredients that help your body get rid of sweat buildup, bacterial infections, body odor and other skin issues you may have. For instance, if you want a soap that helps you combat skin acne and works well on your sensitive skin without the use of harsh chemicals or fragrances, then Olay Body Wash with Hyaluronic Acid will be a good fit for you. Check out Purely Northwest Antifungal Tea Tree Oil Body Wash if you’re looking for the top pick.

What to consider before trying an antibacterial wash

Skin sensitivity

Depending on the unique skin type you were inherited and various external factors, your skin will naturally be sensitive to different products you use.  Soaps that contain heavy moisturizing agents and oil-based formulas can cause you to develop acne or clogged pores on different parts of your skin; avoid these products if you are prone to have more oily skin. Alternatively, if you have a drier complexion, you should use these types of products so that your body doesn’t get dry or flaky.

Skin conditions

If you suffer from any mild to severe skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, you will want to use gentle non-drying washes that don’t contain artificial scents or sulfates. Although sulfates are a group of cleansers that help make soap suds up, the foaming action can cause skin irritation and dryness. Make sure to check each label closely for any ingredients that could exacerbate any of your skin conditions.

Despite some exfoliating washes helping clear out the buildup of sebum on the skin, others can cause micro-tears on anyone who has a strong case of acne on their skin. If you have clogged pores on your skin’s surface, make sure you look for washes that contain salicylic or glycolic acid instead. These chemicals are much gentler on the skin regardless of their condition.


Body washes containing natural ingredients such as lavender, oatmeal and aloe will be a great choice for sensitive skin since these mixtures usually clean well and are also gentle. Organic formulas are natural products grown with the use of pesticides, meaning fewer chemicals will come into contact with your skin when you take a bath or shower. 

Some washes are soap-free, which means certain chemicals are removed and replaced with synthetic alternatives. Even though these products work just as well as any other type, the artificial ingredients can still cause skin irritation. When testing out different ones, always make sure to do a spot test on a small patch of your skin beforehand to determine if you will have an allergic reaction to the formula.

How much you can expect to spend on antibacterial washes

Washes can be reasonably inexpensive to expensive depending on which brand and ingredients you are looking for. Most will roughly be $2-$5 for an individual bar, while some can range from $3-$17 depending on the bottle size.

Antibacterial Washes FAQ

Q. Are antibacterial liquid washes better than antibacterial bars of soap?

A. When you’re browsing for a new body wash, you will notice that brands offer a bottled and bar soap option for a specific formula. Although more additives are added to the bottled edition, both kinds will still perform well regardless.

Q. Can an antibacterial body wash cause skin irritation?

A. Despite antibacterial formulas being designed to prevent the spread of germs, most will have other ingredients that ensure the formula will be balanced and non-harmful when being used. However, certain skin conditions, if severe, can still flare up despite this and should be managed with the use of other skincare products aside from soap.

Q. Do antibacterial body washes make skin dry?

A. Some products can be more on the heavy-duty side in performance, so they can cause your skin to become drier with frequent use. Taking this into account, some brands have added hydrating extracts to their formulas to counteract any dryness you may experience.

Q. Are antibacterial soaps safe to use on your face?

A. Several brands include organic and natural ingredients in their formulas that help balance out harsher chemicals they may contain. Make sure to read each product’s label to ensure you can use it on your face and body.

The best antibacterial washes

Best of the best

Purely Northwest Antifungal Tea Tree Oil Body Wash

Purely Northwest Antifungal Tea Tree Oil Body Wash

What you need to know: You can use this choice anywhere on your body and is formulated with 100% essential oils.

What you’ll love: This is a popular choice amongst parents who have kids in contact sports, thanks to its antifungal properties. The wash also serves as a shampoo that can alleviate dry scalp and can help keep acne at bay by reducing bacteria buildup.

What you should consider: Allergic reactions can occur on very sensitive skin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bargain wash

Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap

Dial Antibacterial Deodorant Soap

What you need to know: This option offers long-lasting antibacterial deodorant protection.

What you’ll love: The soap creates a moisture-rich lather that has all-day odor protection and features a nice fresh fragrance. Also available in a great value pack at an affordable price.

What you should consider: Some scents are known to be strong smelling.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best natural wash

Natural Riches Extra Strength Tea Tree Oil Body Wash

Natural Riches Extra Strength Tea Tree Oil Body Wash

What you need to know: This option is great at soothing skin rashes and inflammation.

What you’ll love: It’s formulated with a potent combination of tea tree oil, coconut, eucalyptus extracts, vitamins A, B2, D and more. It works as an effective defense against harmful microbes that can stay on the surface of your skin.

What you should consider: The powerful blend of ingredients can be too strong for some skin types.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best everyday wash

Fieldworks Organic All Natural Body Wash Soap

Fieldworks Organic All Natural Body Wash Soap

What you need to know: It’s known as the best moisturizing soap on the market.

What you’ll love: This “body brick” doesn’t contain harsh chemicals and is great at moisturizing due to the inclusion of bentonite clay in its formula. The brand’s Hose Off wash is also a good antibacterial option worth trying.

What you should consider: It can be smaller than other brand’s bars of soap.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best antifungal wash

Daily Remedy Tea Tree Oil Body Wash

Daily Remedy Tea Tree Oil Body Wash

What you need to know: This option smells great and is powerful enough to eliminate body odors and other skin conditions.

What you’ll love: Features a gentle cleansing formula that doesn’t damage skin despite its potency. It can be used by men and women who have a variety of skin types.

What you should consider: The bottles sizes aren’t true to size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best hypoallergenic wash

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash for Dry Skin

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash for Dry Skin

What you need to know:  This is a trusted brand and product for sensitive skin.

What you’ll love: It’s infused with soothing oatmeal extracts and rich emollients that aid in replenishing and nourishing dry skin. You will notice a notable difference in skin health after a few uses.

What you should consider: It can have a slippery texture.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best exfoliating wash

Olay Cleansing & Nourishing + Hyaluronic Acid Body Wash

Olay Cleansing & Nourishing + Hyaluronic Acid Body Wash

What you need to know:  The formula is completely cruelty-free and doesn’t have any chemical irritants. The hyaluronic acid is also gentle on acne-prone skin.

What you’ll love: This fast-absorbing formula doesn’t contain harsh ingredients usually found in exfoliants such as walnut shells and alcohol. It also works well for all skin types and doesn’t require a lot of product to be effective.

What you should consider: Although effective at getting rid of impurities on your skin and body odor, it isn’t as great at treating skin fungi.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best hydrating wash

Dove Body Wash With Shea Butter

Dove Body Wash With Shea Butter

What you need to know:  Available in a variety pack of scents and works well on sensitive skin.

What you’ll love: It’s crafted with shea butter and coconut oil that deeply moisturizes your skin. The addition of pistachio cream also makes skin soft and smooth to the touch.

What you should consider: Known to arrive in damaged packaging.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Ashton Hughes writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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